Over the years, I feel I’ve lost any and all faith I’ve ever had in humanity, and if you’ve lived long enough, you probably have too. And if you’ve ever experienced abuse, neglect, divorce, or anything else that’s just a sure-fire way to kill innocence to the point of no return, then you know how hard it can be to restore that faith, being that you ever do at all.
It’s kind of a slap in the face. You walk through hell thinking all the while that once you get to the other side, things will be better. The monsters will all go away. You’ll have solved your problems and be sent on your merry way to the life you’ve been dreaming of. But we all know that’s not how it works. Because in reality, you get to one end of hell and are told to walk back through the fire again. You haven’t reached your destination quite yet. Of course, some people never get out of hell, they just learn how to deal with the heat and learn how to make themselves as comfortable as possible, those who wander back and forth through the fiery pits hoping one day they’ll meet someone with an extinguisher.
And then there are those who never experience difficulties at all, and who don’t know that hell exists, much less that there are people like you and me walking around down below. I don’t know why these people are so lucky, or even if they’re lucky at all. Because you see, the flames, they build character. They build giant walls and isolate us in our troubles and create other trust-related issues, yes, but they also make us stronger and wiser. Because we come out of a difficult situation with a different perspective on life. We no longer panic when similar situations arise; we’re smarter than before and we know what to do. We’re stronger and can anticipate what’s coming next and strategize on how to best handle it. Hell makes for a hell of a human being, let me tell ya…but it also creates some other problems too, the ones I mentioned before.
Our problems make us weary of the world. We who have walked through the flames of hell no longer trust as easily as we once did and are no longer as open as we once were. We do things cautiously and with question. Because what it means to take someone’s innocence is to kill their trust, to strike fear into their hearts and to take their hope from things ever getting better. It means to take the faith they once had in their fellow man and crush it like you crush their soul. And sometimes, with the right amount of healing, it gets better. The burns eventually scar over, and sooner or later, those scars fade away.
I don’t know if my scars will ever fade, that is to say, that I don’t know if I will ever trust in people again. I don’t know if my faith in humanity will ever be restored or my innocence returned. And right now, I feel as though I’m supposed to make the most of what I have, and to start rebuilding and healing the damage that the flames of hell have inflicted upon me. And it’s not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of people whom I feel have pushed me into this hell and ultimately put me through what I feel was a very unnecessary battle for a few moments of joy, or whatever they got out of it. It’s not easy to forgive those people. It’s not easy to feel like you have to forgive them, or that it’s necessary. It’s not easy to WANT to forgive them. Nothing is easy about facing the people who hurt you, who gave up on you, who lead you down a road you never had any business being on, and who took advantage of your love, your trust and your naivety to get what they wanted regardless of who it hurt or who’s life it ruined. And it’s certainly not easy when those people don’t know, and who probably don’t remember or even care what they did. But you have to start somewhere.
Sometimes it’s easier to stuff everything into a big bag and forget about it for a while. Nothing ever happened and these problems don’t exist. It’s easy to think like that until the bag starts getting heavier and heavier, and you realize that you’re just lugging a bunch of shit around that you don’t need and will never need. The only thing is, you can’t just toss the bag off a bridge and be done with it, because the bag is actually surgically attached to your head, kind of like a tumor. You have to treat it and deal with it. Doctors can prescribe some medicine to help it go down some, and you might just find a pill that gets rid of it entirely. Other times, you have to just stick a pin in your head and watch all the bad stuff ooze out. And it’s whatever works for you, so long as it doesn’t grow back.
To conclude this monstrosity, I’d just like to say that a majority of us are all walking around with giant, brain-eating tumors through the unbearable heat that is Hell, and we as a society need not turn up the oven or make it anymore uncomfortable than it already is. Be nice to each other. If you’ve yet to taste the flames, be grateful. Be happy that you’ve never had to go through anything that has taken such a toll on so many other people. Have empathy. Know that nobody chooses to be in pain, and that there are many who have been hurt and burned and who don’t quite know how to recover, or maybe they’re working on it like I am. Having faith in people, or even yourself, is no easy task. It’s very easy to be discouraged.
I’m taking this a day at a time. I still panic, and sometimes (like just this morning), I leave my house to take Jake to the bus stop and find myself sprinting for the front door on the way home. The outside world has become foreign and dangerous to me. People are not easy to even be near, much less hold conversations with. But I’m working on it. And one day I think I might be okay. I’ve traveled through hell and now I’m walking back again. What’s on the other side, I have no idea…
§Rainbows & Skeletons§