Since leaving the comfort of Greta’s arms and the strong bonds built with my childhood friends, I have been in the trenches. I have encountered the snake bitches who secretly envy, and fabricate friendships that seem more like wars. The men who are wolves in sheep’s’ clothing who only see my flesh, but pretend to love the real me. I was forewarned about this “real world”. The memo was sent that this place could knock me on my naive ass. No one can walk around with an armor that will never be penetrated, someone is going to get through. I am tired of fighting for the love of men who think women are nothing but users or liars, but those characteristics embody them. I am tired of wondering if my comrades secretly have the knives clenched tightly in their fists behind my back. I remember when I was a loner, and what a certain sense of peace that I had. I was content with a handful of friends who had the same morals of loyalty, strength, and love. I was told that I am too guarded and that I should open my heart. Then came the floodgates pouring out heartbreak and pain. Even at a young one, I refused to ever let anyone damage me without me going straight for the jugular. I never wanted to be vulnerable. Not emotionally or physically. I was tough and I took on giants successfully with the belief in myself. So why now as a woman, I feel weaker than I was as a little one? It is because I caught that “I love him, I need him” disease. They say I had an old soul, but that was only because I watched the drama of wars unfold around me, but they were never a part of me. So, pardon me for seeing the world for what it really is. I will always protect myself, this place is not all cookies and cream. There are people who would attack my dream. I come from the bottom, no silver spoon I hold in my hand. Everything I have, I earned, or my God has given me, I do not know why others think it is their right to sabotage or hurt me. I do not want to be anyone’s victim, just let me be. I do not want to tap into instincts of war because the damage I will do will be irrevocable. I remember when the landscape changed from a field of lilies to a mud-drenched quicksand trying to draw me in. But I see this place as a jungle, and I will no longer trust so easily. People all want to “win” or have the last damaging blow but what is all this fight for? Why PURPOSELY do things to hurt others? I truly just want to love, but if my heart is the price I have to continually pay, I am locking it away.