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Sarah Hallam

A writer with a case of wanderlust.

Pride, Dignity, Poverty

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Alright, a couple of posts ago I mentioned how I had to move back in with my parents due to not being able to find a job. This post is going to be more about what’s been going on the past few months and what I’ve learned from it.

So, I decided to move out for reasons I won’t go into here, mainly because multiple people I know in person, including family, follow this place. At the time I believed moving out of my parents’ house, dropping out of college and working full time was the best decision I could make for myself.

So I did. I ended up living in Huntington, West Virginia. Let me tell you a little about Huntington: I walked down the main street and saw an elderly lady do a line of cocaine before asking me for money. In the middle of town. My neighbor was registered pedophile. Multiple people are murdered there are year. it is infested with drugs and poverty.

I was working at an archery shop. If you know anything about me you know that I’m not the hunting type. The business was in the basement of an old house full of  taxidermy animals ranging from grizzly bears to elk. The place had a HORRIBLE effect on my health. I was doing data entry, sharing a room with one other person. Probably the most unpleasant person I’ve ever had to work with. he would repeatedly make fun of me for anything he could, he was homophobic and racist and loved death. He watched videos of people dying while on the clock and enjoyed it, he also enjoyed threatening to murder me in elaborate ways. One day my dog scratched my arm pretty badly and his response was to say, “You look f*cking emo, like you f*cking cut yourself. You’re so f*cked up.You need f*cking help.” If you’ve followed my blog long, you know my struggle with mental health. So I was working a job I hated for significantly under living wages for Huntington (living wage is 9.69) in really unpleasant conditions with worsening health problems.

Still, I had my independence. This was my choice. I was working, I was paying bills.

Then as I was leaving work one day, my boss pulled me aside. “I’m eliminating your job. The new software I installed does everything I’ve been paying you to do.You can come in and work tomorrow, but after that I don’t have work for you.” When I’d come to the job I was told it was a permanent position, and they didn’t want someone who was going to quit after a few months, which was a main reason I stayed.

Rent was due that week. I needed to pay for medications. My car has needed repairs for quite a long time. My shoes are falling apart. Our apartment had developed a cockroach infestation that our landlord wasn’t taking care of. My bills were due and I didn’t have a job. The next two months I scraped by. (ALWAYS HAVE SAVINGS. EVEN IF IT’S JUST A LITTLE. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN.)

I didn’t have money to go out even for fast food with friends, I was ashamed to have people over, my health got worse and I only left the house to go to the gym and then come back. On top of this, I only had one friend who really stuck with me through everything. Everyone else sort of just left.

At this point I was feeling so crushed. My house and neighborhood embarrassed me, my clothes embarrassed me, my weight gain embarrassed me, I felt shame because I didn’t have a job, I lost all sense of pride and dignity. I was living in a way I never saw myself living at twenty, and feeling totally alone. My depression and anxiety were crushing, keeping me awake at night and waking my up early, and confining me to bed during the day. My other health problems were making me extremely sick.  I was terrified. Bills kept coming in and I had no way to pay them. I felt hopeless.

Then I hit a point where my heart couldn’t be anymore crushed. A calm sense of acceptance. I knew that no matter what happened, I’d be okay. Things would be alright. I realized my value wasn’t in my house, or money or the people who decided to stay around or those who left, or my job. I am valuable for just being me: I am caring, kind, intelligent, and funny. The battles don’t define my worth. Nothing can take my worth away from me, nothing can decrease my value as a human being.

My pride was gone, but my dignity returned. I am no better than another else. I do not deserve anything, but I still have so much. I was able to move back with my parents, a safety net so many people don’t have. My physical needs have been met. I have so many luxuries other people don’t have: I have heating and air conditioning, I have a car (well, for now, please keep going, baby). I have food, good nutritious food, I am back in an area where I have caring friends and am finding a good support system. I have the ability to go back to college and am doing my best to find a job.

These past months have given me such a huge understanding of the way so many other people live. I am spoiled in my lifestyle now, though it’s still considered very minimal compared to a lot of other Americans. It’s given me the drive to help others and to work towards a career that will allow me to assist others more in a monetary way. (Even without money, now, I am able to give love and time. Not all giving needs to cost money.) My health and mental health are still weak, but I have faith and hope, dignity and strength even in weakness, I am loved.

