Beautiful things do not require recognition. They exist on their own terms and in their own designated time. I remember when I could not recall my own feelings or whether or not these damaging thoughts were even mine. I used to numb undesirable emotions and busy myself with work that would never get done. Now, I rest on purpose and give my heart freedom to run. Instead of hiding hurt, I make myself painfully aware of the loss of my dreams. The anticipated Forever that began again in January. Now, my favorite galaxy cannot remember the gravity of what was promised or the hope of our mutual destiny. Now, I sit and gather all of my strength, while a black hole attempts to trap me in a solitary abyss. I do not want to try all over again. I want what I have chosen. All I ever wanted was one person who accepted me, completely. Someone who could understand that I am not perfect, but I never stop trying. Someone who would stand by my side while I fought to be healthy.
Our own, exclusive infinity.
I admire your intentional steps away from the object (or person) that is causing you pain. But maybe–just maybe our refusal to embrace what we are feeling is the reason why we have such a hard time accepting change. I learned early on that “strong” people do not talk about their problems. They give them a proper room in a cage, with three balanced meals a day. They do not talk or try to work things out, they run away. They reject uncomfortable conversations that make them call out their shame. They ignore the issue that is driving them insane. It is only after we can no longer contain the pressure that we begin to fight back against the source of our captivity. We start asking smarter questions and looking for ways to set ourselves free. After all, I did not ask for this prison. No one in their right mind chooses to be broken and subjected to exhausting cycles of anger and hostility. No one wakes up in the morning thinking about how they can create more chaos in their surroundings. Most of us just want to be free. This freedom, however, is a foreign concept. I have grown comfortable with being indirect about my needs and obsessively controlling. I have no idea where to begin to tear down these concrete walls or the iron bars that stand in between my pain and my healing. I am at once an innocent victim and the indignant warden with the only key.
And I will have to face the both of these, if I really want to be free.
The older we get the more likely it is that we will choose to settle in and remain stuck in our ways. After all, what is more comforting–trying to make difficult changes or deciding to stay the same? I will not pretend to have the market cornered on messed up experiences. I will not even try to make excuses for my mistakes. We all had at least one thing handed to us that we wish we could have given back. For me, it has been my battle to eliminate dysfunctional thoughts. Thoughts that eventually make way for destructive action. And those actions that push others away. Sometimes I can see myself reacting negatively to an event–but I am powerless to stop it. Part of my struggle has to do with a lack of self awareness. It is easier to continue traveling on a well-trudged road created by those with a similar genetic makeup. Easier to run with the dysfunctional patterns that I was handed when I was young. I often cannot see that the patterns I am repeating are negative because such were the tools that were given to me. Anger was the answer for my wounded vulnerability. Hostility was my protection against the endless cycle of abandonment and hurting. Manipulation was the only way to get what I needed. For years I trusted in these war-like emotions to keep me safe from attacks by people who were supposed to love me. They were my coping mechanisms and my first steps into codependency. There was a point in my life when I had no choice in how I was treated or how long I would be hurting.
But now these emotions have become excuses for me.
Better out than in they say, but dysfunction takes a long time to finally break. In my earnest endeavors to ignore the functionality of my pain I grew hard in ways that will never get better unless I commit to change. So I take steps away from thoughts and feelings that trick me into believing that other people are my problem. The only person I have the power to correct or control is me. In reality, even I carry the mistake of thinking that I am invulnerable. The truth is I am wounded, and in need of healing. Things that are broken can never operate at their original capacity. Cracks allow doubt and shame to seep through. Trouble is a constant barrier and denial is a coping mechanism. But if I take the time to address the scars I habitually covered; if I make it my business to come face to face with the dysfunction I wrongfully clung to–then maybe one day there can be healing for you, too.
I am my own foundation. Behind closed doors and before I can support another and their additional weight; I must take care of my own needs. For so long I believed I could operate with conflicting goals. Holding onto patterns that wear on my fragile soul. The truth is you yourself cannot become whole if while broken you are trying to fit people into improper positions. Self care is always your divine responsibility. We try to make excuses for dysfunction and push it down until it does not actively hurt anymore. Throwing busyness and topical responsibilities on top of wounds that are multiplying without relief. I am a product of my history. A casual tale of a woman who did not get what she needed. From childhood to adolescence–the wait was never ending. Instead, I went out into dark spaces that seemed to know me better than I knew myself. There were desires deep in my heart that I could not release. There were nights I failed to surrender and days I wished I would never see. There were people I thought would never leave.
But healing is not about them, it is about getting better–for me.
Real love is unreasonable. When your heart truly wants something it will go after it even after analyzing the costs. Many people have told me that I am broken. They say there are so many compound fractures that there is no way those little pieces will ever fit together again. So imagine a person with this level of damage attempting to build with another on a shattered foundation. Being so distracted by your wounds
that you reject the opportunity for healing.
I have failed at certain aspects of life that many people find easy. School, work, family, romantic and platonic relationships–all of these have been negatively impacted by a common denominator–ME. I thought being perfect meant I could hide behind my smile and a helpful nature. I believed I could pretend I was whole. But the truth is the only thing I needed was acceptance. An acceptance that could never be offered while I hid the darkest parts of my soul.
When you are hurting and try to conceal the problem, you are only pushing the issue down temporarily. Like a jack in the box, eventually it gets wound up until there is no other option but release. In those moments, pain gets forced out of its cage. There can be no conversation, no bargaining for patience. What was once a minor issue has grown into a careless monster full of rage. And angry me has no problem pushing the object of my affection away.
Do I continue to use the excuse that I am broken?
Is there ever a substantial purpose in pain?
Or is brokenness the final solution if it protects you from getting hurt again?
I love you, beyond reason. And most of the time, without doubt.
But sometimes, my brokenness slips past the cracks of my control.
Rising up from the basement–where I’ve kept its influence at bay.
Until it finds a way into my mouth. And forces me to lash out.
I have learned to live with its existence. To give grief and pain a place.
Because no matter how much you love someone, there will be times
that you push them away.
I retreat. To my corner, to my bedroom, to a horizontal position on the couch.
Sinking deeper into the cushions. Getting comfortable in the gloom and the clouds.
Will you find me beneath the dark waters? Swim harder if you know I will drown?
Or will the murky surroundings conceal your vision?
And keep us both from climbing back out.