Please welcome Kerry Kijewski as she gets real about love.
Sometimes I think love, pain, shame, and embarrassment are so entwined, I can’t untangle them from one another. The strands of emotion and feeling are separable, if I really look at my past, in reflection, but in the moment I seem to make every one of the mistakes there are to be made.
Why did I think I was not deserving of love? I had two loving and devoted parents and a safe and happy childhood. The teen years weren’t typical ones. I didn’t know what dating really felt like until I was launched into the oddest of odd teen relationships.
I call it that because the romance wasn’t like I saw in the teen romance movies I loved to watch.
Was it me? Was there something wrong? Was I not kissable?
Where were the ones to step in and stop things? I had a boyfriend for a year and a half, but something about it didn’t feel right. I knew it, felt it in my heart and in the pit of my stomach.
No. No. No. It had nothing to do with me. He was struggling with his sexuality and himself. I was a casualty of this though. What about me?
I was the perfect girl to test out what his true feelings were, what his attraction to a girl might be, I was the test relationship, the safe and plain girl, but he was figuring thoughts out too.
What did I learn? Why did I wait nearly ten years to put myself out there, to look for love? Shame. I was only chosen because I seemed safe. I wasn’t attractive to him or anyone.
I felt embarrassment to talk about it. I had no malice toward him, for being who he was. It was simply a fear of only attracting guys who could never return my feelings. What if it happened again? Could I survive that?
The shame for waiting so long, for feeling so very inexperienced when I did finally make the effort.
The invention of online dating was my salvation and my embarrassment all in one. The stigma still hovered.
How did you meet? This question caused anxiety every time it was asked of me. Why?
I thought I knew, had the best example possible, what love felt like. I trusted my instincts, until I felt the doubt creeping in, but my timid nature, not wanting to speak up for myself – misstep after misstep, making decisions with real life consequences.
My religious teachings, letting family down, but what about myself?
If you’d asked me who would have lived with two guys before she was even thirty, I wouldn’t have pointed to myself. I wanted marriage, but I still couldn’t believe someone had picked me. I knew where it was leading and it was all I’d ever wanted, or was it?
Not the right guy. How to get out of it? I suddenly understood unintentionally using another person to figure out ourselves.
I woke up in the morning, and by night, I had made up my mind. I was leaving.
I felt like a flake. I felt like a quitter. Three months. Three and I had to go.
Would anyone be able to see past my blindness? Did I put pressures on a guy, on a relationship, that simply couldn’t be shouldered? Did I give up my only chance?
What was love? Maybe I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.
I’m fun. I’m funny. I’m loving. I know all this. Not enough. Will never, ever be enough.
Shame. Embarrassment. Fear.
Just when you think you’ve got it, it slips away from you, from me, through my fingers. How easy is passion to find? How soon before it all disappears?
My parents stand by, watching me make more mistakes, but they raised me into adulthood, a land where I’d make my own choices. What could they say? What could they do but remain the two wonderful, supportive souls they always were.
I felt like a fool. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… The shame was all mine.
He blew into my life, the passion felt so real, and then he blew out again, leaving me stunned and numb.
Shame for leading myself into such heartache. All on me, but anger, regret, pain all kept up their surge. He was an easy target for these things, but it was me all along, me I was truly mad at.
Never enough. Never will be.
Shame. Embarrassment. Pain. Loneliness. Hopelessness.
Writing appeared out of the darkness, hoisting me up when I fell. Writing became my love, but in this affair, I hold back. I wonder if it will last, if there’s any hope for a future, if I will lose the writing I love, if I will ever be worthy in its eyes. I can only hold onto it, to hope for more, if I release the shame, the embarrassment, the pain. Let it bleed onto the page and speak the words I’ve been longing to say.
Passion for my love of writing and my love of words. Can I have love? Do I deserve these things? Am I truly loveable? Can I get real and learn from all this? Will I ever be someone’s partner, someone’s world? Why do people leave?
So, what’s with all the questions you ask? These bombard my mind, when sleep will not come. I am sick and tired of holding things inside. I can’t do it anymore. All that baggage weighs me down. I need to unload it all, if I’m ever going to believe I can love and be loved by someone. Not a second before. So here I am.
Kerry is a writer and blogger. She was born visually impaired. She writes to make sense of the world around her.
She has a Certificate of Creative Writing and has written a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
She had a short essay published on BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog and just recently she was included in a romance anthology:
You can find her, as Her Headache, at her blog:
Or on Facebook and Twitter:
Kerry lives in Ontario, Canada with her literary-themed dog and cat: Dobby and Lumos.