THE TRUTH IS MESSIE…

My e-journal, all the nitty-gritty, overly-emotional, sappy stuff…

Bruises Fade & The Tears Will Dry. April 16, 2015

My world revolved around you

Every word was a promise, I was hanging on

Swept up inside a whirlwind

I just couldn’t see the end ’til you were gone

Oh, I thought I would fall apart

With shattered dreams and a broken heart

Scrambling’ in the dark

How was I to know, that I’d be okay?

Thought I’d lose it all when you walked away

How was I to know, I would be this strong?

I had what it takes all along

How was I to know?

What I was so afraid of

Turned out to be my freedom in disguise

Now, I know what I’m made of

Guess it just took some time to realize

Oh I was blind, I couldn’t tell

Put too much faith in someone else

I gave up on myself

How was I to know, that I’d be okay?

Thought I’d lose it all when you walked away

How was I to know, I would be this strong?

I had what it takes all along

How was I to know?

How was I to know?

(Lyrics, “How Was I To Know”, Reba McEntire)

There’s this quote that I swear I’ve heard half a million times that goes, “Some people come into our lives and quickly go, while others stay and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never the same.” It’s so true. It’s actually kind of incredible if you think about it…the influence and effect that a person can have on some one else’s life. It really is. So many people have come in and out of my life over the years. Loved ones, friends, lovers…absolute strangers. When you’re young, you tend to think in terms of quantity, rather than quality as far as relationships and friendships go. You basically weigh your self-worth on the basis of how many friends you have and how popular you are. And then you grow up and you realize how little those things matter, especially in the long run. You start to see people for who they really are beneath that naive cloak of adolescence. On top of all the struggles you face when becoming an adult, you’re saddled with the not-always-so-easy task of weeding out the people that you want and don’t want in your life. You’re left to figure out who you can trust and depend on, as well as the ones that neither deserve or need to be in your life…those people you can do and live without.

I’m so blessed and thankful for the people I have in my life right now, sincerely and truly thankful. Over the years, I’ve lost touch with so many friends that I’ve lost count. Some were ones that I chose to remove from my life…you know, those two-faced “so-called” friends that will smile and act all nice to your face, and then stab you in the back the moment you turn away or the first chance they get…yeah, those friends. I’ve had my fair share of friends like that over the years, some I’d even known since grade school, that I no longer talk to or see. It wasn’t until about six years ago when everything blew up with what’s-his-name and life as I knew went all to hell for me, that I decided to free myself from a lot of those “friends”. As difficult and as trying as that period of my life was then, it was also a really pivotal time. It’s like I finally took off those rose-colored glasses I’d been wearing for years and saw things for what they were…and people for whom they were. So much happened and changed during that time…I changed. I realized that I didn’t need, nor did I want, those “I-told-you-so” friends that were practically celebrating the fact that it was finally done and over with him and I…and were more concerned with having been proven right about him than they were with the fact that my entire life had just been turned upside-down and I was a total, absolute wreck. Friends don’t do that…they just don’t. I learned real quick after that all happened who I could trust and who I couldn’t–and though it wasn’t necessarily fair–instead of picking and choosing, I chose to group them all together and push everyone away. It was just easier.

I did a lot of–“soul-searching” I guess you could call it–in that year that I didn’t talk to anyone. And though it hurt so many people, my pushing them away and shutting them out like I did without even so much as an explanation or goodbye, I needed that time…in so many ways, for so many reasons. I hated the person that I’d become, that I’d allowed him to turn me into…you really have no idea. When I looked in a mirror, it was like looking at someone I didn’t know…and that scared the hell out of me. I’m not going to lie–I had some pretty close calls that year…moments where I literally just wanted to say to hell with it and would have given absolutely anything just to make the pain go away. I had this ridiculous notion starting out that I’d somehow be able to forget and put it all behind me…and when I realized just how naive and ridiculous that was–and that it was never going to happen–I think in that moment I finally just gave up. I was so sick of fighting the memories and living with the hurt and the shame and I just…wanted it to end. I remember sitting on my bathroom floor one night, a razor-blade in one hand and a bottle of sleeping pills and Oxycodone in the other and I swear, I must have sat there for hours, just staring at the bottles and the blade and thinking how easy it would be…and then I thought about the satisfaction he would have no doubt gotten if I just ended it all…and I got angry. So, so angry. He’d taken so much from me and the thought of him taking anything more, well, I just couldn’t let him win. So I didn’t. I pulled it together–somehow–and I fought back. I thought about telling everyone the truth–of publishing each and every sordid detail, every secret, every truth–of publicly humiliating him and destroying his life as he’d done mine…and then I realized something. I realized that that was what separated us…that line that he’d had no problem crossing for his own selfish reasons…I realized that I couldn’t cross it. I wanted to–godknows I wanted to–but when it came down to it, I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to deliberately ruin someone’s life, no matter how much he deserved it, because the truth of it all is that it wasn’t just his life I’d be ruining. There were so many other people–innocent people–that would have felt the back-lash and I couldn’t do that. I realized I was better than that. Better than him. I had a conscience. And I knew that the small relief and satisfaction I’d feel wouldn’t last nearly as long as the guilt I knew would come with it. And I was sick of feeling guilty, tired of feeling like I was the bad guy in what happened…just tired of all of it, really.

