Discovering BBSes and the internet when i was 15 finally gave me an opportunity to get myself out there as a human being again, perhaps because of the illusion of safety that comes with it. You can share more of yourself online, if you maintain your relative anonymity, because the worst that can happen is your online persona gets hurt and - hey - you can always make a new one. I could get lost in the crowd. I made some very close internet friends back then. Although i tossed most of them away when i turned 19 and decided to create another new persona for myself, it was the start of me being able to trust again. But that remained an online thing - i still couldn't open up in real life, not for many years.
I guess not until i moved to the US to live with T. I was so absolutely in love with her and trusted her completely, with everything. To this day i think she's the only person in my life who didn't take advantage of that. She helped me to open up a bit, first to her family, then just in general. I took it back to Australia with me and over several years started to get better at trusting other people too. Except i took shortcuts - getting drunk, getting high so i could get over the initial fear of going out in public, of talking. There was one event in particular i am desperately ashamed of where i started talking about all my deepest shit with complete strangers thinking everything i was saying was so smart and important. I kind of got close in a weird druggy way, then, which of course just lead to more betrayals in the end, building my walls ever higher and leaving me worse off than when i started.
The irony is meanwhile i had completely broken T's trust in me. When we talk now i feel like her walls are so high we need megaphones just to say hello. It's like we're a million miles away.
J gets upset sometimes that i don't trust her family, that i have walls, but it's been 25 years in the making, you know? And now, the most recent betrayal: i pay a professional a lot of money to protect me from stress - to do research and cover my ass so i don't have to do it myself - and she disappoints, leaving me holding the baby. Once again i have to pull my shit together and look after everything on my own; i can't even rely on someone i hired to look after me. Well that just builds the walls a little higher again.
It's made me withdrawn. I'm not a hermit - i do interact with people regularly, just not on a very deep level. I guess i've just learned to live my life that way now, i prefer to do things on my own. My heart remains open to just a handful of people, only one has the master key, and perhaps that's the way it will always be.