I have an invisible sword and shield. I carry them around and if anyone tries to mess with me, I am prepared to defend myself. The difficult thing is when someone tells me they are a safe person to be around when the person attempts to show that I could love them, and I put that shield on the ground, that’s dangerous. It’s emotionally extremely dangerous for me, as a sensitive person, and as someone who has been through trauma. I’ve been depressed and suicidal in my life. Despite having these intrusive thoughts I have been able to fight through them and live a beautifully productive life. It’s extremely challenging to live with mental health issues and I wouldn’t wish chronic depression specifically on anyone. It’s a terrible feeling and extremely painful.

What’s one of the joyful human emotions in life? Love. Being loved, being in loveĀ or anything to do with love is a beautiful thing. Depression prevents us from seeing when we are loved. In order to see love, truly see it, you have to push the cloud of depression out of the way. I have become good at doing that because I’ve been depressed so often in my life that I’m used to fighting through those feelings. I have my sword, and I have my shield. But, like I mentioned earlier, when someone is able to penetrate my emotional barrier and convince me that I should trust them, I believe that person. I put my armor down and listen to them. Sometimes that’s a mistake and the person isn’t worthy of listening to, but we don’t know if that’s the case until we try.

I’ve listened to people who have taken my feelings, crumpled them up like pieces of paper and thrown them out the window. My feelings fell several stories down and hit the pavement. As they braced the sidewalk, I felt sharp pains hitting my heart, telling me that I don’t matter. Making me see myself as unimportant. I believed that my importance was defined by this person. I mistakenly trusted them too much, too soon, loved them without knowing they would hurt me. I put my shield down haphazardly because I wanted to be loved. And I loved them with everything I had. I gave them all of me because when I love I love with every fiber of myself. I don’t hold back because what is the point of loving someone if you can’t give them all of you?

I look at my phone and there are no notifications. I understand that there isn’t anything I can do to change the way that this is going. I gave it all and got back blank space. But, I was never anything to this person and who knows if I ever will be. I’m trying to pick up my weapons but I’m shaking and crying too hard. I’m laying on the ground holding myself in the fetal position. I’ll be okay. I am always okay because that’s what I do: survive. But sometimes survival isn’t pretty. Still. I’m still here, broken and hurting on the ground as you pass by me without even a glance in my direction. But I’ve always been invisible to you. Just wait until I can get up again, you won’t believe what you’re going to see.