Any time I get truly attached mentally to a person, thinking that they are a kindred spirit, I bind the core of my being to them. I let them absorb me, even though usually, they have no idea that I'm being that open with them. I've tried to do this less over the years, since inevitably, some flaw or personality trait that is directly opposed to who I am and what I believe in, and I get crushed. It feels like betrayal, even though they haven't done anything to me specifically. The person isn't who I thought they were and I feel like I've been friends with a stranger. Was the entire friendship just in my head? Why did I waste my time on someone who didn't care? I can't really hold my disappointment against them, since it wasn't a mutual connection, but I do anyway, since I feel so completely burned.

The real pain comes from wanting to take it all back, but knowing that I can't. Over the years, I've learned to let those pieces of myself go. But I've also learned that they're never truly gone. Those pieces of myself are detached, gone forever, but the memory of them lingers on eternally. I grow new pieces to fill the gaps. They might not fit as snugly most of the time, but it's enough to make me a complete person again.

This is why I can't stay friends with people for long periods of time. I keep withdrawing back into my shell and cutting myself off from the world. I know I'm not the only one, but sometimes, it feels like it. But then I recover and try again. Time heals all wounds. Maybe not completely in all cases, but enough for life to go on.