It is no secret that I am not good at letting go of the past. I do not have good skills at unpacking my baggage. The slightest things can take me back to the people, places, and things that have hurt me. I want to unpack. Practicing the process of unpacking all the emotions. Setting up ways to make sure that I don’t dwell in the past, but I always do. It always comes back to me at the most inopportune moments.
It can be anything that takes me back to the painful moments. Lately, even being reminded of the happy moments can make me sad. This happens in all aspects of my life. I have a family reunion that I am begrudgingly taking my mom to in July. All this brings up is the fact that most of them rejected me when I started dating my wife. I was in the process of unpacking this when I found myself alone again and was trying to let things go. We hadn’t had a reunion in years and then this – so I am again dealing with all the memories of the past.
In unpacking the separation and divorce from my wife I worked hard at this. We both made mistakes. I tried to not blame her more than I took responsibility for all that went wrong. Maybe I was too good at doing good at that. Then there is a Facebook memory or an invite to a friends event that we use to go to together and all that unpacking piles right back into a mess. A big pile of mess and starting all over again is just overwhelming.
Unpacking is necessary
No matter how bad things are or were, the processing takes time and requires attention. I fucking hate that this is true. Deciding to let go sounds so easy, but it isn’t easy. It hurts. The metaphor of reopening the wound and pouring acid inside to clean it out is accurate. Even after we have cleaned the wound, bandaged it and moved on, at times it still hurts as if it was the first second it happened.
So, we go through the process. We visit, unpack, neatly fold, and put all the pain and memories away in a place that feels safe. Until it comes back again and we do the process all over again. And again. and Again. Our biggest mistake (at least mine anyway) is believing that we had control. I want to have control over my emotions and my reactions to things. I keep trying but sometimes things are just too much, so the process of unpacking again.
Is my process flawed? Quite possibly it is. I accept that. The years I have spent avoiding facing these kinds of issues. I struggle with confrontation. Always have always will. This includes confronting my feelings. I want to be one of those strong people that just get up and move on and leave all the pain in the past. They accept their mistakes, learn from them and move on. It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? I want to be that person. On the outside, I am that person. On the inside – a crumpled wreck.
When you think you completed process, but, just kidding.
I recently thought I had found a strain of strength that would protect from repeating an old mistake. I have turned down a lot of things that felt familiar because I don’t want to go backward. Wanting to be strong and move forward learning from the pain I have endured. But… there it is. The weakness, the scared little girl that will never be loved, the scared person that hates confrontation.
So, I tried it. I stood up for that little girl and faced confrontation. The moment it was out of my mouth I wanted to crumble. I was shaking. There was no response. Silence. For me, silence is worse than yelling and screaming or even calmly saying that I am wrong. Silence, even on text message is worse.
I wanted to put the phone down just start watching television, clean, or do something. Give the alure that I was walking away and it didn’t matter to me. No response was my answer to move on. Standing strong on my convictions, my hard limits. But I wasn’t. I couldn’t avoid the truth. I was slipping. Slipping back into old habits. All lessons learned were melting away. I fucking hate silence.