Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just Between Us

I talked to a friend of mine last night, and something she said won't leave my thoughts.  Her words made their way into my dreams, and haunted me again this morning during my run.  I couldn't understand what it was about her proclamation that affected me the way it had, and I think I’m only just beginning to grasp why. Perhaps as I write this post, which is what happens often, I’ll finally see the clarity into why her words hurt me.

I’m sure by now you’re asking, “Well, what the hell did she say?”  I’m also sure you’re expecting it to be something profound and revelatory, especially now that I’ve put those thoughts into your head.  But I doubt that’s the case.

My friend is in love.  She’s met a great guy and they’ve been talking a lot lately and I can’t help but revel in her excitement.  I like talking with her because her enthusiasm is infectious.  It’s even more so when we hang out together in person because I can just feel positive energy emit from her body in warm waves.  I strive to someday be that happy, but I suppose I’d like it to be on my own terms  -not because someone else is involved.  I sincerely believe that if someone else is the cause of such happiness, it also means they have the power to control it.

I kept a smile on my face as she chattered along at what felt like a million miles a second (I do the same when I’m excited) until she said something that literally made me wince and cringe and I felt a sharp pang run through my body – almost like the way my body seized when I dumped that bucket of ice water over my head the other day.  She said, “I wish I could tell the world about this wonderful guy and how happy he makes me, but he’s such a private person and has asked me to keep our relationship just between the two of us.  It’s nobody else’s business and would cause unnecessary trouble.”

I get that, I really do.  I have some very private friends, and I try to respect their privacy as much as I can.  But there’s this part of me that just wants to scream and slap them all upside the head and tell them all to go fuck themselves.   Before anyone gets all defensive, let me explain.

I’ve SEEN, FELT, EXPERIENCED and SUFFERED under the blanket of secrecy.  Predators, liars, cheaters, abusers, cons, and manipulators work behind secret smoke screens.  They can only be successful as long as their victims keep their mouths shut.  That’s why I’m such an open person, because I’ve been victim… perhaps to every one of those.  I grew up in a lie. My silence aided in my abuse and the destruction of my family.  I’ve been lied to, cheated on, and used because I’m naïve.  I want to believe the best in people, but people let me down all the time and they hurt me tremendously.   Last year I had a ‘friend’ who was the best friend anyone could ask for, so encouraging, so supportive, said all the right things for all the big changes I was going through.  But, he wanted to remain ‘private’ because he didn’t want his other friends to be jealous.  Turns out… he had several other private best friends, and a wife, and a few lovers on the side.  Though we were only talking, I felt so betrayed, because I know had I not discovered his deception our relationship could have become more and I a bigger victim. It was a wakeup call.  Yet a lesson I still have yet to learn.

I refuse to live in secret, because that is my strength.  I have nothing to hide in this world, and nothing in which to be ashamed.  I make mistakes, bad decisions, am prone to foolishness and embarrass the hell out of myself all the time, but I’m honest.  I try to show the best of me as much as I can, but I don’t hide the ugly parts either.  I am exactly what you see.  While I change with every experience, I’m not a different person at different times.  I am simply me.  Love me, hate me, admire me, despise me – it doesn’t make a difference.  YOUR opinion can hurt me, but it won’t change me.

I do my best to try and respect my friends privacies because it’s who they are and I don’t try to change who they are… but they should respect me too… they should know and understand that I’m not like them.  If they don’t want the world to know they’re my friend, then they shouldn’t be my friend.  Because my true friends would know how secrets and lies hurt me.  I can keep intimacies private, I’m not an idiot, so don’t ever ask me to keep my relationship private, because that will be the moment you’ll lose me.  That wounded little girl that lives inside me is getting bolder and stronger.  She whispers to me, “If they can’t claim you in public, they sure as fuck don’t deserve you in private.” Even Jesus said something similar – “If you deny me before men, I’ll deny you before my Father, and say I never knew you.”

This post isn’t about my friend or her new boyfriend.  I wish her the best.  With all my heart I hope he’s not a liar and a cheat – because that’s often the biggest reason for privacy.  This post is about me discovering another of my triggers – those things and issues that set me off and sends me spiraling.  The more I understand those things that hurt me, the more I learn to maneuver around them and purge them from my life.  These last couple of years have been a huge journey for me – I’ve done so much purging and so much  refilling – and the transformation has been amazing.  Learning to love yourself is not easy – because it requires taking a huge dose of truth.  Truth hurts, but deception, especially self-deception, destroys.

What saddens me most – is knowing that tomorrow will most likely change in light of this new revelation.  NOTHING is guaranteed, no relationship is granted, no promise that those I love and admire today will even be in my world tomorrow.  I wish with my whole heart there were certainties, people and things I could count on that would always be there – but that’s probably been the biggest lesson I’ve learned. Again, I say, NOTHING is guaranteed. The ONLY person that I will find for sure in my tomorrow, should I live until tomorrow, is ME.  That’s why it’s so important that I learn to love me, to trust me, to find happiness and peace within me.  I’m the only person that will be there with me until the end.

I say, “I’m sorry” in advance for those who I will leave behind.  You either love me or you don’t. I’m so tired of wasting my time on people who won’t love me, don’t love themselves, or don’t have the balls to be honest.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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