“Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul”.
“Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul”.
“She needed time, like we all do. Time to be ok with being ok… because sometimes feeling right after feeling so wrong for so long, is the hardest thing to get used to.”-Unknown
Growing up with absent parents (or with their intermittent presence) seared a need in my soul, not only to be accepted, but also to find someone who could help me understand what it is about me that makes people not want to stay.
Even as a child, I felt that I was hard to love because why else would my parents leave me? So, all of my life I’ve searched for a soul brave enough to recognize my need for their approval, someone who wouldn’t be put off by it, but would, instead, take the time to sit with my flaws and help me figure them out.
In my quest for that, I’ve given people more chances than they’ve deserved, or even cared for, because once I find someone, I have an innate tendency to remain by their side-no matter what-until they decide they no longer need me.
Experiencing abandonment does that; It makes you incapable of walking away from people even when you KNOW they wouldn’t hesitate one bit to leave you.
The crazy thing about it is that I know that. I know it in the core of my being. I know it’s unhealthy and counterproductive but I do it anyway.
I allow people to disrespect, and dishonor me (sometimes for years at a time), because although I know better, the twelve year old inside of me still feels the need to stay put.
Maybe if I stay long enough, maybe if I put up with just the right amount of wrongdoing from them, those who hurt me will realize that I deserve better and treat me better-just as I believed at twelve years old that if only I stayed put, my parents would eventually realize I deserved better and they’d come back home and find that I was still there.
It doesn’t work that way…
I’ve found that out over, and over, again.
All the contrary. The more I allow people to hurt me and disrespect me, the more they seem to think I deserve it because I choose to tolerate it.
Someone once actually told me that the things he did (cheating and lying among other things) were in fact wrong but that he never asked me to put up with them, or to remain by his side.
His exact words were “I never asked you to do any of that for me, you chose it for yourself”.
Here lately, those words have been resonating as if on a loop on my mind and
inside of me there is a battle between the twelve year old me who wants to stay put and the adult me who no longer wants to wait around for anyone to realize her worth, anymore…
“She can handle the pain but it’s the little voice in her head that reminds her of how long she’s handled it that haunts her”.
Life feels like it’s going by so fast, my head spins if I stop long enough to notice it.
I’d been doing well…
Until, recently. It’s almost as if the only way to be ok is by being numb to everything but I can only remain numb for so long because after a while, numb feels worse than giving in to the old familiar sadness inside of me.
Sometimes, a long time goes by without feeling the void I’ve always felt. In that time, I can function. I feel normal-almost. Then, out of nowhere, it turns into a gaping void that demands attention, or it will swallow me whole, and I reach for the same old familiar things that make it feel better.
I hadn’t done so in years but I’ve picked up cigarettes again. It’s a coping tendency, a distraction from the things I don’t want to feel, the ones I’ve carried all my life.
On the outside, I’m just fine. I go to work and function as well as I can but the long drives home are more time alone than I can bare without a distraction from the things inside my head.
I blast the radio and sing the songs like my life depends on it-some days, it feels as though it really does-but in my heart there’s an overbearing sadness that I can’t understand.
I don’t like pity but I feel it for myself when I realize that there isn’t really a time I can remember when this sadness wasn’t a part of me, my heart has always been broken and there is nothing that will ever make it feel entirely whole again-I get that. But the realization of it only makes the hurt that much worse.
I’ve started to believe that I’m so used to having a broken heart, that when I start to feel differently, I place myself in situations that I know will-inevitably-break it all over, again, just to see how long it will take this time.
The thing about broken hearts is that they are never, ever, entirely put back together at all…
They are held together-in intervals-by hope that life can be different, that we can be different. Until, we hear a song, smell a familiar scent, see a familiar place, or a face that reminds us that we are not put together at all. And it shatters all over again without us even realizing until it’s so broken that the weight of its shards is overwhelming.
So, I smoke, not because I don’t know that cigarettes can kill me but because it feels as though the sadness inside of me already is…
I think I’ve left pieces of myself in every place that’s made me feel alive, in all of things that I’ve lost, in the people that I’ve loved, and in every “almost” that will never be.
And I’ll spend all of my life searching for them…
I do my best to feel better. I stay close to the things I cherish, I don’t let many people in, and I focus on the things that keep me together instead of on the ones that are tearing me apart but it’s hard… So. Damn. Hard.
I’ve been here before and I know that in time, I will be fine again.
I just needed to come here and write to remind myself of that…
“Something inside is hurting you, that’s why you need cigarettes and whiskey, or music turned so fucking loud, you can’t think.”
“Maybe each life is just an echo of the ones that came before, bouncing on the things they learnt to land on something more. Maybe it’s never ending and our sound just travels on, with distance it gets quiet but is never truly gone. Maybe we’ll find peace in our silence when our time comes to be still, and know our voice can’t last forever but the truth it carries will.”
“Beautiful things happen in the dark when the sun goes to sleep and the moon is a spotlight. Life stays beautiful even when you are covered in darkness.”
“I don’t think I love very many things but here are the ones I can think of: I love the first sip of coffee in the morning. I love reading someone else’s words and finding a connection in them. I love the feeling a good song invokes. I love wondering. I love driving at night with no destination. I love the gentle kind of sadness like a reminder that I can feel.”-Marianna Paige
“You are terrifying and strange and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.”
“The only thing I trust less than my mind is my heart. Life is like that sometimes and I’m so busy feeling out loud that when I hear the knock on the door, I can’t always tell the difference between opportunity and the sound of warning. So I answer to both of them. Opening it wide and letting whatever’s behind it inside. There’s something about souls disheveled, and a spirit unsure of its strength. When you can’t make sense of me, know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be: two places at once and alive in between.”