Disclaimer: This post is a vent of personal experiences. If you don’t want to read about my hardships and endurance pertaining to love and the mistakes I’ve made in hopes that I can stop others from facing the same hurt, then I urge you to visit another page.
The last few months have shown me a lot about myself and really forced me to reflect on what it is that makes me tick. It is in the tribulations that we are shown our true character. Anyone can be just and honest when things are going smoothly. When the troubles come and the lights go out, will you run and hide in the darkness, or will you give yourself an opportunity to shine even brighter? It’s an odd feeling to fall flat on your back; hitting the rock bottom that you’ve been dreading to find.
“My biggest fear will be the rescue of me. It’s strange how it turns out that way.” – Echo – by Incubus
This song as well as many others have begun to transform meaning in my head as my recent circumstances in life have continued to change into something that leaves me with a want for more. More what? I have no idea. I spent so much time over the last few years praying and begging for some kind of change. Things weren’t going how I wanted them to. I was stuck in a job with very little growth, I had some issues in the relationship department, my living situation wasn’t perfect, and my family life was a constant fight. I felt like things were too messy and I didn’t want to put up with it anymore. So day in and day out I would sit there seeking answers and sending up a message asking for change. Be careful what you wish for because you may actually get it.
With one major occupational shift, I found my way to a new city with new opportunities. I finally felt like I was on the right path. A beautiful place and a seemingly better job, what could go wrong? My brain would once again claim a casualty as it ripped away from me that which meant the most. As the days turned into weeks, small problems gained an intense focus and I started to give way to the thought of a solution. She needed a hand to hold on to. I didn’t help. I didn’t listen. She picked up a brick and placed it back upon the rubble from the walls that I had so expertly ripped down. I just let her put it back up. I felt that the issues were too much for what I wanted and deserved.
That was the problem that I was too blind to see. When did I decide that I knew what I deserved? Why did I think that it was more? Why have I been so focused on fixing issues that meant nothing? Why, instead, couldn’t I focus on the amazing parts that brought me that feeling of complete peace?
That wall of hers, with bricks and mortar carefully added over years of mistreatment by fools who couldn’t give her what she deserved, was at one point a ruin of her former heartbreak. My next decision would lead me down one of two paths, one that would take the bricks out of her shaky hands and crush them into dust, or one that would turn me into one of those fools and build those walls back to their mammoth, skyscraper height. But I was still blinded by the hurt of stupid issues, most of which brought on by miscommunications and ill-timed, fated dances with skeletons that were still clinging to their unwelcome presence in her closet.
Our foundation was cracked. We didn’t take the right steps to fix it and it wore on us. We tried building more onto what we saw as an amazing future. With each floor, we felt like we were unstoppable. We didn’t know that as soon as a storm hit, we would be left out in the rain without a roof over our heads. And that is just what happened. We faced the strongest of hurricanes in the worst possible time that ripped apart our broken foundation and leveled that beautiful home that we built. I caved. I broke down and needed time to think. Upon reflection I saw that I didn’t want anything more than her. I was weak, I sought answers. I should have taken those bricks out of her hand before she had a chance to put them back on her heart’s wall. I didn’t. They were back and I was to blame. I pushed too hard and forced the wall up higher than before. She gave one last effort but the manner was one in which I felt like an option. Again, my ignorance and immaturity focused on the wrong facet of the issue. Why couldn’t I just look forwards and see that nothing else matters? Why did I try to fix the only part that wasn’t broken? I was still hurt. She reached up and asked for a hand to pull her out of the quicksand. I just turned my head and walked away, leaving her to struggle and fight alone. Little did I know that I too, was up to my neck, sinking fast.
The next weeks left me empty and alone. Night after night, searching for answers, losing sleep. I wanted to reach out. I tried. It was too late. She felt broken. She was broken. I broke her. I pushed too hard. I tried to use my “wisdom” to provide a solution. But wisdom requires one major component that I somehow left out, and that is listening. I didn’t listen to her or her heart. I just forced my hurt in and didn’t let her speak. I guess that’s also in part to her walls that I had put back up and our lack of communication. We didn’t know what we wanted or what each other wanted. We didn’t want to hurt each other and we wanted our own pain to stop.
