Tag Archives: hurt

Helpless.

“How dare you.

There was a tragedy placed before me and those were the three words that rang through my mind. They were at the very forefront, refusing to be ignored.

“How dare you.”

I filled in the silence that followed:

“How dare you be so selfish. How dare you be so wrapped up in your own damn mind that, even as this story is being shared with you, you can’t push away your pain. How dare you be holding back tears because of your ‘pain’ when there are so many people in this world who are going through SO MUCH WORSE things than you. You are being selfish. You need to get outside yourself. You need to be there for the people around you. You are so consumed with the fact that no one has reached out to you that you’ve stopped reaching out to others. You’ve isolated yourself. You can barely handle other people’s pain because you can’t handle your own. How dare you. You are supposed to be able to carry other people burdens. Why can’t you put yours aside for a moment? Why can’t you get out of your own head? You should be taking care of people- loving people. Isn’t that what you do? You haven’t been doing that lately. You don’t even care about the people around you. You’re being selfish, only caring about yourself. How dare you. This is not how you are supposed to act. You need to snap out of this. It’s ridiculous. You need to get up. You need to do something. All you want is for someone to see you and, yet, you keep to yourself. You want people to ask how you are and then lie when they do. How dare you. How dare you get so wrapped up in your own problems like this. You are supposed to be better than this. What you are dealing with is nothing- NOTHING- compared to other peoples pain. How dare you. How dare you. How dare you.

I had no words to fight back and other peoples pain layered itself on my own and tears came to my eyes and weight came to my arms and my hands shook and my breath fought against me and I tried to think of ways I could help and my mind swirled and I wondered if there was anything that could be done and sadness hit me again and again and again until I fell. Helpless.

-Melissa

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Two.

I do much better in the daylight.

But it was dark. And cold. All the curtains were drawn so that no one could see in. It was meant to keep them out. But I was kept in. And I was very aware of my heartbeat.

Calm down. You’re fine.

I was fine. I’m fine. I. am. fine. My breath though… it was more shallow than normal. My heart rate was speeding up.

Would you stop? You’re fine. 

Yes, I had to stop. But my head felt funny. I couldn’t think straight. Why couldn’t I breathe like a normal person? Why could I feel my heartbeat so clearly? Am I okay? What should I do? I can’t sit hear anymore. Pacing. No stop. I’m fine. Am I safe here? I can’t stand anymore. Sitting. The floor.

For goodness sake. You’re fine. You know you’re fine. You’re being dramatic. Just breathe.

Just breathe… I can’t! I can’t get enough air. Why is my breath so shallow? Aren’t I breathing? My chest hurts. Should I… call someone? Text someone? What would I even sa–

No! You are fine. You are in control. You do not need to get a hold of anyone. No one would be able to do anything anyway. And you know that it’s no big deal! You’re working yourself up for nothing! It’s all in your head. You are fine! Pull yourself together. Why are you so dramatic?! Just breathe like a normal person!

How do I calm down? I want something… comforting. Something warm.

Tea.

Tea… Tea. Do I have tea? Why didn’t I bring tea! Why didn’t I bring enough of anything?! I’m supposed to be more prepared than this!

Your backpack. Are there still some tea bags in your backpack?

Backpack…. Yes! There’s tea. Lemon.

Good. Go make it and calm down.

Calm down.

Calm down.

-Melissa

Unseen.

Quietly, I shut the door behind me, the light disappearing as it closed. Silently, I slipped up the steps, hoping this was okay. I had ignored the “authorized personnel only” sign on the door. No one saw me enter and once I was in the balcony, no one below had reason to turn around. I was safe.

One empty chair was there. I grabbed it and began to roll it closer to his, which drew his attention for the first time. Surprise lit his face as he said hello. In typical fashion, he reached for my hand and shook it, doing some handshake I had never been able to catch on to. Then he pulled me closer for a hug and told me it was good to see me. It was good to see him too.

“We’ve missed you.”

I just smiled.

If he had said, “I’ve missed you,” I would have been able to respond that I missed him too. That I wish I could see him more. But he said “we” and I didn’t know who “we” was and I couldn’t say anything polite back while still being truthful. So I just smiled.

