Although the eleventh of this month is notable for me personally because it was the day I launched this Website seven years ago, it’s also painful for me because five years ago on that date, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I turned my back on the best friend I’ve ever had in my entire life at the moment when she needed me the most, and nearly every day since then I have cursed myself for having done what I did. Some days it feels like I’m getting better about it — I know full well how harmful it is for me to keep living in the past like that — but I can think of no other reason for the deep depression I’ve been in lately than this rather unhappy anniversary. Too often in these past five years, whenever I feel like I might be on the verge of real happiness, it seems like the bad karma I built up from that one mistake comes back to bite me in the butt real hard. I’m not so sure that I believe in curses, but I’ve certainly become a lot less skeptical of them these past five years.

It was only in the past few months that I came to realize why I did what I did back then. It didn’t take me long after the incident for me to realize that, as much as I tried to block the feelings out in my conscious mind, I was deeply in love with my friend. That much was fairly clear, but it’s only been recently that I’ve realized that more than just being afraid of my feelings towards her, I have a fear of being loved by others in general. I finally realized what a tremendous responsibility it is to be loved, and how it was a responsibility that I didn’t feel ready to handle. Yes, back when I was still in college I had my share of crushes and fixations, but none of them ever got to the point where I had to start thinking about what it would mean to be loved by someone else. (Just to clarify, I have no fear of being loved by other members of my family because I just don’t feel there’s the same responsibility there.)

These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Perhaps I’m doing so because a couple of old friends I can’t deny having feelings for suddenly showed back up in my life recently; perhaps I’m doing so because I continue to edge ever-closer to leaving here and living on my own and I worry about feeling even lonelier than I do now. I want to be more open to the possibilities of love, but after I’ve been through so much disappointment these past five years, that comes very, very hard to me. Don’t quote me the whole "better to have loved and lost" thing; that’s one line you don’t have to tell someone with two degrees in English, thank you very much. Still, I can’t help but feel that I’m in a very fragile state right now (for this and other reasons), and I can’t help but worry that if I make any kind of move to bring that kind of love back into my life I’ll just wind up hurt again. I already have a hard enough time dealing with regret; I don’t need more bad decisions on my part to look back on like the one I made a little over five years ago.

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