The past few weeks have been pretty tough on me emotionally. I think a lot of it started recently when I was asked to be the standardized patient for one of the healthcare programs at my school and then with the passing of both my dogs around this time last year. I love acting and I love the ability to help other people learn through hands on practice. But to be honest this case hit pretty close to home.
I was a young girl who got pregnant and had to simulate the three decisions that come along with pregnancy (keeping it, adoption, and abortion). I was unsupported by friends, family, and my ex-partner and was left conflicted on what to do and how to take care of everything. I guess sometime’s life is funny like that. It really hit hard though thinking back to what has happened over the last few months of late last year and even into this year.
It still hurts to think about it. It’s still fresh on my mind. It made me really sad and sick to think about how much I put up with and how little I did to stand up for myself. That remembering my dog that passed away one year ago yesterday made me reflect upon how my feelings were invalidated. That she “was just a dog” and that someone couldn’t understand why I cared so much because they weren’t a “person”. It made me think about one night that I had asked someone to be there for me and was made to feel so insignificant, bothersome, unreasonable, and uncomfortable in my own space that I treated myself like a dog to go sleep on the floor where my own dog normally sleeps. That I would even think it was remotely okay to do something like that. It makes me sick thinking about that and how recent it was. To see things get to a point like that, how does something like that happen? It takes two to have things get to that point and I know I bare some responsibility but I didn’t deserve the treatment I got and it’s taken me months of therapy and sessions with close people to realize and accept that.
It really pains me to write that, to be honest, I know people have told me to not think about things or to focus on the good and what’s coming my way but in all honesty I still cry when I think about what happened and how little closure I got. I think the what if’s still get to me. How much deceit went on in the whole situation and beyond that. How many things that were said that shouldn’t have been said. The things that should or shouldn’t have been done. The questions that should have been asked. I couldn’t even get through that one paragraph without having to stop to control my tears. It wasn’t some minor event and maybe some people have a hard time understanding what went on, but when you expected someone to be there for you and for them to just leave things in the way it was, you have to wonder how does it not bother them? Why weren’t there mature conversations to talk about things and remove guilt? That was the time we spent together not enough to warrant them to make sure I was okay without being blamed for why they felt their life was going downhill?
You know, I can accept when someone doesn’t want to be with me or be friends with me (albeit it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt). Sometimes relationships change, people grow, or even people may want something else, or to focus on themselves. What I struggle to accept is someone’s inability to communicate that fact effectively and tell me what went wrong. Unfortunately, i’ve learned that sometimes other people do not have this same need, or they may have the same need but they’re better at hiding it and pretending they don’t. They would rather just push you, and their feelings, away. Sometime’s they need time to pass before things hit them. I’ve had multiple people come back months or years later to talk about things and I know i’m guilty of having done it to other people.
For the past few months i’ve been reminding myself of this saying, “If not this, something better.” These words may sound stupid to some but they are true for a reason. It’s true we don’t’ always get what we want, but we get what we need. Change is inevitable. Change is good. If it was meant to be, it would have been, and if it is meant to be, it will be. But still it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt me on some level. When you cared that much about someone you would hope they would still be there for you on some level, to not leave things untied. That they wouldn’t leave you feeling like damaged goods, so worthless to them that they would toss you aside so they could play with a new toy.
But as i’ve slowly learned nobody can make you feel anything. When you feel any emotion, you can choose whether to let that feeling sweep you away or derail it and put a more positive emotion in place. Those feelings of worthlessness or being unlovable are emotions that I have control over.
Sadly, life does not always go along with our pre-conceived notions of how things should be, and people aren’t always what we want and need them to be. Life isn’t always wrapped up in a pretty package with a bow on top. I’ve witnessed that first hand and i’m witnessing it now. But I’ve also learned that sometimes the best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut and watch things as they unfold. As much as many of us would like to hope, bad habits don’t die unless people make the conscious effort to want to change. It makes me sick to watch history repeat itself. I guess on some level I did get some closure with what’s been happening and knowing some of the things said were truthful on some level. I’ve learned you can give people chances, warnings, and forgiveness but it doesn’t mean they are deserving of it or will even accept it. Sometimes people need to learn and accept for themselves what their willing or not willing to see or the behaviours they are willing to accept. I know i’ve been there and for that i’ve learned to trust my gut. When something feels off, chances are it is. I’ve also learned to value the insight of others, something I had refused to see and accept before. Sometimes we get so caught up in our situations that we often forget to take a step back and look at things as a whole. I’ve learned we often accept the love we think we deserve (ie. perks of being a wallflower reference) because we often allow our significant others to treat us how we think we deserve to be treated. Anyone with a high esteem, self confidence and love for oneself wouldn’t tolerate someone to do things like lie or cheat. Similar to how someone with low self-esteem will often settle for less than they probably deserve and therefore will be treated poorly (in the bigger picture).
Emotions that are involved with any of our intimate social interactions are no different. We expect the affection that we were raised with. If someone was affection starved in their childhood, without some serious help many individuals will not be easily able to express or receive affection as an adult. If you were nurtured in childhood you will expect no less treatment as an adult. Just as how our experiences shape our relationships. For those who have experienced something like being cheated on or having an unstable relationship it’s a similar story. The person with whom we are romantically involved may be different each time around but the same issues tend to surface. Sometimes we think we learn lessons from our old relationships but unless we truly believe that we are worthy of more the relationship will play out the same (ex. insecurities, unhappiness, jealousy, abuse, inability to trust, etc.).
Sometimes life has no explanation for something (at that moment). Sometimes we will get closure and sometimes we won’t. Maybe the lack of closure is the very lesson that I needed to learn. Maybe I needed to learn to validate myself and accept myself. That I shouldn’t be the one to always have to pick up the pieces for someone else’s happiness. That my feelings should never be invalidated because someone can’t be empathetic. That I shouldn’t tolerate people going behind my back and have to feel the need to defend their behaviour or be blamed for why they did something wrong or are still doing it whether to me or to other people when there’s absolutely no excuse for it. There’s no excuse for being “young and stupid” especially when it’s just plain wrong. That in the end sometimes life sends a message that I need to grow in order to protect my own self-worth and focus on my own potential.
I don’t know what the future holds but there are somethings that I wish would happen. I also want to grow as a person and be the best person I can be and I know it takes time to heal and i’ve been working on that as best as I can. Sometimes it sucks how slow it is and how certain things I thought would help just haven’t fallen into place. But I know that’s life.