On my sleeve


My incomplete heart

A few months ago I met someone who, I quickly came to realize, is the male version of myself in many ways. He reads — the first man I know who actually reads — watches Bloomberg, is very well-spoken, although as ill-versed as I am in street language (“What the hell is ‘on fleek’?”), and, above all, is an introvert.

That last trait is something we both have in common, perhaps a little bit too much so. As an INFJ who has more than just borderline Asperger Syndrome, I’ve always struggled with talking about my feelings, and even more so with telling people how I feel about them. And on the rare occasion that I actually do tell them, it’s only after I know for a fact that my feelings will be reciprocated.

It’s perhaps because of this that he told me, “You’re not very intimate. You’re always so cold, and you never talk about how you feel.”

Although not too far from the truth, it did throw me for a small loop, because I thought that he, of all people, would understand. While I won’t deny that I have severe, almost PTSD-level intimacy issues — the result of 16 years’ worth of failed relationships — I find it pointless to wear my heart on my sleeve, because every time I did so in the past, it would get ripped out, and I’m terrible at sewing, in every sense of the word.

So perhaps this new piece can serve as a consolation prize. It may not be on my sleeve, per se, but at least this one can’t be torn off, stomped on, or broken open.

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