There are times that I feel like I'm really an 80 year old woman with a lifetime of knowledge within her, though I am nowhere close to that old. I've had more life experience than a few people put together would ever have to contend with.
It's a lot.
It's been a lot.
And some of it has left me this battered, bruised person I am now. I wish that I didn't have triggers, I wish that seemingly innocuous things didn't send me reeling. I wish that, but all the wishing in the world doesn't change things.
I've learned that lesson.
Sometimes things can't be changed. You can wish or hope that they were different, but they just can't be. Sometimes you have to accept what has happened, as horrible as it is, and figure out how to go on from here.
Fortunately, if you can get past the anger, you can learn a lot about yourself and about other people along the way.
I've learned that forgiveness doesn't erase memories. It takes the bitterness away, but not the pain. There are some things I don't think you ever really get over, you just go on.
I've learned that burying hurt and frustration doesn't make it go away. It just festers beneath the surface.
I've learned that the things people do when they suppress that hurt has a much wider circle of damage than it ever would if they dealt with it in a healthy way.
I've learned that justifications aren't reasons, and excuses aren't explanations.
I've learned that I am just going to react differently to things now, and that my reactions aren't good, bad or indifferent. They just are.
I've learned to just sit with my pain at times, to let it happen when it does, because if I try to will it away, it just comes back stronger the next time.
I've learned to get back up again and dust myself off after it happens, because I know that I can get through this. I've been through worse. True story.
I've learned that I am far stronger than I ever thought I was, because at a time when I really thought I needed others, I was the most alone. And I did just fine that way...I just didn't know it at the time.
I've learned that most people can't handle even listening to the things that have happened to me, let alone process them and be helpful in any way. So I don't bother telling them. It's more work than it's worth on my part.
I've learned that I don't care what others think, I don't care what their assumptions are, I don't care if they judge me.
I've learned that those who judge the most do it for a reason.
I've learned that you can't possibly ever know what you would hypothetically do in any situation until you've actually been there. Anything before that is just a guess based on inexperience with that particular set of circumstances, with no basis in truth or reality.
I've learned that I will fight with everything I have in me for what I want, and that I can let go of what I don't need in my life a whole lot easier now.
I've learned to trust my instincts.
I've learned that you know who your real friends are when things get rough.
I've learned that I have a lot less true friends than I thought I did.
I've learned that I'm okay with that.
I've learned a lot along the way. It's been a hell of a few years, but it's getting better. I'm getting better. Things are getting better.
I'm not the same person I was before, but I am okay with that too.
This version of me is wiser, smarter, stronger and a whole lot braver. She just has a few scars now.
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