In light of my emo week I was having when I wrote “Throwing Tantrums”, here is a very overly dramatic piece on the subject of being emotionally injured. No matter how seemingly minuscule the offense, it can still end up hurting. No one that I know of has ever been made to feel better, or feel the hurt any less, by being told to “get over it”. Someone I know once likened the feeling to trying to retrieve a bone from a dog. The more you fight it, the harder the dog latches on. Therefore the more you fight your anger and sadness, the more heightened each emotion becomes. So I say: embrace the hyperbole and feel everything with its full intensity. Be one with your inner angsty, hormonal teenager. One day you will have the privilege of laughing at it from a wiser, more experienced vantage point.
I am not an all forgiving saint. I admire the virtue of unconditional kindness in the face of ingratitude but I feel myself dampened with each experience. A part of my self-worth has been stolen from me, leaving me redolent of resentment. An accumulation of bad experience leads me to lash out at the next unsuspecting victim. One person selfishly takes from you and soon the world has changed. The well-meaning are now obsequious and clasping at you, eager to benefit from you as much as they can.
In my bitterness I lose my right to indulge in the moral high ground. I am a stuck on repeat, mauling the ears of the once sympathetic with the obsession of my injustice. All people can see is the decaying carcass of a cynic in comparison to the perfectly flourishing accused. I am left with the part of me that has been killed after dealing with this newfound hurt and disappointment.
The emotional wound can either be attended to and heal or it is left alone, gaping and infected until the limb must be amputated. Then you are left with this large, empty space. The false limb pretends to carry you when in actual fact you are newly disabled with the loss of hopefulness. It is stifling your full potential. You have to work around your cynicism. You’re adjusting to this new life, attempting to go on as before, all the while being unable to escape the burden of distrust.
I sink into self-indulgent deprecation. This hurt assists in solidifying a sense of inaptness. Instead of working through it, I choose the easy option. I ease into lassitude. I willingly accept that I am defective in some way. I don’t build up my strengths or work on my weaknesses. I stare self-pityingly at the phantom limb. I imagine it’s still there -that hope and that eagerness. But I don’t work at rebuilding it. My flaws feel overwhelming. Can I say that I’m kind if I’ve been unjustly cruel? Can I say that I’m smart when I’ve made stupid decisions? Can I say that I’m friendly when I’ve also been distant? Can I say that I’m generous, when I’ve been stingy?
But I don’t have to say any of these things. To those who have experienced my cruel side, that is who I am. Those who have only experienced kindness from me, they will see me as a good person. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m either but that I am a mix of both. I have the time and will to better myself. I can still choose what I am to become.
P.S I don’t want to undermine phantom limb syndrome in anyway, I’m just being melodramatic. I’m very sorry to those of you out there with real problems. I can’t even imagine what it’s like.