I think that being in this body has shaped the way I love others as well. For the longest time, I didn’t expect to be loved, although, a lot of people find me a attractive, I didn’t and a lot of times, I still don’t. It is very hard to fully love someone if you don’t love yourself first. It’s part of the reason my last relationship failed. I loved Veronica to the end of the Earth, and I should say love because that will never change. However, as much work as I was putting into loving her in a physical sense, mentally I wasn’t there. I wasn’t able to deal with the outside distractions that come with being a relationship–the family interference, the what-ifs of us both having something wrong with us and whether or not she truly accepted me as a man, her man and being a potential father to her child. I couldn’t believe a lot of the things she told me because of me; only me and how I felt about me, placed me in a space of paranoia. Therefore, everything negative in our relationship got heightened and eventually, she couldn’t take it. I couldn’t take it and a year and a half later, she avoids me like the plague, it seems. I think I really knew it was JUST OVER on my birthday. She sent me an IM like I was a nobody–like “happy birthday” and that was it. Honestly, it bothered me for half a second and then I was like, I’ve moved on. Veronica makes me that guy that was a year ago. I know that. That guy that has rage fits, panic attacks and can’t relate to people. The people that I’m around now, see me for the guy that I am today. I am reformed–reinvented into a greater individual that is ready to take on the challenge of someone new that I can begin again with. I don’t fault Veronica for leaving, although, my heart sometimes wishes she stayed; that I would truly know she loves me as she claims had she stayed and helped me. Then there’s the other part that says this had to happen for me to wake up and get it together. I was not the guy I dreamed of becoming. I wasn’t that perfection that I claimed to be. Sometimes in order to change, one must endure the hardest struggle and it rock bottom. I never thought I would propose to a woman; love a woman enough to push myself to that step. I always thought a woman would beat me to it. I love Veronica because she is incredibly strong, with all her flaws, the true essence of what I can admire in a human being. With my therapy and self-appreciation, I have turned over a new lease on life and although Veronica didn’t take me back, I’m free now. From myself. I am not afraid of love and if I can find someone that will go to bat for me, stand up for me through anything, I know I will fall in love with her and do whatever I can to make it work. My 28 year old heart is just as big as the day I found it when I was 13 and I made that promise to myself that I would not be the statistic I thought I was (being disabled, lonely and scared of the world) and get married to a nice woman who sees me for me, not my disability. If I could get lucky enough to have a healthy child, that would be even better. The world can be a playground, but I only have room for one in my sandbox. I’m ready to go at it again. Hopefully, the next time, will be the last time.