I am a gaping maw – a wide open gaping maw of unending unquenchable need. I feel as if I ever opened that maw, if I ever asked for help, if I ever showed my true self, my need, my pain, it is so great that I would scare off others, so great that no one could deal with it, so great that no one could love me.
If I let others, even my husband, see my true need, my true pain, my true self, they would run off in terror. So I protect myself with a shield, a facade of strength. I don’t let people close, not really. I just seem to. Actually, I hold everyone at arms length. I let no one, not even myself, access to my true self, to my deepest pain, to my longing, to not feeling lovable, to not feeling truly able to love. I hold back always.
I may appear one way and feel quite another. I appear capable and loving, but feel like a failure, never quite measuring up, never earning something that always should have been offered unconditionally.