She lived in a bubble. She was hesitant around strangers and was slow to open up. But when she did open up, she was loving, bright, and affectionate.
Over time, through the people she encountered, and situations she experienced, she learned it was better to stay in a bubble. She kept people at a distance. Because, as she had learned, physical affection means you’re asking for more.
She would flinch when others would touch or hug her, friends and strangers alike. She always kept her distance while yearning for closeness. She was lonely when she was not alone. She was starved for affection, yet her fear and anxiety held her back.
Somehow she ended up in relationships with others who would not be affectionate. “I don’t like holding hands,” they would say. “I hate PDA,” even when it was an arm around the shoulder or a hand on the knee. So it became normal for her.
“Why are you so codependent? Why are you so clingy?” they would say. Even though she thought her requests were normal, they made her doubt herself. Her doubts turned into shame, and her shame manifested itself as bitterness, self hatred, and jealousy. She had accepted that it would always have to be this way.