I cleaned my room out today instead of doing the work I should’ve done (shhh mum I’ll get it done). I’m not a sentimental person, I don’t like clutter, and sometimes things accumulate. I regularly throw away things I kept for no real reason. Objects don’t hold memories or feelings for me, so I don’t hold onto them very tightly.
I do keep some things. Cards and letters mostly. When I moved away from a close friend when I was 18 we wrote letters to each other weekly for over a year. They never fizzled, we decided to stop because we knew we were reopening old stitches instead of letting things heal. I have countless letters from her still. I have letters from other friends, birthday cards, a poem my mum wrote me when I was 16. Another letter she wrote me when she was the most depressed I remember.
The ones I read through today were from 4 people that have been monumental in my life. None of them are still a feature in my days. Each letter outlined big mistakes they had made, sometimes directly, sometimes inferred. Things that had ripped me apart at the time, that I thought I would never recover from. Some of these things I still think about, others I can’t believe got to me the way they did. I guess it goes to show how different relationships can be. One mistake in a friendship could be the end, but the same action in another would barely be addressed.
The other thing all 4 letters talked about was how I didn’t deserve those mistakes. They all talked about their own issues and problems that they had to address, and how I got the brunt of their emotional immaturity. They all talked about how loyal I am, how I’m kind and one of the most important people in their lives. It was lovely to read for about a millisecond… and then it kind of felt like someone spitting in my face.
If I’m really that person to all these people, then why do I keep getting hurt?
I’m trying to let go of that feeling. I know these things weren’t my fault. I can’t control how people fuck up, but I can control how I react to their actions.
Sometimes things break and you can glue them back together. They never look quite the same but they’re whole. Big pieces that make sense and just need stability until the glue dries.
Sometimes when things break, they shatter into these little pieces you can pick up. They cut your hands and leave you wounded while you try to search for all the parts that you know you’ll never find again. Still, you push them together and fill the gaps in attempt to fix it all up nice and pretty.
Sometimes when things break they shatter into pieces so small you can barely see them anymore. They’re gone forever. Until that strand of light reaches where they fell and they glitter.
Maybe those broken relationships are the glitter in my life. They caused me so much pain for so long that I was always scared to look back at them and see how I feel now. I know, intellectually, that it wasn’t my fault that things fell apart. But I’ve been carrying this weight around inside me that maybe I could’ve just been a little bit better, easier, more adaptable. Ultimately in my head, I’m the common denominator that allows people to keep hurting me. We spend so long talking about how broken we are, how fucked up the world is and all the trauma we’ve had to deal with that excuses our poor behaviour that hurts the people around us. When we are the ones that get hurt we forget to look for that shine once the pain subsides. It’s not the thing we had at the start, but it’s still pretty spectacular