Today I spoke with a very close friend of mine, and we had a long talk about some of the issues we both face. I am not ready to share with the world some of my deep, dark secrets, because I don’t feel comfortable revealing that side of myself just yet, but some of what we talked about was about relationships. We talked about how work has had me traveling for months and how it has felt like the echoes of my last relationship have been heard loudly everywhere.
K said to me, “It’s like you were in Purgatory.”
And she was right.
Neil Gaiman says it best, “I think hell is something you carry with you. Not somewhere you go.” I have never had such a jarring emotional experience of that magnitude before in my life; maybe some people can brush this sort of thing off easily. But for those unfortunate, overly-introspective types like myself, it’s not that easy. I still, months later, ask myself what I could have done to have been enough. I know, rationally, the answer to this question is simple: NOTHING. People who want you to be part of your life make you a priority. They don’t push you away, they don’t disrespect you by being dishonest and secretive. It doesn’t make this any easier to swallow, and we still beat ourselves up because of their betrayal. Even as time passes, in the words of the late Maya Angelou, “People will never forget how you made them feel.”
The pain is still there and I know it will be there for a long time to come, but I also know that Purgatory is only temporary, and now I am here in Hawaii to start a new life, and the ghost of the man from my past can not come to these shores to haunt me. This is a place of healing, and I concentrate on trying to let go of the hell I have carried within me for so long.
For anyone out there going through something similar…if you don’t think it will end…I understand. It’s not over for me, but I can finally see the beginnings of the road to healing. The pain lasts a long time, but we don’t have to be buried under it forever. There are still beautiful things to be seen, and we can find an abundance of kindness and goodness in the people who continue to stand by us and support us. Our worth is not defined by those who have treated us badly, or the poor relationships we once were part of.
Our worth was and always will be determined by ourselves.