I bet you’re wondering where this is going. I bet it’s also not at all headed in the direction you think.
He told me he wished I had died.
In a fury of text messages after telling him there was no possible way he could actually be in love with me – that it was a crazy and impossible notion – he ended with, “I wish the cancer had killed you.” He meant it. He was angry and hurt and blinded by the passionate rage that he had somehow talked himself into. He was also pure evil. In an earlier post, I called him Avalanche. Now you are starting to understand why. Even knowing that he was in a frantic state of emotions, I could feel the honesty in what he said. He really wanted me dead. The old adage was never more true – “If I can’t have you, no one can.”
So, there’s that.
Fast forward to a few months later where I’m sitting across the table at a patio restaurant in the middle of Las Vegas with the person I had known as my best friend for twelve years. I confessed all of my missteps, the lies, the broken promises and he looked at me and said, “It’d be easier if I were married to an exotic dancer.” I didn’t laugh. It wasn’t a joke. He meant it. (Side bar, I hate Vegas now…)
Two moments in time. Two truths that were articulated in such a brutally candid way. Two statements that are now a matter of emotional record and will stay with me forever.
It’s amazing to look back over those snapshots in our lives that become burned on our souls like some sort of brand. You can color over them with better experiences but they’re never truly gone. So, I am stuck with this – did I deserve it? Did I deserve to be forced to carry those memories around with me like a backpack full of rocks in an otherwise happy existence? I don’t know. It depends on who you ask, I suppose.
As I reflect, I can see the helplessness in both of their statements. Two men with broken hearts who didn’t know what to do with the pain. One girl who didn’t mean to break them and who was broken herself. But wait – I want to be very clear. They are not the same! If people were planets, they would be in alternate universes. I don’t think either of them will ever see this – I particularly hope Avalanche has somehow been permanently blocked from all aspects of my life by the patron saint of Internet security. Avalanche was a fiend. That’s friend without the very important “R”. I don’t mean to put them in the same category. I hope that’s clear. This whole paragraph makes me think I’ll never post this.
What is the point of this?
I guess I need to put it out there. There’s something about sharing that lessens the pain of bad memories. When they’re trapped in our heads, they grow roots and just live there. If we put them out there and talk about them, I don’t know, they just seem to have less power. And maybe, I think, it will help someone else deal with hurtful things that have been said to them that they just can’t seem to shake.
I don’t have an agenda for this one, friends. It just is what it is. Two people who I cared about wished that I was gone or that I was someone else entirely. Just like that. Poof! No more me and their lives would be better. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done but when someone says they’d rather you not exist, that’s a tough pill to swallow. And so I didn’t. I just shelved it. Honestly, at the time that both of these things happened, it was such a small part of what I was going through, it didn’t occur to me that it would be something that I later remembered regularly. Who knew eh?! Funny how the noggin works.
But here’s the thing. I didn’t die and I am surrounded by people who know my worth and tell me all the time. At the end of the day, what they said – they’re just words aren’t they? Yes, words are powerful and can be destructive but you know what we have to combat them? More damn words!! So, here I am, trying to minimize the power of some ugly words with some that are a bit more hopeful and inspired.
I didn’t and don’t live and die by names I’ve been called or threats that have been levied. Sticks and stones and all. There were some sticks, though, but I managed to dodge those as well. Point is, as always, our wounds are not our worth and other people’s pain and heartbreak? That’s not who we are either. So, if you’ve been told you’re worthless just know this – That person..whoever it was…took the time and energy to tell you that. They decided it was something that needed to be said to make them feel better. They were looking to make you feel small. They thought they needed to break you down. Which, dear reader, means you were already above them. So step back up on the stool, get the upper hand and get that chin up so high you can sniff the clouds.
P.S. I have absolutely nothing against exotic dancers. You do you girl (or guy)!