I Don’t Need You to “Fix” Me

 

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I’m clearly no expert on relationships or life in general, but here’s something I feel to be a truth in my life and probably for others: We were not meant to be fixed. We are meant to be broken.

As a young woman, it’s easy to love the idea of having someone come along to “save” me. To save me from past hurt, from current suffering, maybe even from myself. Time and time again I’ve met guys that just want to fix me. They see me as this broken thing that can be changed into something better. For years, that’s what I thought I wanted. Then I realized that idea is just another fairytale, one I don’t want to chase after.

I grew up with so many girls who were in love with the idea of being in love. They were miserable and jumped relationship to relationship just waiting for the first guy to get down on one knees. I saw so many friends settle for less than love. Again, they were in love with an idea. They wanted the white dress, the wedding ring, the children, the husband, but what they didn’t want? The guy they’d settled for.

At twenty, I’m already seeing friends I grew up with in relationships that are crumbling. When the person they married fails to “fix” them. Being married doesn’t fill that emptiness they had, but now they feel trapped inside a marriage to someone they don’t really love and might not love them either. The brokenness just didn’t go away, and that leads to hopelessness.

At this point, this whole post is probably coming across as deeply cynical towards life and relationships, so let me explain. Several years ago I was watching a video about Shaolin Monks. If you don’t know what they are, Shaolin Monks are Buddhist Monks of the Shaolin Temple that practice a specific type of martial art.  The things they can do with their bodies are amazing. I decided to learn more about them, and discovered that a lot of their abilities come from early training. They intentionally break their own bones repeatedly. just tiny fractures from hitting solid objects. At this point it doesn’t make any sense: breaking your own bones to become stronger? The broken bones  heal thicker and stronger than before. The breaks are temporary pain, but allow growth.

These monks help illustrate why I think we’re meant to be broken. I don’t mean that we should be miserable at all times. Not at all. I believe in hope and positivity and joy. But if we are perfectly content and whole we never grow. If I am never broken over my own selfishness, I will never learn selfishness. I will never love if I do not break for those who need it. Life is a series of fractures; breaking and growing back stronger. Some breaks are worse than others, some leave us with weaknesses, but as humans we are always breaking and rebuilding.

So, when someone relies on someone else to fix them, they are doomed to failure. We will always be broken.

We are still so valuable, even as broken people. This is where relationships, romantic or non romantic, become so important. We break in the same places, we break in different places. Sometimes we break in the same place repeatedly.

We can’t fix each other, but we can help each other heal by supporting one another. By offering guidance in healing from the places we’ve been.  Our brokenness creates a system of caring and love and connection. It opens the doors for trust and communication and hope and learning.

Hurting is hard. Being broken again and again can be exhausting. But it’s something we can also find joy in, find humanity and find love. I don’t need anyone to fix me, because I’m not meant to be fixed.

Living While Lonely

20170729_103213.jpgHello friends!

I apologize for my long blog silence. I’ll tell you the short story of what’s happened while I’ve been away to lead to the current topic. After my last Fall semester in college I decided to drop out, work full time and move out of my parents’ home. Doing that meant leaving all of my school and church friends, leaving the area I’d lived in for so long and trying to start a new life.

I got a job working in an office sharing a room with one other person, with whom I did not have much in common. I was working nine to five and going tot he gym every day afterwards, so I ended up extremely socially isolated. If you’ve followed my blog long you know I struggle with health problems, one of those being chronic, severe fatigue. After a long day’s work and a good workout I had no energy.

Then one day my boss called me over. “We’re eliminating your job,” he said. “The new software we just installed means we don’t have work for you to do. Tomorrow you can come in, but after that we don’t have a job for you.” Now, I had been saving for the past few months for a vacation, so I had a little extra money to help me through the job search. However, my social isolation increased. For two months I only left the house to go to the gym and to apply for jobs. During that time I became increasingly more aware of my loneliness.

I’d spent months alone. Over the past few months the majority of my friends had drifted away, despite my best efforts. The weight of solitude became nearly crippling.

Last week I had to move back in with my parents and I’ve re-enrolled at the school I dropped out of. I realized something had to change. I couldn’t survive without friends anymore. So I went to church, met a few new people. Reached out to old friends.