If I missed the “we” I assume he was talking about, I wouldn’t have had to sneak up to this vantage point. I could have walked in like a normal person and sat on the ground level in the chairs with all the normal people. But I knew they would be among the normal people, and so I couldn’t.

He was the only one of them I felt comfortable around. The one who had treated me kindly. More than that. He treated me like I had value. He saw beyond what he could get from me and saw into who I was. And not only did he see that, but he accepted that. He accepted me for who I was. He still does. And I can smile and laugh and talk with him without faking everything. He saw me in a world where I had been glanced over. A world in which, if I was seen, it was only to look briefly down on me, as if I was some annoyance to remove. Not worth the time they were forced to devote to me.

Before the show had ended, I felt the need to get out before anyone saw me. I leaned over and whispered that I had to go and he hugged me again. I told him it was good to see him and he told me it was good to see me too. He said, “Come back again” and without thinking, I replied with a simple, “I will.”

And maybe I will. But only when it’s safe. And when there are a couple of people wondering around him that are not safe, I can’t make any guarantees.

I slipped back down the stairs and out the door. Through the lobby, quickly, without even a glance around and made my way outside. As I made it through the double doors unseen, the fresh air hit me and I took a few steps before my air threatened to leave me. I stood still, trying to breathe, a relief at being out running through me and pulling tears to my eyes. I stood for a good moment like that, trying to not let sadness and hurt and disappointment and death and sweet relief overwhelm me.

They sure did do a number on me, didn’t they?

Remember the entry where I wrote about having to leave good things behind when you left bad things? He’s one of the good things. And it sucks having to leave those good things behind.

But I can’t face the bad things.

-Melissa

Excuses.

I was trying to think of how to explain why I was 24 minutes late in turning in my paper. The prof I was trying to turn it in to is one of the most gracious people I know so he probably would have accepted any excuse. But I literally couldn’t write one.

Not that I didn’t have one.

But her words were in my head. Her words. “Results, not excuses.” Pounded into my brain a dozen times, directed at me when I wasn’t the only student in the room. When she called me out by name to say those words.

As if I did something wrong. As if I did something bad. Her unwillingness to hear me explain. Her unwillingness to believe that there could be anything valid for me not doing something perfectly. For me not understanding something.

As if I needed more guilt.

And tears filled my eyes and all I could think was: Shit. She got in my head.

So I said I was sorry for turning in the paper 24 minutes late. I said I would explain, but I’d been taught not to. And then I gave him the paper.

I have no idea why this hurts.

-Melissa

Outburst.

You know what absolutely sucks? Leaving bad things behind.

It’s not that part that sucks, really. It’s the fact that when you leave bad things behind, you inevitably leave good things behind too. And the good things.. let’s be honest- not things, people. When you leave the good people behind, they don’t really know why you left. They don’t know how much the bad things hurt you or how much it hurts to leave the good people. They don’t understand the pain that fills you when you think about going back. They don’t know you can’t let yourself think about them because it hurts much too much to do so. They don’t know how much you had to fake it or the kind of front you put up just so you’d survive.

And then you feel bad because you left them behind. And you know, you know, you know, you know, that you can’t go back. And you can’t do that again. And it’s the reason part of you is dead. It’s a piece of you that your body literally would do better without because it’s trying to infect the parts of you that are still alive. But still. You feel bad. Because you were good. You just had to be so freaking good to some people that now that you’re gone, they miss you. And leaving people like that really isn’t in your job description because you know what it’s like. And you want to be there for everyone if only they weren’t there. You know, that place you can’t go because… well you don’t know why.

But you know that you have to go back soon and the thought strikes you with fear and makes you crazy. Because why would you want to return to a place that saw so much of your pain? Why would you want to return to a place that stole hours and hours and hours from you that you’ll never get back? A place filled with emotion and pain and hurt but also with comfort because, hell! it’s all you knew for four years of your life. But at some point, a home turned into a prison and, for crying out loud, you still can’t figure out which one is it.

You just feel bad because you left all the good things along with all of the bad things. And you just wonder how long they’re going to keep hurting you.

-Melissa

Three.

Once.

