In high school, I was so closed off. I wasn’t very close to anyone; interaction was merely the act of building walls. I didn’t share how I felt, or anything that was very meaningful, with anybody.
But on occasion, we’d talk about something real, and you weren’t just talking to the mask I made for you to see. Usually because it was an argument. It’s not that we argued a lot, but they were important because those were the times you had the best chance to know me.
But more often than not, arguments devolved into you claiming that you knew what I was thinking, what my motivation was. And you were always dead wrong. I told you that each time, but you insisted it was a fact, even though it’s impossible to know what someone is truly thinking.
It broke my heart, or at least the little bits of it that were exposed in each of those moments. Those were the few chances we had to be closer, and instead I always felt misunderstood and like you didn’t care.
That is why I don’t really trust you. It’s why I don’t consider your judgment to be sound. It’s why I didn’t want to come back to Virginia that first Thanksgiving of college, or any break since. It’s why I don’t feel anything when you hug me (even though physical touch is my second most-important love language), or when I repeat your “I love you” back to you.
When I came to CMU, I set out to be more open, and I succeeded. I’m not perfect at it, not even close, but I have such precious friends now. They listen, they challenge me like you never have, they encourage me like you never could. They are my family, not you.