Today, the loneliness really hit.  I’ve never been good at making friends. People like me, but I can never seem to connect. Most of my friends are at least a decade older than me and have their own lives. I’m separated from them in many ways. I don’t have people I can text to spontaneously hang out. Spending yet another weekend alone, with no one to talk to. Lack of companionship can be so heavy. Then I thought: What would I be doing if I wasn’t alone? What do I need to do to better myself?

I wanted to go eat, to go to the farmer’s market, to explore, to do something good, to see something new. So I decided I needed to do that whether or not I had someone with me.

I parked at one market and started walking. I tried a new food. I went to antique shops. I walked through back alleys. Then I realized, I wasn’t alone at all. I was surrounded by potential friendships. I walked into one shop and the owner recognized me. I spent time talking to her about her store. At the market I talked to the farmer’s about their products, how they made their products, if they enjoyed their jobs. I asked a musician about the local music scene. I talked to so many strangers that had the potential to be friends.

The loneliness was creep in when I had thoughts I wanted to share but had no one there. But I didn’t let being alone stop me from living the day to the fullest. From tracking down some cats and finding one with one ear, taking pictures of the unique buildings, from trying new foods, from having conversations, from donating books to our local little libraries (Boxes on the street where you can take and leave books).

I had to choose to stop letting the loneliness define me. I had to create the person I want people to meet. I want to be someone confident, loving, generous, a leader, an adventurer. I can wait on other people to make that happen.

Right now, I am lonely. I may be for quite some time, or forever. But I’m learning to live with that. To have a full life in the absence of companionship that I crave. Here’s the point: It is possible to live without what we want most, despite of what is breaks our hearts. Don’t forget to live while you’re lonely.

The Relationship That Didn’t Work

 

Two days ago, I left my first real relationship after about three months together. You all know my typical style of writing after a painful event, very raw emotions. Being as honest as possible, and showing you all the wounds as deeply as I can with only words. This is an entirely different hurt, but I’ve learned so much through it, things I want to all to learn as well.

Last night was the third night in a row that I cried myself to sleep, and these late nights have taught me so much about life and myself.

First, it’s okay to hurt, even though I’m the one who left. We were both dating with the hope of permanence. There was a chance, for both of us, in our minds, that our relationship would last until marriage and then death. Thinking like that requires hope and faith. It requires caring deeply and feeling deeply, and losing someone who you once pictured your life with is crushing. I let him become part of myself, so with him gone, it’s normal to crumble.

I learned how to love. I learned how to put someone else first, and serve and care without fear. I learned forgiveness and patience, even when the situation hurt. Love is not a feeling, it is a choice. I found this version of myself that I loved, I was giving and kind and selfless. But I learned that, with time, a feeling develops as well.Eventually, however, I realized I was the one putting in the effort. It’s important to make the choice to love everyone, but not everyone I love will know how to love me, too. And I can’t choose to spend my life with someone who doesn’t love me just as deeply as I choose to love them. I gave him all of the good parts of me, but in a romantic relationship, I need their good in return to fill in the space left from giving all of myself. That wasn’t happening, so I kept pouring out and wasn’t being filled back up.

I do love him, very deeply, but there is a universe between loving someone and being in love with them. I love my dog, however, I care for her, not the other way around. She doesn’t understand most of what I do, and is the one who benefits the most from our relationship. In turn, I get to feel needed, but my dog doesn’t know me. She only knows what I have to offer her. I had that feeling with him, and I need a soulmate, who takes care of me as well.

Your soul has many needs, and just because someone meets one of those, does not mean they are the right person. My soul needs security and adventure, affection and validation, strength and caring, laughter and deep conversation.  I have an empty place inside that longs for someone who can fill that. This relationship offered me some of those things. I had security, affection and strength. But both of us were very quiet and never knew what to say, an dour senses of humor didn’t line up. Even so, he became my home. Sturdy walls, somewhere to hide, someplace safe. It took me time to realize that the house was still empty.

I struggle with my relationships with God, often. Relationships, for me, need to be focused on a mutual love of God. God needs to be the center of all decisions and actions. A God defined love is the only real love. God wasn’t in the center of this relationship, which left me compromising time and time again and being dragged farther away from God, not closer.

I learned how to be vulnerable with him. After having a best friend leave the beginning of this year, I started to shut myself away. I could talk about things, but could never really let people see my heart. That changed with him. I opened up again and learned how to trust someone with my heart. I didn’t feel alone, anymore because I stopped isolating my soul.

