I once wrote for another blog in celebration of not letting go of all the people that have populated your heart. That was almost two years ago and I’ve grown a little in my viewpoint.
The end of a relationship (or a friendship) is like a death that only two people know about. That’s a line from the movie Serious Moonlight though I added in the friendship part. I think the death part of it is true, but what happens when one of the two doesn’t accept the end of it and denies that there is no hope of going back?
Since my nervous breakdown in the late ’90s, I have lived in a world of hope. I hang on to all of my “well, one day…” thoughts because that’s what gets me through it all. I have cherished the good pieces of my past and continue to hoard them like a child does her favorite toys. My blind acceptance that I might one day be able to find that old friend from middle school or mend broken fences with people from high school or even find closures for the troubles in my 20s … that belief is what sustains me and lends strength to get through the darker days. These hopes are tied together with my hope that there will – one day – be no more dark days for me.
If I give up hope that those connections are over, my twisted mind says that I have to give up hope for everything.
Now, when I step outside myself, I know this not to be true. Hope is not an all or nothing type of thing to have.
The two are NOT connected.
But on the inside of me… to get around this, my mind has treated all relationships, platonic and romantic, as if they just stepped off the pages of a Harlequin romance novel where second chances are what life is made for. Oh, believe me — I’ve always understood that more often than not, my thought processes are different from most folks. It never occurred to me though, that it was not natural to love most of those people forever. I believed that it normal for everyone — that once a true connection through trust, friendship and love was created then you would want those people in your life in one form or another always… even if great chunks of time are needed to pass to heal old wounds. Eventually the full circle complete itself.
Yes, I know of the adages that say something along the lines of: through your bus journey of life, some people only get on for a few stops. I’m good with that. Those are acquaintances that impacted your life or perhaps those who weren’t healthy for you. Those are the people that those clichés are referring to, right?
A wonderful friend finally got it through my thick skull that the bus analogy is the way that most people move through your life, even the best of friends. She was even able to get my mind to wrap around the fact that it is okay to have friendships END and you can still care about them without them continuing to play a major role in your day to day living. It is natural to have them move on. It is healthy to have a life so full that you no longer need certain people in your life any longer. And that’s all right.
Yes, there may be one or two people from your past during your lifetime that you will be able to pick right back up from where you started, but it’s rare.
For most folks, it is a good thing to let go and allow the normal cycles of beginnings and endings occur without regret. That was huge for me to learn and accept this week.
It is also a good thing to learn and accept that this kind of letting go will have to become a learned skill because it does not come natural to me and that’s okay too.
Two reasons… one is that giving love and trust is something really difficult for me to do. The first and last time I completely trusted anyone was in middle school. So if I get to have that with someone, you can probably imagine how difficult that may be for me to just walk away from without fighting for it.
The second is the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that I live with which means that I get to relive moments (good & bad) of my life over and again as if they were happening right now. And that is not in my control. So for those *normal people*, our friendships ended a long time ago. But for me, when that song from Sting or Foreigner or Journey plays then I am right back living those moments in the here and now. For me. when I smell that night-time jasmine or orange blossoms then I am transported back to the past and that friend and I are walking hand in hand around the neighborhood. Some one I used to know will be a character name in a book or a television show I hear so I get to feel all those emotions with the same intensity that I did all those years ago.
The past never goes away for me … everyone and all those feelings are always with me.
And sometimes it is really hard for me to fathom that there are people out there whose hearts and minds don’t work the same as mine do.
I’m getting there though.
xoxo ~ Melissa