Updated: Nov 15
When someone shows you who they are you should believe them the first time. It’s a scary thought. There’s so much permanence in it.
My healing has been about making amends with myself, realising the ways in which my inability to forgive myself and others has caused me anguish, but also, needing to tend to the wounds that lie beneath the surface of tumultuous emotions. If everyone believed who I was when I showed them the first time - them being the audience, the public, the unknown - then maybe they’d think I wanted them to know for a fact that I was abused, and that abuse was part of a performance concerning myself and the world. Fair? Yes, I think so. But that’s not all of me. It caused me to change in ways that are permanent, to make decisions that cannot be undone, to be people who perhaps I would not have been if my life hadn't been thrown off-course. That's what I thought. Although, in reality, I have been and will continue to be so much more than the phases of who I think I am and who I think other people are. And who I show myself to be and who I perceive others to be.
It’s just that sometimes when you’ve never had anything permanent, you can’t trust the slightest inconsistency to be anything other than bittersweet inevitability. No promises need to have been made or broken. You feel something in the pit of your stomach, you know what it is, it hurts like hell, and then you let it go – briefly – till it comes back. That powerful bit of self-knowledge that says don’t ignore what you feel you know to be true, even though it would feel so good to not have this gut feeling – even though the truth is perhaps you don’t really know. Self-preservation becomes the only thing that matters.
When you realise what's not going to be good for you, you find a way to let it go. To place it in a different light. To see it clearly - without having been tainted by a prism of projections.
Everyone is correct from their own perspective and circumstances and it’s just life that those differences may be disappointing or cause friction, and unpleasantness. People will hope you are some ways, and you will hope people are some ways, and the chances that these desires will come together evenly is far-fetched. I have learnt to ignore the insecurities and abuse of others – as sad and unforgiveable as its occurrences may be – in order to wholeheartedly love myself. I simultaneously acknowledge they are just as human as me, and I am just as capable of wrongdoing as them.
Perhaps what I’m saying is being human is a scary thing. And once you really understand how scary it is, you become brutally aware that being bought as a human being is even scarier – at least to me. When people try to buy who you are you must remember that they are terrified of who you could be without them. Always. There may be some good intent behind it, some mutual aid, or need to feel like a hero. However, if your refusal to comply causes them to react negatively, that’s a warning sign. And if they continue to act like they have some sort of entitlement over not only you but the ways of the world, then, the truth is – their emptiness. Only empty people try to destroy things they don’t understand because they think it will fill them up with something they are lacking. Usually something that the thing they are attempting to destroy has.
They’re wrong, and everyone suffers. When someone shows you, they are empty, believe them the first time. Or be willing to pour all of yourself into making them feel otherwise. You might gain something in the process of convincing yourself they’re not how they are making you feel, but my life experience has taught me you lose much more and continue to feel terrible.
Recovering myself has been about seeing the worst parts of others in myself, and, knowing, that that, which is sacred, which feels honest, and true, will never escape you; however hard it may be to trust that very primal instinct. There is no joy, peace, or love, in being unable to think, feel, and act, in accordance with what you truly desire. Figuring out what you truly desire is the fun part.
The wisdom I've gained is, when people show you who they are, believe them the first time, and the second time, and the third time, and so on. Just don’t try to turn them into what you believe they are, and don’t let them do that to you either. We can wish for people to be a certain way but the only person we can actually change or control entirely is ourselves.
I value my personal space a lot, and my perspective even more. When I feel it is being manipulated, or I see, very clearly, something that looks an awful lot like prickly red ants coming out of a perfectly ripe, beautiful, red cherry - I pause. I've learnt to trust my own judgement, even when I'm supposedly wrong and someone else is supposedly right, and that learning continues.
Never break in front of people who try to put you down because you're great in ways they'll never be.