Guess what?!?! Everyone has them. Scars, fears and demons are all these things we like to lump together as “emotional baggage.” And yes, we ALL have it. Some say it’s an unfortunate part of life. Well, I tend to disagree…
As you know, the whole point of this site is to take a look at things from a different perspective. Scars and demon are, in and of themselves, not a bad thing. It’s all in how you deal with them. To break it down, it is as simple as how you know to not touch fire or hot things. One time in your life, you probably tried to pick at a candle, or put your hand on a hot stove, or ironed your clothes while they were on (yep…I did that….I mean, it just seemed MUCH more efficient at the time!).
Did the burn leave a mark? A physical one, maybe. An emotional one, definitely. This goes for ANY type of emotional scar. Being hurt emotionally is MUCH harder to deal with being hurt physically. But a similar principle applies to both. With time, wounds heal. Well, as long as you let them. If you have a cut and keep picking at it, it won’t heal, or it will heal abnormally and leave a mark. Which will then, hopefully, remind you not to pick at it so it heals quicker next time.
Emotional scars are no different. With time they will heal, but you must let them heal. It will take self-reflection and honesty. Try to reconcile what happened to make the hurt occur. It is NOT always or completely your fault. Sometimes it’s not your fault at all. You need to recognize that and accept it. Stop blaming yourself.
I had a friend who carried a lot of baggage around with him. We went to middle and high school together and became close friends. His mom and dad divorced when he was very young and his mom remarried. After visiting his house a few times, I could tell that he and his step-dad did not see eye-to-eye. In high school, I obviously didn’t know as much about life and the little intricacies that make up life, so I was not in the position to step in with him. What I did do, was stay his friend. Offered him to come over and stay with me if need be, which he only took up once. We used to carpool a lot together, talked about a lot of things.
His defense mechanism, as I found out later, was to fabricate stories. Stories that he thought made him look good. Stories that also made him look like a victim, so he would garner pity. I called him out on a couple of these things. I know I was probably harsher than I should have been, but I was also a teenage boy and that is one thing that teenage boys do to each other. We rag on each other whenever we can. But it doesn’t matter because the male populous is an impersonal one, so we forgive easily.
We ended up going to different colleges. I stayed near home, he moved to Montana. Whenever he would come home, we would get together and he would have stories. Stories and stories….
In our third year, I get an e-mail from a friend of his, sent to all of his address book saying that he committed suicide. No note, no warning, just hung himself in his dorm room. Needless to say, it rocked me to the core. I was in shock and didn’t believe it. In all of his “fabricated stories” this took the cake. I was in such denial that even when a group of friends and I went to his funeral, I was convinced that the young man in the coffin that we all saw together was NOT him.
It was him. It was hard. Almost 10 years later, it is STILL hard. I think of him often and think about what, if anything, I could have done to help. In some small way, he may be a founding reason for this site. Not sure, that’s for a therapist to find out I guess! 🙂
So, after that joyful story, what’s the point? Don’t fabricate. Don’t disillusion yourself. BE HONEST with yourself and your friends. There are those around you that can help you deal with your “baggage” if you need it, but deal with it. I can only imagine how long my friend suffered emotionally before he finally broke. It makes me sad even writing about it, but it’s now a part of my life. It’s something I get to live with and deal with and hopefully use it as an experience to help others. Yep, that was a self-blogging prophesy there.
So, after a wordy and darker post, I’ll call it a night.
Examine the Glass, get help if you need it, but more importantly be honest with yourself.