You had me at hello

Once

I can see the moment

Perfectly held

Perfectly preserved

Once

To stay indefinately

Oh, honest?

Much longer

But he, in that image,

Ceases to be

And me, in that image,

Long gone, my dear

You have become merely a whisper

Of worry once held

Laughter now is laced with freedom

Once, it was with longing

Once

But yesterday is more distant

Today is tomorrow

Once is a memory

And once was enough

Refuse.

Just a whisper

Not heard, but seen

I embrace anxiety like an old friend

Warm and inviting

Your pain filling my chest

Spreading through each vein

Until every bit of me is shaking

You ask for words

I have none

Nothing to ease this moment

Nothing to stop your pain

Or this shaking

My breath soon leaves me

Unbearable worry to blame

I refuse to be consumed.

So I fight for breath

I fight for words

I’ll fight for you

Your pain as an effective fuel

Helpless in reality

Nothing to offer but presense

Nothing to offer but prayer

(And I’ve heard prayer moves mountains)

Fool.

I’m so f***ing invincible

Because I have to be

Powerful, able

I can’t be overcome

Strong, I stand firm

Unyeilding

Able to lift and then

Carry along the weight

Of the world

Without breaking

I don’t even come close

Nothing can hurt me

Nothing can touch me

I’m unreachable

I am quite aware

I’m not fooling you

I’m probably not fooling

Anyone

But let me fool myself

Let me believe I can’t be broken

The hope is when hurt

Surrounds me on every side

I won’t feel it when it hits

-Melissa

Missing you.

Someone asked me the other day how I ever could have been friends with you.

For once, I tried to put myself in his shoes. Really, in their shoes. Because I know he wasn’t the only one. I knew how… hard you could be. I knew, vaguely, how other people saw you.

And I listened as he tried to explain why it never made sense that you and I were friends. How it never made sense to anyone. He said the same about another one of my friends too. Honestly, he doesn’t see much clearly. But I understand what he was saying. I mean… sort of. I understand what he thought he saw.

But that’s just the thing. He didn’t see you. He thought he did.

But he didn’t see the first time you spoke to me. I sat there quietly, just like I always do, and you made conversation with me. You know, I don’t remember the moment I first meet someone. Most of the time, you just wake up one day and you’re friends with someone and you can’t remember the moment it started. But I remember you. Because I could tell you…saw me. Do you know how rarely that happens?

He also didn’t see the time I had to deal with a death surrounded by people I barely knew. You were the only person here that I could tell. He didn’t see the way your face fell when I told you. You had no reason for your face to fall. You didn’t know them. But you let yourself feel my pain.

He thought he saw you. And maybe he did. But it wasn’t the real you. It was the hard you. The you others couldn’t see past. The you people were afraid of. Who pushed people away. Who constantly built up your walls, higher and higher. But he didn’t see that crack in your walls. Just barely big enough to let a grain of sand get through. And I got through.

I just… I didn’t know how many layers of walls there were. Not that that would have changed anything. Okay. Maybe it would have. Because I do hope I would have fought a hell of a lot harder than I did at the end.

What terrifies me now is that I know you’ve pushed me out. And you repaired that crack in that one wall. And your walls got higher. Stronger. And I’m… terrified you won’t let any one else find another crack. I’m afraid you’ve repaired them all so perfectly that no one else will even be able to think about getting through to you. I’m afraid you wake up every morning and take a walk around the wall, a bucket of mortar in your hand, and fill all the cracks, even add another layer of cement where you think it might be weak. And then, when you get a chance, you go out an buy a few more bricks and make the wall thicker and taller. And it’s just this ongoing process where you make sure that no one sees you.

Which… I don’t even think you see you. Actually, I know you don’t. Because you choose to see the you other people see in you.

Ha.

Not me. Other people.

Because you never believed any of what I told you.

Oh, what did I tell him? When he asked why I had ever been friends with you?

I told him he never saw the you that I did. He didn’t see the way you talked to me. The way you cared for me. The way you were literally there for me whenever I needed you. I told him about the time when, at four in the morning, you were begging me to come outside to talk because you knew how badly I felt. Because you knew how much pain I was in and you knew I needed to talk about it.

I told him he didn’t actually see you.

Missing you.

-Melissa