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Imagine this… You like a person a lot you know, in that consuming more than just a crush kind of way (the I always wish I was with you, ache when I am not, bordering on obsessing kinda way) … | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

imagine this…

you like a person
a lot
you know, in that
more than just a crush
kind of way
(the i always wish i was with you,
ache when i am not,
bordering on obsessing
kinda way)

and that person
is clear
who they are
and what they want

now you,
you are not so sure
but what you do know
is you really like this person
so much
and you really want them
to like you too
so much

so this becomes
what you begin to organize around
and it feels sweet
and maybe even romantic
when you begin

they feel touched
that you remember the little things
that you care and are so very thoughtful
and maybe they even say things like
“i have never felt so loved,
so seen, so met, so understood”

and you,
you love that
because this means
it’s working
the person you want
feels loved by you
and seems to love you too

but then
some time passes
and life happens
and things come up
and you realize
there are some things they really want
that you really don’t want
that you really don’t want to give

and you try and say something
but it doesn’t go well
because you bring your preferences
and your no
as more of a complaint
perhaps even as an attack
maybe even with a touch of shaming
because you just gave so much of you,
because you feel scared, maybe threatened,
maybe because this is the only way you know
to do

and they react
by shutting down
or are simply not willing to engage
and it feels like
they do not have space for you
(the person you just gave so much to
doesn’t have space for you)
or at the very least isn’t willing
to listen to you
not in this way
and they start says things like
“okay, well then you go do you
i don’t want you to be with me
if this isn’t good for you
if it is making you unhappy”

and they think this is the kind thing to do
and you find it rather cruel
because it means they are willing
to let you go
even after you feel like
you were willing to give so much
even after all the love
and deepest intimacies
you realize they are willing
to say goodbye
to you
before they are willing to
change for you
or engage with you
in a way they do not wish to

and you see red
or the world loses some of its color
and you think, this isn’t good
this isn’t working for me
and you decide to plan
your exit strategy

but as you start to plan
you realize the truth is
you are not so sure
what you want
aside from them
and the idea of losing them
is just too much to bear
especially when there is nothing
that matters more
(or as much)
to you
so you decide
to do the things
you don’t want to do
to keep the person
you want to keep

and you stretch
and you yield
but you don’t share
that this is what you’re doing
you act like it’s all good
it’s all okay
of course you love
the same things they do
of course you want to do the things
they want you to do

and you stop saying
what is true for you
in fact, you may even be lying
pretending to be enthused
so as to do your best
to ensure they keep on
liking you (loving you)

and slowly, pain begins to build
the pain of not being known
by someone you are so close to
the pain of knowing
deep in your heart
you’re more than just compromising
you’re selling out

and so you start to dislike yourself
and slowly become
even less clear
about who you are
and what you need
because you built this world
to be their fantasy
and in the process
you lost you
and if you’re honest with yourself
they are still not even
choosing you

and then one day
you look in the mirror
and see a flicker
of who you used to be
and it seems like maybe
someone did this to you
i mean really
someone must have
done this to you
there is no way
you could have chosen this
for yourself
they must have tricked you

oh, yes, that is what they did
there is no way
you would have done this willingly
they must have
manipulated you
coerced you
threatened you
into giving up on you

because it’s just too much to bear
that not only did you
completely lose yourself
trying to get someone to love you
but you were the one
that betrayed you

and so
the person you did this for
who doesn’t even know
you did this
becomes the enemy
they become
the person
who made you do the things
you never wanted to
the person who tricked you
into becoming who
they wanted you to be

and resentment builds
a feeling so poisonous
to anything good
and soon your story
is that you have been

and the person
who fell in love
with this perfectly crafted version of you
gets confused
after all (in their defense)
they didn’t know you weren’t
who you said you were
and swiftly their confusion
turns to anger
as they realize
you are accusing them
of making you do something
they didn’t even know
you were doing

but you
you gave it all
you gave everything
and so their anger
feels like an attack
a complete dismissal
of how much you gave
how much you sacrificed

so darkness creeps in
as you begin to look at them
as the enemy
only suspiciously

and once they see
once they get
this was mostly
a mirage
their anger turns to disdain
and unmistakable disgust
that feels like the ultimate offense
when you turned yourself
completely inside out

it feels cruel
inhuman even
(like something only
someone heartless would do)

and now
now you have to
make sense of it all

and sure
you could concede
that you were out of integrity
but when not much is left
of who you used to be
and so much of your energy
went into making sure
this person loved you
it’s almost too much
to take that kind of responsibly
and you can argue
that they should still be grateful
or at the very least kind
because you did give so much

but most will not
because they will not understand
what it was like for you
just like you are
likely not getting
how disturbing it is for them
to find out that the person
who seemed so perfect for them
was actually mostly pretending

and so things blow up
and people get mean
fingers are pointed
and labels applied
to humans
who for sure are messed up
in their own wounded way
but never intended to be hateful

we get mean, we do
so many of us
when hurt
we tend to hurt back
and so the cycle continues
from one relationship to the next
till we are carrying so much
we aren’t even sure
who we were hurt by anymore

i have been both people
in this story

the one who tried to become
someone’s fantasy
willing to concede everything


the one who felt taken
seduced by someone
who wasn’t who they said they were

and both
for sure
messed me up

so pay attention here please
because some ways that we get hurt
cause more devastation than others
because some of the ways we play
are more risky
and cause more wreckage
than others

and these
as far as i can tell
are some
of the more damaging ways
to get damaged

they will have you doubting
most everything,
likely to lose yourself
and not knowing who is who
and what is true

so what to do?
i think first
we have to be willing
willing to lose
lose everything
in service to
what is
and good
and most true

and then
from there
what to do

yes truly
what is
for you

❤️ emily joy rosen

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