I talk a lot about learning experiences on here, but as I’ve really looked back, I think that most of them have been centered around lessons I have learned from other people’s actions. This time is different.
These past few weeks have been an eye opening experience for me. For the first time, I have seen that no matter your intentions, nor how honest you are about them, and no matter how many times you tell someone who you are – it doesn’t change the fact that you are still capable of causing an incredible amount of hurt and pain towards the people you care about. Honesty isn’t a security blanket you can wrap around yourself so that you can declare in hindsight, after all the hurt and pain, “Well, at least I was truthful.” Honesty doesn’t make it okay to hurt people.
I recently had the chance to visit some of my closest friends back East. As is the usual case, somewhere after several beers and a long night of interesting conversation, we delved into the deep shit. The soul searching, difficult questions, that involve just as difficult answers.
I had become involved with someone that had caused my injured heart to salvage up just enough pieces to feel something, and while I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere, I was taking comfort in the fact that the possibility existed that I could one day open myself up and love again.
My friend turned to me and said something along the lines of:
I’ve known this all along. I know you’ve shut yourself off. I know you don’t believe that there will be people to love you, and people you could be capable of loving…. but, that doesn’t change the fact that the people you are brushing over, the people you are sabotaging relationships with before they get a chance, are still incredibly capable of loving you (they DO love you) and being loved in return. There are people there. Just because you have shut yourself off to them, just because you are willfully blinding yourself to them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
The problem with them existing, though, is that I’ve been having an incredibly difficult time with accepting people’s love of late. The last person who told me they loved me, I physically clamped a hand over their mouth and willfully told them never to say it again. They did though. They’ve said it several times, and it is just as uncomfortable for me to hear it every time. I don’t believe it. It doesn’t seem to hold any weight.
For the first time in my life, I am at the top of the imbalance. I am the less vulnerable. I am the one most capable of causing hurt. It is more than disconcerting, it is mind bending.
It’s caused me to realize that I owe a huge apology to the people who I have blamed for ‘somehow’ not loving me – you can’t help how you feel. Sometimes, it’s just not there.
I keep finding myself trying to force myself to feel things. I’ll spend what feels like hours at night examining a sleeping face, willing myself to love it.
I have been honest. I have told the people who are interested that I am both emotionally unavailable, and simply disinterested in being involved, but I think people believe what they want to believe. And, when the truth finally becomes so apparent that they can’t ignore it anymore, I’m forced to live with the consequences of my inability to connect – my actions causing broken hearts.
I remember crying until my throat was raw, asking the dark, lonely room why I always had to come out on the hurting side of things. Now, though, I feel like I would rather be the one hurting than causing that same hurt.
Because I still feel it too. I can not only see the pain I am causing, but I lay awake at night and feel it wash over me in waves. I replay the anguish I’ve caused on a reel in my head, like the flagellants who lay the whip to their own backs to atone for their sins, I keep myself awake with guilt. I hate the fact that I can’t hold the person I care about and tell them that everything will be okay. I can’t be the comforter when I am the cause for the need to comfort. I want to wrap my arms around her and take away all that hurt and pain – I want to be able to say the words that she wants to hear.
But I can’t.
I can’t say them.
I don’t feel them.
Everyone keeps telling me to just do what makes me happy, and I thought I was, but if the end result is this type of hurt – it isn’t worth it.
You can do everything right, but you still won’t win.