“I am not my intensity”

I’m scared of attaching myself to people, even though it’s something I actually do much too often, and apparently much too quickly. I seem to have this naïve expectation where I hope that people will not hurt me, where I open myself up and then think that we will not hurt each other because, “what’s wrong about loving? Is it ever possible to love too much?” But I’ve been hurt too many times, and according to my dad I feel these things too intensely. Both pain and joy, love and sadness… these emotions seem to be too intense on my part, and I worry about it because it hurts so much. Some people seem to be fine when they face rejection; they are sad, maybe disappointed for a few days, but then they get over it. I, on the other hand, suffer it immensely. I feel an ache in my chest, sometimes it even goes so far as to make my arm hurt, and my mind is absorbed in questions when I wake up, when I walk from class to class, when I’m eating a meal. “Did I do something wrong? Did I deserve it? Was I too eager?” In an attempt to prevent this, and to not suffocate other people with my emotions, I turn them to myself, I suppress them, and this begins to be a self-destructing process. I don’t know what to do about it. To “love less” sounds wrong to me, but at the same time, I don’t want to be “clingy”. And yet, I feel suffocated when I want to spend time with other people, when I miss them, when I think about them and want to just enjoy their silent company. This doesn’t only apply to romantic love, but to friendships as well.

But perhaps what I need to learn is that love is something more precious and valuable that should be given out with more care, to give it more meaning. This still confuses me, because of how I was raised and the teachings that were given to me: “Love is infinite.” “Love is the ultimate power.” “Love will transcend anything.” “Love your neighbor as you would yourself.” I have adopted these as a creed since I was little: the ideas that giving out love was the best thing you could do, that everyone should be loved and that it can brighten someone’s day. But it hurts so much when you think you haven’t done anything wrong and people don’t return your acceptance. Perhaps the problem is that I shouldn’t be so selfish as to expect other people to give me their love freely as well. I need to respect other people’s privacy, their distance. It is a way of self-defense, after all. But what makes me scared to accept this fact is that this would imply that humans are meant to constantly live on the defensive, and that hurting each other is the norm, not the exception.