Vulnerability is a hard trait to show when you’ve been hurt before. Sometimes a person can come off as ‘tough’ or ‘stoned face’ when it comes to revealing how they feel; when in fact, a lot of emotions are flowing through them. There’s a saying, “…Love like you’ve never been hurt before.” I don’t know who quoted that, but it’s a hard rule to live by. Our memory gets stuck in the past sometimes, not letting ourselves be free with the ones we care about the most. Are we scared that every single person is out to hurt us? Why do we think that one person may act like another person from the past? Each person is different—with different feelings.

For a lot of us, it’s difficult to trust someone. ‘Well, I’ve heard this story before and it all sounds the same to me’ kind of attitude. Why are we placing blame on the person we’re currently with? Why do we expect everyone that comes into our lives to hurt us? Is it a self-defense mechanism? Or do we choose to close ourselves up and let no one in?

I built a huge wall when I was younger. I was devastated by a woman whom I was deeply in love with. The pain was so intense, that I nearly shut down and became emotionless. My relationships were unstable and unpredictable due to my lack of trust for anyone. This even trickled over into my friendships and relationships with my family. It was almost as if I was paranoid. “They're out to get me!” Someone I cared for and loved intentionally hurt me. I don’t know why she did this, or what her motive was, but it hurt. I forgave her, and moved on with my life, but the memories are still there. They've faded out like a scar from the past.

My pain turned into other people’s problems. I’m talking about the people I got involved with afterwards. I lied, I cheated and I treated some people in my life unfairly. They got the wrath of my resentment and pain from the past. Did I do this intentionally? Not to my knowledge, but looking back it was done because of what I went through. I held a shield up to protect me and kept a sword on my side at all times in case I needed to inflict emotional pain upon someone who 'I thought' deserved it. My behavior and jealousy rages were a force to be reckoned with. I was a complete mess. I also hurt a few people that never deserved to be in that position to begin with. For that, I am sorry.

And no, this is not an AA 12 step program apology—so get that right out of your little noggins right now. This is, however, an apology to those I have been with either on a friendship level or an intimate level, to whom I hurt emotionally. I’m not blaming my behavior on the people of my past. I’m blaming my behavior due to the lack of maturity on my part for not deciphering the difference between other people’s actions, and the way I handled each situation. ‘You’ had nothing to do with it. My reckless behavior may have hurt ‘you’, but it hurt me more in the end. My intentions were not to destroy your level of trust for the people in your life. Even though I piled on the bricks and layered that wall nice and thick so that no one else could penetrate it—you still have the ability to knock it down. I’m not saying to let down your guard; I’m simply stating that not everyone is ‘me’.