Dear Grrls,

I put off writing this for a long time because it’s something I don’t tell a lot of people. I guess I’m scared they will laugh at me or think I’m odd, but now I have to put that all behind me because I signed up to write about this and I have to follow through. So, here we go.

I’m afraid of intimacy. I don’t like being touched if I’m not in the right mood, and whenever I kiss anyone I have to fend off a panic attack. I’ve never gone farther than kissing and I don’t know if I ever will. It’s one of my biggest secrets, but now I guess it’s not a secret anymore.

I used to think I was a freak for this. After all, my friends didn’t seem to have this problem. They’re fine with doing ~all that~. So why was I so scared? After extensive googling, I found out that my fear stems from a social phobia and anxiety disorder. Ok, I thought, this is kind of normal. But why am I scared of this? After some introspection, I realized I’m not only afraid of being physically close to anyone, but I’m also afraid of being emotionally close to anyone. To be dramatic, the last few times I’ve tried to make that kind of connection all ended in heartbreak, so my subconscious built up a Trump-esque wall in order to avoid more hurt. I stopped trying trying to make that connection, and I wouldn’t let anyone make an emotional, romantic connection with me. However, as much as I wish I could say I’d be happy hiding behind this wall and just watching old reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway? by myself forever, I know that if I did, I’d be lying to you and to myself. So, as much as it terrifies me, I make myself get up, replace my sweatpants for my favorite bell-bottoms, and face my fears to whatever degree I’m feeling up to. Some days just talking to someone I could be interested in drains me. Other days, I’ve found myself able to do a lot more than I thought I could. I’m afraid of intimacy, but every day I get a little braver.