A Ghost from the Past

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Dear _____,

I never meant to hurt you. I never meant to hurt any of you, just as I am sure none of you intended to emotionally disable me for over two years. There are no words I can say that will take your pain away. There is nothing I have that will cure the ache in your heart when you speak or think of me. All I can say is that I am sorry you are in pain and I hope one day you do not hurt anymore.

However, I am not the answer to your problems. Regardless of my words, your pain will remain unless you work through it yourself. Being angry at me, being resentful, or maybe even sad, won’t make you feel better. You can paint me as the devil in the flesh, but that will not take your pain away. You need to move on, just as I have.

Under different circumstances, maybe we all would’ve remained in touch, but it wasn’t the case. Between college and the emotional instability of my inner strength, it was not meant to be. I only had so much I could handle, and at the time, I thought it was my job to take care of everyone’s pain, as I had done for years at that point. I pulled away from everyone because I needed to take care of myself. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

The past is in the past. I cannot help you anymore. I cannot take all of your pain away. I do not wish you any harm. In fact, I hope you are happy, truly happy. I hope that you find a way to work through the suffering I have caused and that you can emerge from it stronger. I believe in all of you. I believe in your ability to get on your two feet and stand taller than ever. I believe you can do it, just as I always have. If blaming me is what you need to do so you can feel better, I will take all the blame, but if it doesn’t help, then you need to find a better way.

There has always been a problem with our group… we would complain for the hell of it, for the sake of venting, and at the time, I thought it was okay… but there is a difference between venting and not letting it go. Sometimes it’s better to vent, let it out, and then instead of dwelling on it, finding a solution, or something to feel better. Be productive.

I like to believe that I was special to you guys, but please do not give me that much control over your lives and your feelings. Right now, I am a ghost of your past. Don’t let a ghost haunt you. Breathe and let it go.

For the simple one, you were the only one that got truly caught in the crossfire. It was your affiliation and closeness to the others that made me decide leaving everyone was for the best. I apologize for any pain I caused you. I promise I did not forget of your fear of abandonment. You were a connected bridge to an island I couldn’t visit anymore. Don’t be afraid to stand on your feet. I know you have the strength inside you to say “no” to people and to cut out those who don’t serve you any good at all. It would’ve been too difficult for me to stay in touch privately with you given your close connections to everyone else, and I didn’t want those connections to my life.

For the toxin, there was no way to save anything. Whatever we touched was destined to crumble. At the time, I knew there was no way of keeping things simple, so I did what you had promised to do yourself on multiple occasions: I brunt the bridges you were connected to. I started from zero. You gave me the strength to start from zero. Thank you for all the lessons you gave me. I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it hadn’t been for them.

Where am I right now? I am not afraid of my past. Honestly… I’m pretty happy.

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Let Them Go

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There is something oddly satisfying about the need to break ties. I have avoided burning bridges for as long as I can remember because I used to truly believe that you need to be there for someone at their worst if you want to deserve them at their best. The truth is, I still stand by this. However, this doesn’t mean I will remain at their side when it proves detrimental to my health or when, for some reason, I’m not enough.

I can count to a number higher than one where I have done my best to support someone, listen to them, defend them, and cherish them, only to be spoken of behind my back—and not with pleasant words. It comes to that time that I wonder: If all I did was support them and do my best to be a friend… and this happened… then do they really deserve my friendship?

I’ve learned that it’s important to have standards in your relationships, not only romantic, but in your family and friends too. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Don’t let people disrespect you. Don’t let people put you down. It’s okay to have fights and misunderstandings, as long as you remain true to your standards.

When someone doesn’t meet your standards, you have two choices: you leave or you lower your standards. For years, I went with the latter option. I lowered my standards into the ground so I could remain with the people I cared about. I came up with excuses for them, defended their actions, and forgave them mistake after mistake after mistake. There came a point where I realized… I deserve better.

So now, when I come across a relationship that I know won’t last because they are falling below my standards, I am not afraid. They move on too. Very few times am I actually missed.

There is, however, nothing more satisfying than leaving someone behind knowing you didn’t necessarily leave them alone. They will be okay without me.

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Temptation of a Burnt Bridge

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I’ve been looking down at the remains of a bridge I burnt,
Wondering how bad the wounds I left had hurt.
I pondered the materials needed if I wanted to fix it,
But then I remembered there was I reason I burnt it.
There’s another island with bridges of its own,
And I’m well aware, to this day it’s burned one,
So it’s still connected to the island you stay,
But despite this connection, I prefer to stay away.

I burnt that bridge mostly because of you,
Given that you didn’t want to cross too.
I remember crossing the bridge whenever I had time,
But it seemed it wasn’t as often as you’d like.
So the bridge was burned because it wasn’t used,
It was only there to accumulate mold and mildew.

I admit to the fact that I don’t know everything,
But you should know the sarcastic jokes sting.
However, in a way they aren’t entirely lies,
I’ve started taking care of myself, to the world’s surprise.
And without much more thought, the temptation was no more,
Mostly because I have much bigger things in store.

For despite my empathy of your island’s pain,
The words you speak are not said in vain.
They act as a pesticide, keeping pests away,
Since that’s what I seem to be, on my island I’ll stay.
I am no longer that selfless fool,
Taking away from myself and used as a tool.
I am a tree growing big and strong,
I am the lyrics to my island’s song.

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It’s Time To Grow

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Time to grow
Time to change
It’s time to show
What you’re made of

Let it go
Let it breathe
It’s time to let go
Of enemy seeds

Take the pain
Take the fear
Learn to gain
From your mistakes

Don’t be a fool
Don’t be blind
Use the tool
Inside your head

If something is bad
If someone’s no good
Don’t be sad
To let them go

It’s time to grow
It’s time to move on
Time to say “no”
And carry along

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