He is a good man, just not the right man for me. It hurts to lose the person who was my safe haven.  I’m left with so many questions.But no regrets; I will never regret him or the last three months.

I love him, and I miss him. I’ve learned a lot, and now it’s time to learn how to let him go.

 

Flaws in the Perfect Man

 

Over time, a stereotype of a “perfect” man has developed. Again and again in the media, we see girls falling in love with a guy who follows a certain pattern of behavior:

Flowers, saying the right thing at the right time, grand romantic gestures, untold wealth.

But this has taught us to like a robot of a man built by fiction. How many women appreciate the pressure from society to look a certain way? Who likes to feel bad about themselves because they don’t have the “perfect” hourglass shape, sexy voice or facial structure? I certainly don’t. However, we do that same thing to men when we hold them up to the standard of bits and pieces of manufactured perfection that have been assembled into what we have been trained to desire.

This perfect guy is a lie.

Women are allowed to have the motto “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you sure as h*ll don’t deserve me at my best”. We use that to excuse a myriad of behaviors, yet if a man expects the same amount of grace, we are quick to accuse him of not being a “man”.

The beginning of that quote from Marilyn Monroe helps explain the flaws in this logic; it says “I am selfish, impatient and a little bit insecure.” Inside, we all struggle with selfishness, impatience and have insecurities, it’s human nature.  The problem comes when we let those control our actions and behaviors. Sometimes we’re going to mess up, we’ll struggle and we’ll mistreat the people around us. We’ll act selfishly, we’ll snap at people, we’ll let our fears of inadequacy fuel our actions. The problem comes in when we start excusing our actions by blaming them on human nature.

This is when relationships need to go both ways. Women have bad days, and we’ll need our men to show us grace (not excuse our actions). But so many women forget to understand that men are going to have bad days, too. They might act out and do hurtful things. However, we are often told that as soon as a guy makes one mistake that we shouldn’t give him a second chance, to cut him off then.

This ideal man that so many women have in their heads gets in the way of real relationships. Relationships where you learn each others weaknesses and desires, help the other person grow in their weak areas and help make up for those weaknesses when they’re not strong enough. Relationships where you recognize the other person’s flaws and accept them anyways.

This worshiped idea of perfection keeps away individuality. Both sides of a relationship are unique, and these unique qualities should be appreciated.

I want someone with his own interests, struggles and personality. Not someone who follows a certain set of rules, who doesn’t get to be their own person. That’s not what relationships are for.

Flowers are nice, and can be a good symbol of caring, thinking about someone and putting in effort. But having someone who spends time showing he cares in other ways, who gets to know you is better. However, if gifts are important to you, they should learn that and incorporate it in your relationship. (Why not spend time learning what they love and get them something that has to do with that? If they love flowers, go for it. Personally, I’d love a cactus.)

It’s important to be treated well, but movies are full of lines from script writers that have been edited and changed to get an emotional reaction out of us, and our money. What’s better is  heartfelt words spoken with meaning and originality.

Some people expect big, extravagant events. Those are great! But what’s more important is the time in between that, getting to know and appreciate one another.

Here’s the point: we all have flaws. We’re all going to mess up. But we can’t keep expecting each other to be perfect, and we need to learn to love our significant other’s differences (not count them as flaws). Expecting a perfect man will leave us disappointed and alone. That kind of thinking can hurt men, making them feel inadequate. Find the good in the other person, don’t just compare them to a perfect model of a man we tend to keep in our heads.

 

DISCLAIMERS:

  1. This post is not at all condoning abuse. If someone is physically or emotionally abusive, GET OUT. Staying with them will not change them. What I am referring to is the mistakes we all make. Please be safe and be with someone who puts your well-being first. 

2. Clearly, this post won’t apply to all men or women. I am mostly addressing young women                who I see often having these irrational ideals and unattainably high standards.

      3. It is totally okay to want flowers and to want someone to make you feel special, but an entire         relationship can’t be based on those things.  

 

The Lie of “Perfect”

Tonight, I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed outside. I felt strong, beautiful and confident… until I started taking pictures.

My first thought when seeing the image I created was, “Wow, Sarah, you look like a giant, raw chicken breast crushed into a dress.” It almost discouraged me enough to turn off my camera, come inside and just give up.

My body did not look exactly how  wanted it to, therefore, I labeled it as not good enough to create art.

