Usually, I don’t know how I feel about writing of the things that I am thankful for during the month where millions of individuals around the nation are giving thanks for the fortune within their lives. Considering the events of this past year, however, and its lasting effects on my well-being, I feel that writing about these things at the very least will provide some form of solace for my spirit. Not to mention help me process my thoughts and emotions into something coherent. Having said that, here goes nothing…
The feeling of betrayal you feel when someone goes behind your back for the sake of living happily ever at the expense of your trust is crippling. When you try to speak out against what is damaging you, the opposing force will do everything to make you seem as though you are “delusional.” Whether it’s gathering opinions that are biased towards their own interests, or if it’s bringing up aspects of yourself so that a negative picture can be painted of you to make themselves look like a hero or a divine being (especially when they want to blot out any glaring red flags borne on their conscience), they’ll resort to this tactic as a means to put you in your place.
You’re nothing but a pawn to them, a means to an end that they can turn to and take advantage of when they want to feel better about themselves. When you take a stand for yourself (because who wants to put up with this crap on repeat?), they scream and cry and wail like spoiled tyrants (King Joffrey, anyone?). They resort to advanced methods of putting you in your place, even if that means they put you, their perceived monster, in a figurative cage. Or they take over the things and responsibilities that are rightfully yours in an exercise of, again, self-glorification at your expense.
And throughout this, you eventually believe that you are less than human, yet you still can’t bring yourself to put an end to it all–which, unfortunately, is also taken advantage of as these individuals perceive it as a confirmation of their self-serving actions born of “happily ever after” being perfectly acceptable to carry on. They continue to try and put you in your place whenever they see fit, or, despite labeling you as an outcast, still hit you up for resources because, apparently, you’re still good for that much. It’s here that you realize that your heart is shattered instead of broken, beyond repair and in need of replacing.
My experiences with these things are something that continue to haunt me in my day-to-day routine or when I sleep at night. Any attempt on my part to go back to who I was before only results in more anguish and discord, and I’m left in a state of grief over the memories that have replaced that idea of who I was. On the other hand, however, in order to grow into something greater, some things must die so that rebirth may occur.
In Greek mythology, the phoenix was prolific for being reborn of its own ashes after its previous body expired–sharing a similarity with the Catholic belief that one’s soul undergoes a purification process so that they may enter eternity with a new body. Similarly, in the physical sciences, matter is neither created nor destroyed, but changes form. The shape and structure of the object are different, yet they remain atomically similar at the core.
I use this example to illustrate what kind of understanding I had come to over the course of the last several months. To go back to what I was would not only be useless, but it would defeat the purpose of any kind of growth I would get for my endeavors in the here and now. The memories of what I had experienced are still going to be there, no matter how much I wish they weren’t, and will continue to be a blight on my spirit for as long as I can tell. On the other hand, it was these same experiences that helped me realize that I was becoming someone meant for the path that I am on now, and something not meant for who I once was.
In coping with the trauma and the fallout of struggling to rediscover myself, I lost many forms of identity and friends that I used to trust. Some of these people and associations were, up until a certain point, were the only true constants in my life. And, sometimes, they may all become toxic, which I soon realized over the course of time. I am not perfect myself, and continue to work on myself every day–to let go of those things that refuse to change or prove time and again to be a vice to the soul, however, makes such a process easier.
To say that I’m no longer suffering from these troubles would be a lie. I’ll reiterate what I said earlier in that I still suffer from these. The silver lining to all of this is that opportunities for greater growth and a network of warmhearted, loving individuals have emerged to provide a light in the dark. The love and care that I have received on all fronts have reminded me of my worth as an individual, and make me want to be a genuinely better person for everyone and everything in this dynamic. I didn’t have to fight for love or approval to establish a sense of worth.
For those reading this facing a similar situation: you’re not alone. It’s going to be hard, and you will break down at some point. Keep going anyway, because the fact that you’ve made it this far means that you can go much farther. People love you. I want you to be successful as well. The harmful actions of others says more about them than it does about you. You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are strong. You will get through this.