We all have been in this dilemma plenty of times where someone has hurt us and we have to make the decision to either try to forgive them and move forward or to tell someone how you really feel. I’ve done both many times and I’m realizing the way I feel after is pretty much the same.
When I attempt to understand and move forward I end up bottling up these tiny resentments that then build to a huge explosion at some random point in time. When I tell someone how I’m feeling, they usually make excuses that anger me more because they aren’t understanding that I just want them to acknowledge how I feel. Either way I don’t feel understood, or like my feelings matter at all.
By constantly ignoring every situation in which someone has hurt you, you can become someone who people can easily take advantage of. If you are open with your feelings people sometimes aren’t as receptive as you wished they would be and then you feel the dynamic between you begin to shift because people don’t like to be told when they are wrong. Obviously I have been on both sides, the one who has been hurt and the one who has done the hurting. I’ve also picked both choices in how I reacted to the situation. I can honestly say I don’t know which one is the best choice. Do we really gain anything from either? If someone you thought was your friend can’t acknowledge your feelings, even if they don’t think they did anything wrong, then who was that person to you in the first place?
All I know is people wish to be heard and they wish for their feelings to be validated and respected.
I have a terrible habit of ruminating. It is something I try to let go of but the habit has been embedded in my mind for years and it is hard to break. The past few months have been… an experience. Random nights I stumble upon an email from an ex-boyfriend, an old message from a friend, sometimes I look through my journal and I am reminded of so many experiences, conversations, arguments, what have you. Did I “forget” these memories? Technically I guess I did, but being reminded of them still brings back so many emotions I thought I had left in the past.
Do we ever really let go? By this point in our lives we have all learned that the fun little phrase, “forgive and forget” is basically a lie. To quote countless movies, books, and reality TV shows, “you can forgive but you never forget”. The entire notion is sort of silly to me. When you have been hurt by someone else you can usually find it in your heart to forgive the other person. I always try to remind myself that we are all human, extremely flawed and therefore make many mistakes. We ask and tend to even expect forgiveness from others, but what does the entire idea of forgiveness really mean?
When someone else causes you pain you go through a whirlwind of emotions that usually ends with a bottle of wine, copious amounts of snacks, and a bitch session with friends (at least that’s what I do…). After the initial sting has worn off we begin to assess the situation more rationally and are able to somewhat put aside our emotions in order to come to the conclusion of whether or not to give this person another chance. I have definitely been hurt before, as we all have, and in every instance (except one) I have been able to forgive the other person, mainly because I would want the second chance if I were them. However, in these past few months I have realized that the emotion dulls with time but it never really goes away. When you are reminded of an argument you had with your best friend where they threw things out there that were below the belt you rationalize and say, “well they were angry and probably didn’t mean it”. Part of the time this is true. Unfortunately, I have realized that I am able to move on with the other person after some serious drag out fights, but when I remember what was said I realize that I haven’t let it go.
This entire idea of “letting it go” seems unrealistic and also seems to simplify the complexity of our emotions and relationships. I think we have all established at this point that you don’t forget. Are we even capable of letting go? When the words still stab you months, even years later have you let it go? Or are you temporarily pulled back into that situation and the emotions in that time? You tend to wonder “do they really think that about me?”. Will we ever know the truth? Maybe. Maybe not. I guess we all have to decide what we can and cannot truthfully handle and realize that sometimes just because the fight is over and you’ve kissed and made up, you can’t always move forward.