Hurt people, hurt people. I believe I heard this saying for the first time as a senior in high school. I won’t say that I didn’t understand what it meant, however I didn’t take it serious. I wasn’t hurt (at least I didn’t think so) and no one was hurting me. That was my mindset at that time. And at that time in life, you couldn’t do much to change anything I had my mind made up on. But what I failed to realize is literally at the same time I was refusing to hear and fully comprehend that statement, I was hurting everyone around me. And it would take years for me to even notice.
This past year, I lost just about every friend I considered close. These weren’t associates, they were my family. I had welcomed and become content with the idea that they would be there forever; until they weren’t.
At the end of each relationship I found myself blaming them for every single thing that went wrong. To me, I played no parts because the dissolution of the friendships weren’t ever my goals. I didn’t want to lose them. The decisions to part were all made by them, all unbeknownst to me. Initially, I never stopped to think what made them make those choices. Good riddance was all that I could say to anyone who would ask. I didn’t have a heads up, I was in the dark. I was pissed and so many other things but it didn’t matter. Until I started to miss them.
I would find myself missing conversations. I’d be in own personal turmoil and needed their advice. My best friend since kindergarten was one and for the first time in life that I could remember, I couldn’t call her. I was devastated. All I wanted at those points were answers as to why. But what I thought I needed from them, slowly I understood I would only be able to find within myself.
What I had failed to do was step back and look at what role I could have played. There were things put out as far as my character that I had dismissed. One day I started thinking well maybe some of what my old friends were saying were valid points. I took the time to really comb through the accusations and find out what was going on. Now, by no chance did I claim ALL of others thoughts of me to be true. But it was fact that they were hurt by actions of mines. So I took the time to pick out the toxic traits I recognized and even those I hadn’t and pin point how to work on them so that no one else would feel these ways at my hands. I was holding myself accountable. It was necessary for my own personal growth, it really didn’t have much to do with them.
Accountability goes hand and hand with responsibility. What I hope to achieve in this post, is getting the point across that it is our responsibilities to own up to our actions, recognize when those actions are causing damage to ourselves and others, and then taking the necessary steps to heal. Something I haven’t always done.
For me, in order to heal, the next step was admitting that there was something in me that needed to be healed. Most people carry on as if they are fine. I was saying good riddance and throwing play parades that they decided to leave. “If they don’t want to be here then I don’t need them.” All things masking how I truly felt which was hurt, confused, angry, disappointed and so many others. I did need them. I did miss them. I had to be honest with ME. There was no other way to start the process.
Today I am still working on eliminating those toxic traits. It’s no battle won overnight, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth fighting. It is necessary. To be clear, some of those people may have just reached their ending point in my life and it was time for them to move on to their own destinies. That is something I had to realize as well. Whatever the case, their purposes in my life were to show me things in myself I may have not had the chance to identify this early on. It’s okay to make mistakes. But it becomes an issue once you see that there may be a problem, and instead of doing the work to fix it, you repeat the same things.
I wonder sometimes about why it is such a tough thing admitting pain. Along with not admitting our pain, we pick it up and carry it with us for so long until there’s a cycle. A cycle where we aren’t satisfied until someone else bears the same scars we do. Eventually the level of hurt people rise and healing never comes. What this post is about is looking into ourselves and asking what can we do to break the vicious chain that is damaging so many. And understanding that being hurt and hurting others doesn’t make us horrible people, it only makes us human.
The journey feels never ending some days but I’ll get there. We all will. This is one of many lessons I have learned and am still learning today. I’m far from perfect, I do NOT have it all figured out. But that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to do the work to do so. And take you guys along for the ride.