In the wake of this experience, the loneliness backfills the vacuum of empty space where life resided.
The narrative that has choked so many meaningful intimate moments in my life is the false narrative, "You deserve to be happy but if there is a conflict that must mean there is something wrong. Not with them, but with you."
Too often I sense my grieving keeps me focused on things outside my control. However, with time and loving intention, my grieving gives way to a renewed focus on my own patterns, roles, choices, and opportunities.
Intentions don't matter when u r bleeding out emotionally. There is no room for nuance when performing emotional triage on your identity and life.
There was little room to learn how to express feelings, needs, and wants in a way that is vulnerable when it is met with derision, contempt, competing interests, and sarcasm. So I don't think I was afraid of vulnerability as much as having a definition that equated it with weakness resulting in abuse.