Yesterday I fell skinning my left knee and leaving the right bruised. I couldn't walk without pain this morning and I was reminded that I don't remember the last time I (physically) hurt myself. Emotionally on the other hand I'm realizing has been pretty consistent.
In a bizarre bout of communication, I sat on the phone for 85 minutes today with a person I haven't seen nor spoken to in any sort of way in about 3 years. A person who I am not and was never friends with yet fond of from the moment we met. I don't generally talk on the phone but this man reached out and said he could really use my ear right now. So I listened.
Only because it wasn't my story, was I able to let the pain, sadness and confusion he emitted pass through me. In so many ways I identified with him and in just as many ways I identified with her. It's easy to see both sides when you're not directly involved. He admitted that he had given up things he loved for her. Pieces of what made him, him. Not because she had asked him to, but because it became clear that his light made her uncomfortable. To the world she's shiny and bright and positive and motivational to the masses yet he has been privy to the woman no one else sees. The one who doesn't know who she is without him. The one who doesn't believe she's beautiful, seeks validation everywhere and smothers her shadows with affirmations. I don't know what will become of their story but it gave me food for thought.
There's been this underlying universal vibration of the need for self love over the past few months. This is reflected in both his and her sides of the story. What resonated most strongly for me were the different versions of her. The one I see now, the one I knew back before either of us knew him and the one she now hides from the world. Mirror mirror on the wall...part of me is her.
Before moving to NY I was bright and smiley and mostly confident. I expressed myself freely without much thought about what I was saying and definitely didn't censor myself. While that may or may not have been the most ideal way to live (who's to say?) I was comfortable in my skin, spoke my mind and mostly listened to my heart.
I partially blame myself. I am embarrassed that I was weak enough to let it happen. I was angry that my ex had been right. I was told by my best friend that my emotion surrounding the situation was "too heavy" which left me afraid to burden anyone by speaking about it. I began to lose my voice, to hide my shadows and to swallow and internalize my "negative" and "heavy" emotions the night I was raped.
I keep seeing these posts and quotes around social media about how you have to tell the truth even if your voice shakes and how you have to speak up and if people don't like what you say then they should have behaved better. I barked at someone recently about how he needed to deal with his emotions and though I still believe that, the same is true for me and I'm just now feeling it. There's something powerful and freeing about releasing your story and being heard that brings about healing. I've been here before in a different life. Shutting it all away and choosing to edit carefully so you focus on and only show the world anything bright and inspiring and sparkly doesn't actually solve the problem. I am an amazing editor but it's time to release the monsters I've been trying to hide from myself and everyone else. Time to wear my wounds and tell the whole, often ugly truth.