There are scars in places no one can see, not concealed by clothing, but further and deeper under the skin. The words are permanently etched into the brain. Certain moments will bring the blood back to the same boil the veins once knew, and the ache the heart once felt. When you leave a toxic relationship, you hope that it's over, that you will never have to experience that kind of pain again. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way and finding love again will not be easy.
Meeting someone new and learning what it's like to feel happiness again is overwhelming and exhilarating all at once, and letting them in seems like a bright idea.
The first touch elicits goosebumps over the whole body, but suddenly the muscles tense and contract.
The touch was gentle and innocent, yet the body remembers the harsh, callous touch and the memories flicker before your very eyes. Suddenly, the person in front of you looks less contemporary and more familiar. The body recognizes this touch and what it became shortly after.
The first kiss sets off fireworks in the mind, sets a fire in the veins and releases countless butterflies into the stomach. Happiness has never felt so pure. Yet, the immediate instinct is to pull back, to stop.
The butterflies have melted and left a heavy, waxy substance in their place, along with a feeling of uneasiness.
The first fight is nothing but small, simple words. A slight disagreement with no malicious intent, a fight that will leave no lasting impact on the remainder of the relationship. Yet, the mind remembers the more intense fights from the previous relationship. The skin crawls as it traces the outline of the bruises, the cheeks burn where the tears once fell, and the throat becomes numb as if it had gone through hours of screaming once more.
The first "I love you" isn't heard. The ears cannot trust those words anymore, and thus they have permanently blocked it out. The tongue is tied, words have no escape and you sit there in silence.
Eventually, the words will slip out. A moment in which it is completely unexpected, perhaps mid-conversation, perhaps in the middle of the night as you lay next to one another.
The physical trauma will heal with time, but there is no amount of time to stop the immediate reactions. There is no remedy for the wounds of the subconscious.
One day, there will be a person who walks into your life and makes you fight harder than you've ever fought before. All of the memories, the reactions, and the intentions that once seemed malicious will fade. Love will find its way back in, pushing past the scars and covering them, soothing them as they go.