Weeks went by and our resentment grew into hate. Other bits of life started to crumble underneath both of our feet. We were struggling and didn’t have anything to hold onto. Family illnesses, personal issues, the stresses of life were bearing down on us like a desert sun and we were already thirsty and weary from letting go. With all of that extra hurt barreling down, I took a long drive to visit a sick relative which meant about 24 hours in a car over a weekend. It gave me a shred perspective and finally grounded my mind. You can say that I hit rock bottom and finally started to look up. All of the things that I had tried to say to her and couldn’t find the words, were finally crystal clear. I was done with blaming this on her. I finally saw that this was my mess. Each step of the way came with a decision and I chose the wrong door. I reached out to try and reconcile but because of my consistent petty behavior, she wanted nothing to do with me. It was even too late to apologize (cue the OneRepublic). I begged for an opportunity after I had received the most beautiful message from her, venting everything in her mind from over the last 2 years. Things that she had never said, fears that she was too scared to share with me, even her last attempt at telling me to give up. It hurt to read but it was exactly what I had been craving for at least a year. I needed to hear (or in this case, read) what was in her heart, that mysterious playground where very few have claimed even a temporary residence.
I spent the entire conversation apologizing for everything, for pushing her and not being there when she needed me. That when I was facing my demons, I demanded that she stopped with her issues and fixed mine rather than grabbing her hand and fighting them all off by her side. I was so sorry for letting someone like her slip through my fingers. A series of decisions that will certainly haunt me for the rest of my days. From what I could tell, it ended on a good note. I just hope and pray that whenever she sees my name or a picture of me or a silly reminder of what we once were, she looks at it with the same sense of joy that she used to, and her resentment and fear of me have dissipated. I don’t expect that one conversation to be a miracle and I don’t expect her to ever give me another chance at proving my heart to her. I just needed her to know that I was on the right path and that she set the highest of standards for what my heart seeks in another. That right now I am holding on to my faith and finally fixing my own foundation, little by little. I know she is doing the same. I know that wherever this leads, it is the right thing for both of us. I know that some day we will be able to breathe again. I will continue to seek the light that she gave my life, but I will give her the ability to shine on her own. She has dealt with enough hurt from my unintentional games. It’s my turn to face the shadows and fight the regrets.
This has been the hardest life lesson that I foresee myself learning. Given that I’m only 25, I know that may not be true but it is certainly the most difficult process I’ve ever had to endure.
So why am I sharing this personal story of hurt and hardship? I hope that you can find some sort of inspiration and life lesson so that you can prevent yourself from experiencing the immense regret that I feel. My advice to you all is to take a step back and communicate everything in your heart. Don’t hold back and don’t hide your heart. It may be awkward and it may hurt, but if you really, truly care about someone, you don’t give up on them. You don’t push them away and claim that it’s the only solution. That’s the worst load of garbage that I’ve ever let enter my mind. “I’m fixing us by telling you that there shouldn’t be an us.” Letting go will be the biggest regret of your life and it will leave you empty, at least in this instance. That’s how I knew that she meant something (everything) to me. Letting go completely will be difficult, but that’s the real evidence that I truly want her to be happy. Do I think that I can be the one that makes her the happiest? With ever fiber of my being. Does she? Not likely. I will put my heart to the side and let her live because that’s what she wants and what she needs, and when you spend this much of your life caring about someone else, you will do anything you can to give them what they want and need. I don’t have any negativity towards her nor will I, even if her circumstances change and she moves on. I’m no longer her priority and I have accepted that. For now, I only have my faith to hold onto, and that’s exactly what I need to carry me through. Regardless of your stance on religion, faith is what centers me and keeps my mind at peace. Nothing else can do that in this circumstance. I have been given my metaphorical cross and I am bearing it with an internal peace that can’t be taken away. With my foundation built steady, I am truly ready for life for the first time.
“My biggest fear will be the rescue of me. It’s strange how it turns out that way.”