The need to form a mutually protective alliance is innate, according to psychoanalyst John Bowlby. This need persists throughout life; the search to be both cared for and caregiver underlies falling in love – Jane Collingwood in her study for Trust and Vulnerability in Relationships

 My girlfriend allows me space to speak shamelessly about childhood trauma, unhealed wounds, anxieties and the uncertainties of a troubled world. Despite the ferment state of our nation, there’s a fortress her and I share—allowing me to escape and find comfort in her aura—becoming (to-date) the healthiest, enjoyable coping mechanism in my arsenal. Because honestly, it’s the most sustainable mechanism I currently have.

I never felt so alive

Search of self and no grant for a damaging past to no longer unearth (most of the time) itself in an unproductive manner became my fruitful quest.

I’m secure with allowing my vulnerability near her reach—I know that she won’t abuse it – it’s one of the reasons I love her so much. One of the first songs that I listened to continuously before knowing her was “She’s Mine Pt. 1” by J. Cole. The instrumental by Deputy and Cole connected to my soul, providing a calm mental atmosphere. 

“I would like to paint a picture, but it’ll take more than a day

It would take more than some years to get all over all my fears

Preventing me from letting you see all of me perfectly clear”

Cole’s Born Sinner album followed the at the time, 28-year-old rapper down a sonic, creative path of sins, demons and troubles. Cole spoke on infidelity, happiness, sadness, money and his goal to be the best. However, he never, truly dove into why he was this way. To be clear, he didn’t owe anyone an explanation, but the internal conflict waged against him would show face on 2014’s Forest Hills Drive, 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only, and 2018’s KOD album.

Watching J. Cole’s interviews and listening to his music from 2014 to present moment is a public diary on display for the world. He invited us into the process of killing off demons, which led us to the comforting aura his wife brings. “She’s Mine Pt. 1” is a mirrored experienced of his late friend James (changed on the album for the sake of privacy) and ultimately comes full circle for Cole. 

“The same wall that’s stopping me from letting go and shedding tears–from the lack of having father and the passing of my peers.”

Trust is natural. Anxieties surrender and peace begins to forge a unit of protection. The hurt of yesterday does not become the pain of tomorrow, as it doesn’t linger without therapy. The psyche can convince us to shelter said hurt and never process any troubles. Troubles boil and display themselves in actions.

Life is uncertain and I love it. However, that doesn’t rid all of my worries, my relationship with family members and the ones I’ve lost over time.

Over time, I’ve allowed my significant other into my mind. She’s the first person I’ve allowed this close into my thought process. I pride myself on being vulnerable and I don’t have troubles with speaking my truth, but I do that through pen and pad. To sit with a person in silence and have their undivided attention is arrantly different. It’s the contrast of you, the reader, who may be reading this piece with background noise and multiple apps going on at one time. She listens as I list it all and I thoroughly go through internal dialogue, diluting thoughts I wish to discontinue.

Poetry properly sorts out the multiple compartments compacted in my head. I wrote to be heard. I wrote to pray. When I talk to her, I talk to God through her and about her. If these walls could talk, they’d tell you I’ve knocked them down more than I ever had before. The alleviation of knowing my masculinity can live in its most unrestricted form is pure bliss. Emancipation of knowing my vulnerability is not seen as weak and in its highest form, the toxicity of my character disperses into thin air.

Here’s to the women who allow their partner the space to bring out their inner selves, in a world and place in time where this can be frightening. You are appreciated.