A very dear friend of mine asked me to read a note she'd written, and to let her know what I thought. As I read what she had written, I recognized the words, I recognized the feelings... they mirrored mine almost exactly. Her words were beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. With her permission I share her words with you:
Dear Past:As I was sitting today reflecting on a passing comment made to me the other day, something came to me. The comment was "I don't even know you anymore!" This has really gotten me to thinking. You are right, you don't know me anymore. In fact, you never really did. I found the remark kind of ironic, because for the last couple of years, neither do I.
So, since hearing this remark, I have been spending most of my time trying to figure out where exactly it was that I lost myself. There is no answer to that I discovered. It was not one single event or moment; it was a culmination of many. For a long time I have been blaming my loss of self on you, my past. I thought that I had changed as a person due to the loss, abuse, heartbreak, fear and betrayal that I have endured. I had spent many hours wondering why does this happen to me, when will I be happy, what did I do to deserve this?? I now know the answer to that. I haven’t changed at all, besides growing wiser, I just forgot who I was.
Bit by bit, day by day you stole little pieces of me. Or so I thought. I learned to expect disappointment, rejection, pain, I was sure if I put myself out there that I would surely be hurt again. I created walls….a hard shell and I would rarely show what was hidden beneath to anyone. As the years went on it became easy to blame my fears on you. It was your fault. I forgot who I was too.
I realize now that it was your own fears and insecurities and lack of self worth that caused you to chip away at mine. It was life. Life is hard and situations happen. There are good people and bad people and I would allow anyone into my life, because I always felt that everyone deserves a chance. I was so arrogant that I thought I could save everyone. Pain is inevitable, everyone feels it. I was strong, confident, happy and had very clear goals. These characteristics are what drew every situation and person to me in the first place. But through this all, you broke me down into someone I no longer knew, but into someone you could control. It took a long time but eventually you succeeded, I forgot who I was.
I still really don’t know how I allowed this to happen. I was a person who had no fear, I lived life to the fullest, I loved with my whole heart and never turned away from someone in need. I loved myself and everyone around me. I knew that I could do anything that I put my mind to. I knew that I deserved respect, and I demanded it. That is who I was raised to be!
You took this from me with your mental and physical abuse, your betrayals, your lies and your lack of respect! So all this time, I have blamed you, my past, when in fact, I have no one to blame but myself, I allowed this to happen. I had become my own worst enemy. I had a choice and I chose to take this lying down. I acted like a victim. I am not a victim, I am a fighter! I fought for you, for my friends, for my family, for the little lost puppy but, I forgot to fight for the most important thing….myself.
Coming to this realization has completely changed my outlook. Life may have handed me shitty cards from time to time, but I didn’t deserve it……..I allowed it to make me lose myself. So dear past, I forgive you. And, no, you don’t know me at all! But I do!!!
Written by Joanne Schock June 7/09
Thank you my dear, dear Jo Hanna for sharing that with me and for allowing me to share it here. Thank you for giving voice to the girl inside me, the girl who sometimes wonders who am I and where do I fit.