Since last year, I’ve had to face some serious challenges due to avoidance, emotional problems, and self reflection issues. It’s invaded my thoughts on a daily basis. The truth of trying to understand who I’ve become, what I’ve done with my life, the things I’ve lost, things I’ve gained, acceptance of my faults, growth, people I’ve hurt, what companionship means to me, and who I am at my core are all coming to the surface.
What I’m saying here isn’t to garner any kind of sympathy or attention, I simply want to be real and truthful with some of the things I’ve learned about life and myself. It might help some feel better or even give some people perspective. While at times it can feel like there is a cliff at my back and an army at the front, I honestly know I’ve needed this challenge in my life. Including sharing these thoughts instead of bottling them up. But this isn’t about the war of struggling with my own crappy transgressions or behaviors that act out on a subconscious level. This is about the harm I caused others due to my own pain and attempts to forget or erase my own.
We all struggle with our conscience at one point or another in our life. You ever have one of those days where you just wonder what the outcome would have been if you just made one simple choice that might have been different? I’m sure most healthy people have. Heh, healthy is a strange concept in this day and age, but anyway, these were thoughts that sent me into a spiral last year. Normally a well adjusted person just accepts and moves on, but these were questions I had avoided for a long time and I am anything but well adjusted. (Sorry folks, just the fucking truth there, those who read my blog probably already know my own brand of weirdness and insanity.)
How many times had I hurt someone that I let get caught up in my own pain? Who did I apologize to or feel remorse for because things didn’t go well? Who hadn’t I taken the time to apologize to or even forgive that deserved my attention at the time? Just because at the time I felt like running from the problem or justified in my own reckless judgements and impulsive habits?
You see, I grew up in a religious household that held strong beliefs about the concept of forgiving and forgetting; but it wasn’t used in a healthy way. Can religious rule ever be considered healthy? (I said religious, not spiritual here.) Those that have grown up that way know how this can be. When this concept is being used in an exploitative manner, it’s quite damaging. For those that are curious of my experience of it, the best way I can put it is like this: It’s used as an excuse being thrown around for abusive and abhorrent behavior. It’s the utilization of morality on the basis of being forgiven and cleansed in the temporary, without the long term abuse ever being addressed properly. It falsely cancels out the act that hurt someone with a basis rooted in a holy morality that excuses an abuser in a position of authority. The religious concept of forgive and forget is easy to re-purpose for faulty aims, especially against children who are still forming their ideological views of the world.
But this doesn’t mean that I don’t think the concept of forgiveness and moving on isn’t healthy. It’s powerful and can be incredibly healing for everyone if you ask me. Do I think most people can have inherently good morals and bad morals that guide them to forgive and sometimes forget? Yes. This can all be based on one’s own reality of course or at least how their view of the world was formed. There is some exceptions to the rule but they vary. But I do think there are times when forgiveness isn’t enough and some things should never be forgotten. Forgiven? Yes. Forgotten? Up for debate.
Are there choices I’ve made that I probably will never be forgiven for or will never be forgotten by others? Yes. To not question that part of myself would be out of my curious nature to do so and out of fear of facing the parts of myself I know are selfish. My own patterns of behavior that exist out of self defense and the need to protect myself have come up to the surface as of late. Finding the strength to forgive others in my past that may have put me there has been a tough battle to overcome and some days I still struggle with it. In that same vein, stupid or haphazard decisions I’ve made in my personal life drudge up the more I reach deeper into myself and find patterns of thinking. It’s a messy place at times.
So, what am I getting at?
About eight months ago I spent time apologizing to people from my past. I called people up and spent time reconnecting to those that I felt I may have wronged at some point. I thought deeply about others I cared for and apologized to them in my mind because they were long gone. Wrote letters to those I’d lost contact with over the years and sent emails in a frenzy to try and face this darker part of myself that may have destroyed someone in my own selfish choices of the past. The pain I faced was great.
Part of this act is selfish in it’s own right. Releasing that guilt and attempting closure were some of my goals to release internal pain. It was like something out of a crappy Lifetime movie or a crappy episode of the Brady Bunch, only more self punishing. I had to do it. The urge to overcome it and the hope it would provide some kind of release to them and me was all I cared about.
So what happened?
Some didn’t care. Some were confused. Some were just happy to hear from me. Some were understanding and some were waiting for it. Some were just like, okay..whatever. It was interesting to say the least. While I always made it a point in the past to try and reconcile with people that I had made horrid choices with in the short term; the longer term ones I always thought were going to be much more difficult or I’d face at least some cussing down the phone line.
No. People just do not work that way.
But the lesson I really learned here wasn’t really about this. It was about the need to free others and myself from cycles of pain. For those I might have kept there with me and the own pain I carry on myself. People never cease to amaze or astound me when it comes to the capacity to let something go, No matter how large or small the bad choice was. There is something to be said for humans when they can do this.
No matter how good or bad of a person we think we are. No matter how small the mistakes and choices we made that hurt someone else are. People are capable of such good and such evil, no matter the stakes.
Have I put people in the sights of my laser beam? Yes. I like to think that no one deserves to be hurt because of others shitty choices, but it does happen. Even to nasty and lifetime damaging degrees. To ignore that would be folly and that’s just the truth. We are not perfected beings but I find this is a strength in it’s own right. But seriously, who am I to say what is wrong and what is right in this respect? I can only account for my own existence in the end. Yep, we are all messed up in some way. What you do with that is entirely up to you. You are your own path maker in the end.
The second thing I learned is this: wounds can be deep and we can carry them with us like battle scars. Some are good at hiding them and some are not. Can a person heal those wounds by doing an exercise like this? No, I don’t think so, not fully. But it’s a start. I needed to do it. Words are not a time machine though, no matter how much I wish they could be. Only intention will ever be what shapes our course. Only being true to your nature and admitting it will put you on a direct course to whatever it is you need to do to grow, change, or move forward in life. To accomplish something unique even.
Do I have flaws? Yes. Are they deep rooted emotionally and psychologically? I think so. But what a person admits to and does with the knowledge is what will matter more in the end. I have learned this lately from unique people.
And for those reading my blog that might know me on a personal level:
I’m sorry for being a dick sometimes. I’m undergoing that brain transplant. I’m scheduled for Spring, 2090. Not really, I just made that up. You’re stuck with me.