I reached for my phone with closed eyes,tears burning, and heavy sighs, as if a big balloon sat perched on my diaphragm. The irony; how emotions could turn water into fire, and could air make one suffocate.
I felt hurt and betrayed. I’m not a stranger to feelings of hurt and betrayals – but there was a sense of acute pervasiveness about this betrayal, and it seared into my heart until I felt physical pain.
I was nonchalantly perusing through a book I’ve been reading in medias res since last year – Man’s search for himself, by Rollo May, when the feeling ambushed me. This was the reason I hadn’t been able to sit through reading a book cover to cover for years; my thoughts had a way of creeping up on me when I least expected it.
I closed the book to attend to my feelings, probing. I wondered…could it be…? My probing summoned a thought that seemed to know whence these feelings came. Indeed, I hit a nerve, because at once my heart started raining tears, and stirring up strong gusts of wind that I had to breathe deeply to relieve myself of.
I was betrayed by someone very close, and for so long. I felt hurt,anger,fear- all at once. I didn’t know how I kept such a deep secret from myself for so long. Or perhaps it’s because of its grave nature that I repressed it for as long as I had.
A lot of things made sense, and I wondered how I could have been blindsided in such a way and if there was any redemption in this at all?
The person in question might come as an odd surprise, but I think it makes perfect sense. Me.
The deep-seated betrayal I uncovered was one I felt towards some parts of me. I realized that I was intensely afraid of myself, of being alone with my thoughts. The thoughts that had been a source of much anguish and torture for over a decade. I hated being left to my own being because that’s when the gremlins would come out of the woodwork. I’d keep myself intensely occupied at all times; perfectionism,codependency,comfort eating. I felt betrayed because I was the one who sabotaged my own dreams, I was the one who let others walk all over me, I was the one who failed myself in so many different ways. I was the first to tear down my dreams, and the last to acknowledge my successes and hard work. I felt alienated in my own skin and I was forever roaming the earth like a hapless ghost looking for a tether to hold on to. I wasn’t welcome within my being. I was an outcast.
For this I was angry and hurt but immensely relieved. My discovering this meant that I was finally ready to forgive myself, to reconcile with the parts of me that had broken away in fear. It meant that peace was in the middle of the battlefield, and I’m getting ready, my only armour being courage.