A few years ago we adopted a cat from a shelter. He was a sweet kitten, but terribly wild. Like most kittens he liked to play a lot, but as he got older he did not learn to differentiate between playing and fighting.
When we adopted him he was 5 months old and had just finished a stint in a foster home. His previous adopted family had returned him to the shelter--we never got much information about what his life had been like. But as he got older it was obvious that he didn't have an ideal start. He startles easily and does not like men. He's constantly trying to assert his position in the household. He has perhaps come to terms with the fact that I am the dominant feline in this family, but he tests this theory constantly.
Wildcat finally bonded with me over the last year. I've learned how to move around him, how to pick him up so he can't bite. I know his telltale signs. I know how to scratch his head in the just the right way, and I've learned how and when it's ok to scratch his belly. He is an extraordinarily beautiful cat with a sweet personality. But he remains wild and skittish.
I think there are people like this. People who have been deeply violated by others. You have to learn how to move around such people--no sudden moves, no trapping them in a corner. These are folks who will come to you on their own terms or not at all. There are some of us who have gone a bit wild as a measure of self-protection. And while we might come sit by your fire and love like no other, there remains within an unreachable core. Selah.