A few weeks ago I made a fairly large transition. Cutting people from your experience, even when they are miles away, hurts like stepping on glass with a tender foot, a pain that does not go away readily and refreshes itself with the slightest touch against it, even when it is unrelated to what happened.
It burns like withdrawal. Even when they were bad for you, you want to go back, even when it was your idea to get out of there. You think, “maybe there’s another shot,” and you justify maybe possibly going back for “one more hit.” In times like that, one is happier than ever to have a group who will grab you by the shirt collar with a shout of “HO, DON’T DO IT” and a litany of reasons why you should *definitely* not do it.
And for a long time, it doesn’t get easier.
It’s like getting clean. Especially when they were bad for you in the first place. You can’t see it, so you don’t know what it’s doing to you. And you wonder again…should I go back?
And you bleed. And you grieve. And you struggle. There’s an empty spot where you know what was going on before—even if it was horrible, even if it hurt you every time, but at least you *knew* — and you don’t know what to do.
Then you suddenly can see everything from the outside, looking in. And you rage. Because you *know* that this was not what you deserved. And you *know* that you should never have had to go through this much to see that this wasn’t what you deserved. Yes, in life we must make mistakes, but sometimes, when you make mistakes, the mistakes also make you, and they leave scars that mark you for a long, long time. And the only way to take those scars away is to shed the skin you wore for so long — becoming a raw version of yourself, because it’s the only way to heal now. The insides, exposed, with everyone able to see what you really are until you can defend yourself again…
It’s frightening, but sometimes it’s best not to wall all the way back up. Some do not understand this, and they play a role perpetually. And you cannot trust them. Yet I tried to, so many times, and was hurt over and over.
So what if people think I’m ‘too intense,’ or anything else. I cannot be anything but who I am. And I will not play a role for anyone to accept me.
And I do not ask anyone else to play a role, in turn. You be yourself around me…
Or don’t be around me.