Dandelions, Love, and Other Expired Things.

Yesterday I had a dermatologist appointment. And while I was sitting in the waiting room I saw a couple laughing quietly to themselves. Their hands were intertwined, their bodies slightly turned in the others direction. Their eyes never left one another, except for when they were laughing at something the other one said. As beautiful as this sound, I felt nauseous witnessing such a intimate moment.
Listen, to make a long story as short as I can, I fell in love with this guy when I was fourteen years old. I was utterly devoted to making the relationship work, long distance and age difference and all. (He was only six years older than me, which seems gross when I was fourteen, but nothing physical happened until I was of age, and he never gave me a reason to think anything would before that. I simply fell in love with him through conversation, through listening to wild stories he’d experienced.) To save us both a lot of time and unnecessary words, let’s fast-forward six years. I was twenty, we’d already fallen hardcore in love with each other, and then I realize how dependent he was with alcohol. He abused it, ignored my undying support, and he broke my heart by telling me he’d never really loved me because he can’t love anyone if he couldn’t bother loving himself. 
There is much more to the nine years I’d spent waiting for him to hear what I kept telling him I saw in him, but it’s been a year since I ended things completely. It hasn’t been easy. And seeing people in love makes the wound lose its strength to mend itself. Not because love isn’t beautiful, but because I’m reminded of the time when I was just as happy.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever love someone like I loved him. Whether I’ll let someone that close to me again. It wasn’t all bad, because I have hundreds of good days that I remember time and time again. But when I think about moving on, dating someone else, I’m stricken with the fear that no one will love me the way that he did, understand the madness that lives in my head. Accepts that I’m not perfect and still struggle with my mental illness one a daily basis. That I have ties with my family that no amount of my complaining about them will ever make me give up on them. 
I guess what I want is for someone to remind me how valuable I am to them, without them using words. I want someone to look at me that the world only exists when they look at me. And I want to look at them like I’ll never compare them to he Who Shall Not Be Named. Like I’ve never felt the tiniest sliver of a broken heart. 
I want to believe love exists out there in the universe for me. But I am a fragile human right now. My heart is worn out and flimsy, my mind is chaotic and uncensored. I wish I could see the world as magical as I saw it when I was eighteen with all the possibilities stretched out in front of me. I wish I were as passionate and full of hope and adventure as I once was. But I have lost myself in love, not to love, but in it. And I don’t know how to get myself back, or if I will ever get myself back at all. With all that’s left inside me, I hope I can find a chance to bloom again. Whether I blossom into another rose or if I’m a daisy this time—hell, I’d settle for a dandelion, weed or not. All I really desire is to love myself again, because when he told me he couldn’t, I lost all my will too. As pathetic as that sounds, at least I’m hoping again, right?
Nah, it’s still pathetic.

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