The People who Hurt You

The absolute two worst things in life are hurting other people and being hurt by other people. Both change you in their own way, shattering some innate innocence that lives inside you. When you hurt other people, you think badly of yourself. And when other people hurt you, you may also think badly of yourself but you may also think badly about humanity. 

I think about the people in my life who have really hurt me. The people who have made me feel small, scared, and bad about myself. I am lucky because it is not a big laundry list. Just three people. 

Hurt changes you. It leaves black smears across your heart and coils thorns around your soul. It’s a blood stain. It’s mud on the carpet that refuses to go away. You cover it with a rug, you ignore it, you look the other way, but it’s still there. Sometimes, you don’t realize the effect a wound has on you until years later. That’s because hurt haunts you. It creeps up on you at the most inconvenient times: when you’re trying to have fun, when you’re halfway through falling in love with someone, when you’re washing the dishes, or doing yoga, or going for a walk, or watching a movie.

I think I would rather be hurt than hurt somebody else so badly that it changes them in some irreversible way. Then again, I suppose the person who does the hurting doesn’t really think about it afterwards. Maybe I wouldn’t either. But maybe guilt is its own kind of pain.

Wondering why you were hurt doesn’t accomplish anything but I do it anyway. People tell you you’re only given what you’re capable of enduring. They say it in a way that’s meant to be comforting, but I often wonder why we have to endure anything in the first place. Why can’t life be easy, why can’t people just be kind? If that sounds naive it’s because it is. 

Erica said hurt is not something you get over. Instead it’s something you move through. The annoying part is that it’s so much harder and scarier to walk through a dark tunnel than it is to find a way around it or go a different path instead or stay where you are for the rest of your life. 

Hurt is the gift that keeps on giving. Just when you think it’s healed it comes back. It offers no explanation. It’s a bad joke. It’s an annoying conversation at a party that you can’t escape from. 

The worst part about being hurt by people is that it ties you to them forever. It’s like somebody pointing to every scar on their body and saying I got this one from crashing my bike and this one from climbing a tree. You don’t forget about the people who hurt you and ironically, they’re the ones you want to forget the most.

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