I am a person who needs close relationships. I need to feel a sense of closeness. I love hugs. I love feeling someone next to me. When I watch movies with friends – I want to share the armrest and know someone is next to me. I can’t watch movies in a theater alone. I can’t eat out alone. I invade people’s personal space often. I need people around me… I need closeness. Because of this, I have also historically been a person who makes friends easily. However, in the last year or two it has been more difficult for me.

I had some situations come up in my life, over the last few years, where I was hurt deeply by people close to me. I left a church, lost a best-friend, and almost lost another… all within a very short amount of time. No amount of accepting responsibility for parts of it, or trying to forgive, can erase the hurt that came from these situations.

Because of these things, I have closed off my heart, and I find it difficult to trust anyone with too much of myself. I desperately long for people who I can lean on – no strings attached. I want relationships with people who will be there when the shit hits the fan. I want relationships with people who can reach my heart and love me in ways I have never been loved.

But, I am afraid. I am terrified of opening up my heart to people around me. I am terrified of losing the one small piece of my heart that is left. I have been let down and abandoned so many times in my life, that I feel like I have nothing left to give or lose. So, it’s easier to just shut down those parts of myself.

I do have people who are close to me, who I am open with… but these people have proven to me that I can trust them. They have been in my life in some way or another for quite a while. I have a best-friend near me who is more like a sister than a friend. She is someone who has proven time and time again that she is a friend with no ulterior motives.

But, I still lack a certain something in my life. I long for friends who share my religious views – but unfortunately, I don’t think I will find those people. I am a very liberal Christian, and in my small town, I don’t find many like-minded people. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t need people who can build me up and support me in my Christian walk.

I have this desire to mesh the things I loved from my old church with the things I love from my new church. I miss my friends from my old church, and the connections that I had there. I miss having women to call upon during spiritual lows – which have been frequent for me recently. However, I love the pastor at my new church, and the music. I feel that my new church has been life changing for me.

I just don’t have those connections that I used to have – and I know it is because of myself. I can’t, no matter how hard I try, open myself up to people. I look at the women in my church and I always find a reason that I am not good enough to be friends with them. Again, my own insecurities.

It’s odd because I am the most at peace with who I am, that I have ever been in my life; but at the same time, because of my past and these recent heartaches, I have all these insecurities rising up inside of me.

I don’t know how to battle these things, though. I don’t know how to bind up my wounds and rise above it to be the person who can feel okay enough to make friends again. I don’t know how to be the person that rises above the fear of rejection to call someone and say, “want to hang out?” I don’t know how to be the person that puts myself out there.

I am trying to learn, but it is a long, hard road. So, for now I am holding tight to those people who are close to me – clinging to them with a ferocity that won’t leave. And, I am longing for the day when I will open up to new friends.

There it is… that’s as real as I can get right now.



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