My friend Andrea made me cry last night on the phone. It was a good kind of cry, in a way. In that she was complimenting me and telling me that she thought I was wonderful.
I received an email over the weekend that made me stop and cry, but in a bad way. It brought back all of these painful memories that I thought had mended within myself. I had fixed them and remedied them and, through them, made myself stronger. And then this email came and took all of that fortitude away for an hour. I felt so raw and real and terrible and it left a powerful time for me to examine myself. I could use all the cliches in the book: this email was like a hurricane, like an explosion, like a dam breaking.
It was, though. It was all of these things. I felt like I was hurtling in space backwards, back to the time when I had first felt these feelings of loss and hurt and pain.
But after I landed and I recovered, I realized that no, the fortifications had not broken down, that I had healed, that I was better, and stronger, and more alive than I had been before. That the person who wrote that horrible email was out of my life forever and that I could keep them there. That I have power over my life and that even if I, due to my core trusting and naive nature, let someone bad into it, I also have the power to remove them. It is easy if you move an ocean away from someone, but even then, if you cannot, you can forgive them in your heart but only if they have learned. And if they have not learned then you can tell them that they have not learned. There are still lessons for them but you will not be the one to teach them. Only that in your absence they must learn from the hole you leave for them to fall into, from the burst of wind that hits them when you walk out of their life, and grieve for the respect they had and then lost that feels like a knocked down wall.
And then you will tell yourself that you will only leave room for those in your life who respect you, and cherish you, and love you as you love them.