So… I don’t want to jinx this, but over the past few weeks, someone rather wonderful has entered my life. I’ve been so afraid of getting my hopes up. This is the first man who I’ve ever had mutual interest with whom I don’t feel I have to make excuses for his red flags. In fact, so far, there aren’t any red flags. My last relationship hurt so much, not because of how much I had loved him, but because I somehow came to believe that a mooching, whining, hobbit who lived in squalor and looked like a homeless person was the best I could do. And this new guy just shines like a brand new coin. Am I really worthy of a great guy? Am I worthy of a great guy who sees me as a great woman? Which then leads to “what if”. What if he finds out that I’m trailer trash? (I’m not but I grew up being told I was). What if he finds out just how dysfunctional my family is? What if he finds out just how broken I am? We have not connected on Facebook yet, but can I tell you how terrified I am of him discovering this blog? Is it safe to show him Oz? Part of me wants to hide me, and part of me wants to show him everything. We all have flaws, but there’s almost a knee jerk reaction to want to drive him away to protect myself. Dropping my guard and then being abandoned is always the worst that I can experience as someone with ARAD. I don’t want to say to much at this point, but we are taking things slow and enjoying each other as we get to know each other and become closer. I find I am keeping him at an arms length, because I’ve always held this internal belief that I am not to be loved. It’s not that I am not worthy or deserving of being loved, but I have believed that I simply didn’t possess the quality of loveable. Which is such a cruel prank of “the universe” because I love so easily. This ritual, this mantra, makes the old beliefs so uncomfortable. As I start to believe myself, I find that I am being thrown into a state of cognitive dissonance. If I am simply not loveable, how is it that I can love myself? Over the next 22 days, these conflicting beliefs will battle themselves out. There can be only one (cue Highlander music).