I hate it when memories come out of nowhere to haunt me. I’ll be cooking dinner, then BAM. I suddenly remember the times when I was told I cooked dinner wrong. I remember the feeling of getting everything that made me…me picked away. Slowly, over time until I felt like an empty shell.
That is the worst feeling in the world.
And what is worse, what makes me ache on the inside, is that I let it happen. I sat by silently as I listened to all the things I did wrong. It’s funny, that a twenty-something year old woman who just graduated college couldn’t even go to sleep at the correct time.
When I finally broke, I cried every single day. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Never in my life had I ever experienced something so soul breaking hard. But I still stayed in that situation. It got to the point where we wouldn’t say one word to each other for days. But if I went home to visit my parents and friends, it turned into this big ordeal, like I was a horrible person for leaving. Yes, he was going through something horrible. But I waited until it was done before going, and even asked permission first….permission.
When these memories strike me, I get brought back in time to when I was broken, sitting on the kitchen floor crying while he played his game. Or sitting in a Chili’s booth unable to stop myself from crying while he just stared at me. At first, I tense up, hating that time period in my life. Then hope surrounds me. I am not there anymore. I am not that person.
When I left and moved back home to my parents, I pretended that time never happened. Of course, pretending doesn’t really make the bad go away. It festers and builds up until it spills over and unleashes the ugliness. For the most part, I am fantastic at hiding the ugliness. I push it down into what I call the pit of despair that resides in my gut. But that isn’t healthy. I have learned that the hard way.
So when it all comes back, instead of pushing it into the pit of despair, I let the pain and memories wash over me. I feel every jab of emotion as it moves around inside me.
I let it go. And over time, the pain becomes a little less. Because I am not that same girl who hid in the bathroom for hours. I am not that same girl who didn’t talk for days because I didn’t want to interrupt a video game and get yelled at. I am a stronger person today than I was then.
And I am not broken anymore.