Owning Up

Hello,

It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? I haven’t written you a letter like this, I haven’t professed this out loud for all to hear. But, I guess, it’s better late than never…

Right?

I have told you stories that have left me scarred; stories that I never thought I would ever be able to commit to writing. Facing trauma, head first, can be excruciating. It can feel like your whole body is expelling some of the worst toxins you could fill it with. Tears spill, words are yelled, faces turn red, your breath is taken away. It can leave you feeling lifeless, but still linger within your soul making you feel like your happiness has been stolen away.

Writing has allowed me to feel a little bit lighter. As I confess my deepest and darkest onto the pages, the past is released from the captivity that is my brain. I am no longer drowning in the depths of despair. Are the triggers still there? Of course, they don’t die completely; they are the ghosts that frequent my mind when I least expect them. Yet, the more that I move forward, the less the ghosts come. The pain becomes more subtle, like the sprinkle of rain on a sunny day.

What I haven’t written about are my choices that wound others, including those I loved the most. Some, in fact, are the people I love the most in this world. Facing trauma, especially when you are a silent warrior, is hard; but what’s even harder, is admitting to the world that you weren’t always a good person and your actions resulted in someone else’s suffering. Even though I haven’t completely owned up to everything (until now, at least), it doesn’t mean that they haven’t tormented me. For years, there has been this endless guilt buried deep within. It lives in the darkest parts of my mind, frequently appearing in nightmares, reminding me of the times where I wasn’t always an honest person. Every time I look at old photos, remembering who I used to be, I feel the hatred burn inside. Thoughts rage like a fire burning within: You’re heartless. How can you sit there and look at yourself?

Sure, I have been lied to, deceived, manipulated, taken advantage of, betrayed, and cheated on.

And this is me saying, admitting that I have done my fair share. I have been carelessly selfish. I have loved people and, yet still, made the choices that would devastate them. The situations that led to breaking of character, hearts, relationships, and altered perceptions of reality.

See, the thing about the pain we’ve experienced and the pain we’ve caused is based on time, there is not one person who is completely responsible. There is always some responsibility that we have to take for ourselves, because there are times when we will ignore our instincts or deny our true feelings because we are chasing a subconscious story or something that we have fabricated out of nothing. As much as we want it to be the fault of one person, it rarely is. There will always be intertwining factors, bigger perpetrators; but, if we let those things hold open the door to whatever good is on the other side, then there will always be loose ends. Loose ends from apologies that weren’t sincere or weren’t ever received and behaviour that went unchanged. In the end, we have to take that responsibility, remember that our choices were influenced by other elements, and learn from our experiences.

It doesn’t change that I did make choices that could be considered heartless, and in some ways I did deserve the aftermath of it all. If it wasn’t for that aftermath, I may have never become who I am today. Truthfully, if I hadn’t made them, felt the consequences, I wouldn’t have learned that that wasn’t the person I wanted to be – or knew I was.

Because the person I was is not the person I am today. The previous version of me no longer exists.

Wholeheartedly, I wish that my choices hadn’t caused affliction for the people I love or loved. That being said, as much as I would like to, I can’t heal anyone else’s wounds. I can’t change my mistakes. This is me saying: I acknowledge the ways in which my action caused you strife within your life. I am deeply sorry for my lapse in judgement, my selfishness, my lack of empathy. I forgot who I was when the trauma I had gone through, made it’s grand entrance. This doesn’t excuse how I treated you, you never deserved that. We both failed each other somewhere along the way. I hope one day you will be able to look at me again with little malice, with little heartache. Because from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.


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