Dark Pretty Excerpt 2

Maybe this is where that INFJ heaviness comes from? The burdens that are impossible to share and get seen for because no one around us has any idea what we mean whenever we open our mouths.

So we start to stay silent. I know I did.

Mini micro-transgressions, micro-abandonings of myself because I didn’t say anything, because it was clear “they” didn’t/wouldn’t understand. Or care. Ever. What was going on?

I look back on this time of my life like a slow motion emotional car crash. 

So much confusion and pain and trauma rising into me as if it had been there all along. So strange. Like an ink stain billowing up from beneath my white linen skin; a dividing line between my growing awareness and the ability of “the normal world” to relate. But it didn’t feel like a line so much as a clear pane of glass with me on one side and everyone else on the other. Or a hole. That ink stain spreading.

Because I was deeply sensitive but had no idea everyone else wasn’t. I was both utterly romantic and optimistic, incredibly adept at that most fatal INFJ empath flaw: projecting my innocence, good intentions, caring nature and deep empathy indiscriminately onto every single person I met. Completely naive at seventeen, working my first “real world” job in the glittery, threatening, gorgeous, twinkly, duplicitous, salesy, sexy, projectionist world of a (very big, very fancy) ballroom dance studio. I had never heard of boundaries, didn’t really have any friends who understood who I was becoming, and to top it all off, I was growing up pretty. 

Maybe I was lucky, and maybe I felt lucky sometimes. Or maybe I was trying to find the feeling of lucky in myself because I could feel in a way I couldn’t explain that was how absolutely everyone thought I should feel about it. Who complains about being pretty? But that’s just the kind of young woman wolves look for to make a meal of. I had no idea, but I came to be able to feel it eventually. It’s likely the people who raised me had no idea either of the narcissists and sociopaths and good kissers and magnificent liars and boundary-crossers that waited out there for a girl like me. The hungry men who only crave to feel someone else’s pretty, with hands that don’t give a fuck about much else.

Either way, they found me. The first flesh and blood boy I ever fell in love with died of AIDS and in the wake of my grief, the wolves came in droves.

Thank you for reading.  xoxo,


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