If my body was “perfect”, it would be  a replica of something else, someone else, someones else. To quote Fight Club, “A copy of a copy of  copy.”

The thing is, I’m original. I can pose to look as best I can, but I was in front of a camera to create, not to be perfect. I ran barefoot through the foot, jumped in six inches of mud, and got thorns stuck in my feet. There’s nothing perfectly pretty about that. But I felt new, alive. I was expressing myself and creating.

“Perfect” is a lie. I’ve discovered something:  I have to decide who I want to be and create that person. I’ll never be a model, or an actress. I’ll never been seen as traditionally beautiful, but I am creating the me I want to be. And that is pure art.

I am passion, I am caring, I am love, I am adventure, I am intelligence, I am trustworthy, I am funny, I am not perfect. I am beautifully me. The longer I try to shape myself into something I am not, the more I will damage myself and my heart. When we try to become something we aren’t, we put ourselves in pain, and in turn hurt others. Other’s who don’t get to experience our unique, quirky selves.

I’m done believing the lie of perfect. Instead, I will continue to let God form me into the work of art I was meant to be. Art that is not limited by physical appearance, or the value society puts on me. I am a handmade masterpiece. Never to be duplicated. To try to make myself into someone else would be an insult to my creator. Who I am becoming keeps taking form, through painful chiseling away at my own ideas, through shaping of my mind. But I am becoming an awesome piece of art, and I do not need to be “perfect” to be valued beyond measure.

 

“I Don’t Need Anyone”

 

Let me share a quote with you. “Happiness is only real when shared.” Does that sound like a mantra written on a cheery, unrealistic Facebook poster? That’s not true at all. That is a quote from the last days of Chris McCandless, a man who left his family and society to live alone in the wilderness. He realized, as he lay dying , poisoned from a plant her had eaten, that he was dying alone. That he had no one. He had told himself that he didn’t need anyone. he left everyone who loved him. And at the end of his life, trapped in the wilderness he had longed for, he wrote those words in the margin of a book.

If you’re like me, you’ve gone through times where you thought it would be easier to just shut yourself off. Not be a friend. Not have friends.

Sometimes,you’d be better alone than with  the “friends” you have.

But what happens when you decide to isolate yourself, to not have friends, to be alone? Here’s what happened to me. I lived within myself and for myself. I let my heart lead the way, something society is fond of telling us to do. When society tells you something is good, it’s best to run the other way. Our hearts are deceitful, selfish, liars.

When you make your own heart your home, you see things only from your own perspective. People become ugly monster, and you watch yourself wither. You start to believe the lies you tell yourself. What are the cruelest things you’ve thought about yourself.

Here are some of mine:

That no one could ever love me. That I was a bad friend. That I was incapable.

So for years I lived believing that, using my skin as a brick wall to keep people out. My thoughts echoed off the walls of my loneliness. My heart began to rot inside of me, diseased by the pain of my own thoughts. I would not open my wounds, I would not let them heal, I would not let anyone even know I was damaged.

All of this because I refused to let anyone get close to me. I’d been hurt so many times that I thought that friendship wasn’t real. That no matter who it was, they’d hurt me.

And you know what? I was right. no matter who you meet, if you chose to get close to them, they will hurt you. But when you meet the right people, it will be a mistake, they will not mean to hurt you, they will hurt for the pain they caused you, they will do their best to bring you joy. Everyone’s heart is deceitful, so there are times that everyone makes mistakes. But that’s why we need each other.

I met someone who got through my walls. He taught me that someone could love me. He told me that my friendship had changed him, had helped him. He told me I was doing big things. He told me when I was making a mistake. He looked out for me. He breathed truth into my life.

Then he left.

But then I had learned: I do need people. And people need me. We are there to help each other fight the lies, to give each other truths, to guide each other.

Life is a journey. You’ll need someone who can read a map, someone who can plan, someone to sit in the passenger seat. We need people.

Maybe you can’t read a map (aren’t good at encouragement), but you can plan like no one else (can cook someone a meal, or listen for hours, or lead a group).

Here’s the truth: We do need people. We need each other to fill the broken pieces of ourselves. We need each other for laughter, and for tears. You do need people; you need the right people.

If you’re alone, now, you won’t be forever. Someday you will meet someone who will change your life, teach you what it’s like to not be alone anymore, treasure you and show you love. And they will make you want to do the same.

