I’d like to believe that I didn’t lose anything, that I actually gained better things, but every time my heart reminds me that it doesn’t want to love anyone ever again, I feel like I’ve lost a big part of me. I feel like I didn’t win against pain, not really. I feel terrible. I sure do want to protect myself from pain and it turns out that the only way my heart knows how is to guard and lock itself up–but, God, is it really supposed to be this way? If the hurt is gone and the pain isn’t ruling over me anymore, isn’t my heart supposed to be open for love again?
— Irally Cariaso, “I’ve become this girl who doesn’t want to love anyone ever again and I’m scared that I’m going to be like this forever”