The BN Contributor who sent this to us has asked to remain anonymous, for this heart felt and deeply personal piece. If you find yourself experiencing any of these emotions, please draw strength from the knowledge that you are not alone.
The BellaNaija community stands with you during this difficult time.
When we go through extreme pain, we become altered; most people do not remain the same. Some people are able to dust the experience off quickly and move on. Some are able to skilfully relegate the pain to the back of their minds where it doesn’t take front and centre of their thinking and thereby can be quickly forgotten. Some of us however… like me, ruminate on it over and over again – wishing it could have happened differently. Somehow we believe that we could have done something different to ensure a better outcome. Some of us hurt passionately, the same way we experience life passionately.
I have always loved this quote by W.H Auden – “If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me”. My friend saw it on my phone one day and asked with a very serious tone and I quote – “but why would you want to be the vulnerable one?” I answered very honestly – because it is rewarding and fulfilling to show love. I have indeed observed of myself that I am most times the one who goes out on a limb, in various ways. It could be in my friendships, where I find I am the one who tries harder to ensure we maintain that close bond or in a relationship, where I have an unimaginably high threshold for hurt, always hoping for better. I have been advised that I am too trusting of people and that I require some cynicism. Something I have now taken on in a tiny dose.
2015 changed me in more ways than one. Having been through the eye of the storm in two separate relationships in my life, something shifted powerfully in me, I was changed forever. I wallowed in pain; I cried; I begged; I sought professional help; it hurt, it hurt deep into my soul but I tried to hide it all behind a smile, while I died little by little inside everyday. My struggle made me aware of the many things a smile can conceal; it is scary that we walk past people everyday with smiles on their faces yet we are completely oblivious to whose world may be upside down, who may be smiling on the outside but screaming in their head for help, who may smile today and be planning to drive their car off a bridge the very next morning.
In this period in my life, I learnt that not everyone means what they say; some people are outright liars and are dishonest in their ways, their words are merely a means to an end. I learnt that because someone means the world to you, it doesn’t mean they are going to love you the way you love them. I learnt that sometimes feelings change, no matter how desperately you want them to stay the same. I learnt the power there is in following your heart. I learnt some friendships change as time goes on; you either accept the change because your friend is worth it or you keep it moving. I learnt that not all of your friendships will last forever, even some of your very best friendships may end at some point and life will go on. I learnt that it feels especially good to stand up for yourself and I learnt that to live a fulfilled life, one that you are truly happy with, you need courage.
I don’t want to be the more loving one anymore, it is indeed a very vulnerable and lonely place to be. I do still believe it is better to give love than to withhold it or be the reason someone hurts, be it intentionally or not. It’s the same way you get that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart more when you give than when you receive. However, I am tired, drained and emotionally exhausted, I fear I may have been altered beyond redemption. I will just be kind.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions” – Unknown
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