You need people, I need people, we were created for each other. Show love, receive love and discover what love is. Share your happiness and your pain, so that it may be real.

 

This post is dedicated to my best friend, Megan Ruggles, who has never left me, even what I’m at my worst. Who pushed me to go explore and to live. Who is always there to support me. She is so much more than I deserve and I am so thankful for her.

 

 

 

Glass Hearts, Tired Souls

Do you ever realize that you’ve gotten trapped in a hamster cage? Even your freedom is limited. You run on a wheel for eight hours a day, only to be released into a motionless box where you do the same thing all day every day?

This isn’t living. I am not convinced that I am breathing. I could do this with gears for joints and cameras for eyes. A machine would do better; less flaws, less mistakes, less needs.

How do I feel alive again? I want to shatter the glass, even if it cuts me. Even if I am not hand fed every day, if I starve to death. I want to breathe air that isn’t poisoned by stale repetition, have the chance to put words into sentences to describe experiences I’ve never been able to tell of before.

I need my heart to feel new fear, the kind that comes from the moments when you realize you could not be alive. Not the fear of not being able to pay bills, or if someone will text you back, or if you’ll get to see that concert. I want the seconds after the terror when you realize why you want to live, how nothing we think matters really matters. You realize what’s important.

But we have glass walls, glass eyes, glass hearts, glass lives.

I want to experience being alive, even if it kills me. I want to live, even if I splinter. I don’t want to be afraid of living anymore. I’d rather die feeling alive than live a life that feels like waiting to die.

My Best Friend Left Me

Well, that was quite the blunt title.

Before I get started, I want to say I understand the necessity of leaving people, sometimes. If this comes off as angry or accusatory, it isn’t meant to. These are just sad, hurt reflections.

Well, as the title implies, my best friend left me. I may have been the one to not reply to the last text, but I wasn’t the one who took longer and longer to reply each time. I wasn’t the one who said they didn’t need me anymore. I’m not the one who made excuses, this time.

The last few weeks had taught me a lot. It’s taught me anger, and bitterness, and resignation, and pain and the renewed betray of abandonment. It’s taught me mistrust and pain and self doubt and memory. They’ve taught me how much he really meant to me.

But they’ve also taught me a lot of other things:

I am a good friend – When he left I blamed myself. I thought I wasn’t good enough, that I had done something, that no one could love me anymore. But I’m relearning the truth:   I have my issues, I can be needy and difficult to be around in my darker times, but through all of that I’ll be loyal. I’ll be there for you. I’ll always put you first. I will love you unconditionally.

It’s okay when people leave – Yes, we were best friends. But your life changed, and it no longer included me. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why, but eventually I’ll accept that it happened, and that it wasn’t totally my fault. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

I am more than him – I found my identity in a person. And I felt like I’d lost myself, when I lost him. I’d let him inside, and he felt like a part of me, and when he left, he took all of the stories we shared. I guess the part of me that lived in him died. but that doesn’t mean that I did. I am more than on person, I have value beyond what any human could bestow on me. My identity is not in a man, but in God.

Pain fades – I thought I’d be alone forever. But I’ve made a lot of friends. I thought it would hurt forever, and some parts of this may linger on, but I’m not stuck there. I’m not stuck where I was: Watching the train pull away and leave me behind. I can leave the platform. There is life outside of him. There are people to meet, other joys and pains to feel. Life will go one.

And if he is reading this…

Ultimately, I miss you. I see you happy, now, without me, and I sometimes if you’re happier BECAUSE you left me. I don’t know. All the matters is that you’re finally happy. I’ll always care about you and love you. You’ve kept me safe and saved my life so many times. I know our lives are so different, but know that I always wanted to keep you a part of mine. I’m sorry for all of the things I put you through, I just never thought that you would leave. I told you once that I trusted you more than anyone else. I trusted you to never leave, and I never did that with anyone. Well, you proved me wrong, there. But you also taught me that people can be kind, and gentle and caring. Please forgive me for where I failed you. I hope your joy continues to grow. I miss you, but I never meant to hold you back, and never want to again. I just wish you’d given me that chance to say goodbye that i asked for. That’s all I wanted, really.

If you’ve dealt with something like this, feel free to share your stories. I hope you haven’t, but I know many of us have. What would say to that person, now?

Sorry for the scatteredness of this post. Thank you for reading.

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