“Men have forgotten this truth:, said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” — Antoine de Saint- Exupery
As the tears fall down my cheek the echoes of the past whisper in my ear. Trying to wipe the falling tears from my face, I turn the steering wheel and pull over to the highway shoulder. Putting the car in park I stare out into the darkness in front of me. All it took was a single tear to break the glass and act as a catalyst for what was to come. Putting my face into my hands I resist no longer and I let the tears fall. Heavy sobbing, the sobbing so strong that you feel as if your chest is caving through. Music dimly plays in the background.
I am crying. “Well, at least I know that I am still human” I think to myself as I leaned back into my seat. After days of feeling nothing, the emotions finally hit me. They all came at once and they come so abruptly. I lost something/one very dear to me, and now the only thing I am left with is the truth.
“I am not a good person”.
This comment (directed at me) was said to someone in passing, but nothing ever goes unheard. I think it is all like a broken telephone…the message passes from one recipient to the next, while modifications might occur, someone in the line has heard the message correctly.
Of all the things that have ever been said about me, I could never fathom that this would ever be one of them. If this comment was said by a complete stranger, the sting of the wound would have been minimal. To have this said by someone I cared so dearly for, the wound has been opened and spit in. While judgments can be placed, there are two sides to every story. Each party involved holds their own interpretation yet, our eyes often block out our own wrongs. I am by no means saying that only one side of the story should be seen as true; I am saying that in order to reach a full truth, we must rifle through what we omitted out in order to piece together what is fact and fiction.
Our bodies are programmed to forget the pain that we endure. Think about the last time you burned yourself on the stove top; The immediate pain was overwhelming, but hours later it was forgotten. While our brain may not be able to directly recall the feeling of the actual pain itself, we will always remember what caused the pain and why.
Feeling burned by “toxic” behaviour it is clear that an attempt was made to rid oneself of toxicity. Blocking, deleting, unfriending. While this may act as a temporary fix, the only thing needed to see the toxicity was a mirror.
This week, I made the decision to get a tattoo. Inked with the symbol of continuance, I underwent this temporary pain. I am not going to lie to my readers who are wanting a tat: This shit was insanely painful. My ink took little under five minutes to complete, yet in that five minutes I managed to recite my full vocabulary of curse words. My respect level for those with full sleeves has raised immensely. During the time that my ankle was being sliced and embedded with ink, I tried to remember that the pain will not last. While pain is a temporary feat, it can unfortunately not be easily forgotten.
This whole experience has made me weak…or so I thought. I was broken by the actions that were used to hurt me. I was injured by the hatred that filled the words. Yet, through all of this pain I have been lifted higher than I have ever been. I began to feel something opposite of pain…I began to feel so strong, that I realized nothing could hurt me. No amount of false blame can harm me, for I have power.
I found myself holding on to memories…memories which overpowered the current situation. I have been stuck on looking on the positives while it is clear that only the negatives were taken into consideration. I miss the person who brought me butter tarts and banana bread on my birthday. I miss the person who would fall asleep watching movies. I miss the person who would snore so loud that he would be woken up. I miss a person that I do not believe exists.
To quote Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov, “Men are apt to be much more influenced by words than by the actual facts of the surrounding reality”. I am not sure what is considered more dumbfounding: Being manipulated, or having the audacity to manipulate others. Men (Do not blame me for sounding gender biased) tend to jump to conclusions at the fire of a gun. With no tangible evidence in hand and a presumed thought in mind, action is taken.
I find that blame is easier to give than receive. It is quite easy to blame others in order to avoid looking at oneself. Words spread like wild fire, and unfortuantely everything will be heard. I do not know what hurts more, being told of insults that were thrown, or having them be hidden. I am always a firm advocate for the saying “Do not believe what you think”. While this may be true, I have realized that there are certain exemptions to this saying. When probable cause has come forward, sometimes evidence is not needed.
All I needed was this one pulse of energy to jolt me out of this spell. One jolt to illuminate the truth of what this life has become. What I have learned: Do not fight fire with fire, fight with water. Extinguish the flames and you will never be burned.