And hating him–if anything–was just exhausting. Then one day I think I just woke up and decided I was done with it, with hating him, with blaming him, with anything all at having to do with him. Just done. Once I let go of all that hate, I felt so much better. I know it sounds so cliche, but it really was a relief to be free from all that, from him. It’s funny because when people ask me now whether I’d go back and change anything if I could–particularly what happened with him–they can’t believe it when I tell them I wouldn’t change a thing. Honestly–and I know it sounds crazy–but I’m actually grateful for what happened. In a way, I think I needed that experience, that heartbreak…that living hell…to become the person I am today. When I look back on that time, it’s like I’m an outsider looking in on someone else’s life. And in a way, that’s exactly what it is. I’m not that girl anymore. I’m not young and naive and easily swayed by some guy with green eyes and a few well-versed, overused lines. I know now that love isn’t the solution to everything. That you can love and believe in a person with all your heart and it still doesn’t change the fact his heart is cold and black and incapable of feeling anything. I’m not cynical really, just realistic. Fairy-tales are for kids and Disney movies…this is reality. Love can be a good and bad thing, all at the same time. And people can and will hurt you, no matter how high you build up those walls around your heart.

It’s funny, really, when I think about how far I’ve come in the last 5 years. I mean, I literally picked myself up from rock bottom and went through hell and back, ten times over, and yet, here I am. I survived what was surely one of the hardest periods of my life so far, and I’m truly a better person for it. And while I don’t like the idea of giving him any satisfaction, if we’re being honest, I do owe him some credit for that. If it weren’t for him and his twisted, overly-vindictive need for revenge and my just as determined refusal to NOT give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d wrecked me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I really wouldn’t. For so long whenever I thought about about him or heard his name, I’d automatically think of all the hurt and the pain. I don’t know when that changed or stopped exactly, but that doesn’t happen anymore…and hasn’t in a long, long time. There’s this saying I’ve heard that says that only you can let your fears destroy you…or something along those lines…and I think it’s pretty accurate. I mean, I gave him the power to destroy me the moment I said yes and went with him that first night. It’s kind of a harsh metaphor, but in a lot of ways, I made a pact with the devil that night. And while it’d be so easy just to blame him for everything and hate him as I once did, I realize now that it simply just isn’t worth it. It’s just not.

People come in and out of our lives all the time. And the footprints left by some are a little deeper than the shallow ones left by others. That’s life. And I happen to believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m not necessarily convinced that it’s some kind of “divine intervention”–these paths we take in life–but I do believe that it all–every person we meet, every decision we make, every path we take–has a purpose. Though I think I would have preferred that it hurt less than it did, I think his purpose and the role that he played in my life was to lead me to the realization that I’m enough…just me…and to make me realize that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I thought I was. I mean, I could have given up that night, sitting on the floor of my bathroom. I could have said to hell with all of it. But I didn’t. I think Bob Marley said it best when he said that, “You don’t know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.” That was certainly true in my case. And believe it or not, there’s actually an upside to losing everything and hitting rock bottom…which is that there’s nowhere to go but up. You can let the people and memories from your past and all that pain destroy you and keep you down; let it break you. Or you can pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and fight back.

That’s what I did. I fought back in the only way I really knew how–by being happy. I stopped letting the lies and accusations and rumors that were going around about me have any kind of hold over me. I stopped blaming myself and feeling guilty for things that were out of my control. But most important, I refused to allow that relationship, that one mistake, define me. I made a mistake–I did–and I’m not proud of some of the choices I made then…but we all have a past. We all have regrets, some bigger or worse than others. I think that the footprints he made are always going to be there…though they’ve faded for the most part, at this point. For a really long time, I thought that moving on meant forgetting completely…but I was wrong. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever forget, or if I will ever be able to run into again without remembering all that pain that he caused me or the terrifying depths that he drove me to…of if I’ll ever make peace with it or forgive him even…but I think that’s okay. I don’t know what the future has in store for me or what’s going to happen one day from the next. And I don’t know how to explain how I know it, but I know that I’ll be okay…that much, I’m sure of…

xoMESSIE

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