|Photograph from io9.com|
More often than not, I do my best not to be extreme in my actions when dealing with people, especially those I care, or once did care about. I've always been an advocate of peace, believing almost naively in the notion that everyone can get along. I endlessly extend my hand back to people who have once been abusive or hurtful because I hate falling outs. I hate to think that I am incapable of forgiveness. I aspire to be the best person I can be, and that means trying to put myself in the other person's feet, sometimes making much more excuses for them than they deserve. I try my best to overcome my trust issues and give people second, third, fourth, endless chances to not repeat mistakes, because we're all humans, aren't we? More often than not, this approach is successful. Many relationships that are extremely important to me have been salvaged this way, and I'm endlessly grateful.
But sometimes too much is too much. There's a limit of how much abuse someone can take until they reach their limit. I'm not talking about physical abuse, which is resolved by throwing the other person in jail. I'm talking about emotional abuse, the one that is so sly and well-calculated that I more than often doubt myself I'm at its receiving end. The one that makes me wonder whether I'm the inherently, hopelessly, incurably bad seed.
Fortunately, veneers crack. Truth always comes out. Even for people once loved and trusted. Even people who, in appearance, are so kind, soft-spoken, well-intended, tolerant and forgiving, shrouding themselves in an impression of complete, angel-like innocence.
In other words, wolves in sheep's clothes.
It took a lot of questioning, doubting, but after being so drained by dehumanizing indifference, after losing interest in things I love, after streams of tears, after a miserable year where I found out, after I had completely invested myself in a relationship, that it had never meant anything, I found myself regaining control of things. Thanks to friends and family, I regained my mental strength. After all, when you sink to the very bottom, you can only go back up, isn't it?
I take a good look at myself in the mirror. The Mask is off. And what I see is a survivor of abuse from the hands of many people that once were trusted and loved. What I see is the battle wounds I'm still healing from. What I see is a woman not without faults, but who is extremely conscious of them and aims to be better each day. What I see is a woman capable of patience, but also anger, sometimes unjustified. What I see is someone who resolves to be the least affected by harmful words and actions. What I see is someone who hasn't given up on faith, trust and love, in myself or in others. No matter what.
I'm grateful. When I was madly in love and fully invested in having a future with this person, I decided to come out to close people who have since then overcome their prejudices, some easier than others, but I have it at least guaranteed that if I am to be in the future, with someone who makes me happy, I no longer have to hide it from the people I love the most. I never thought I'd have the courage to tell them that I am the way I am, and it's absolutely non-negotiable, and they can take me or leave me, but I will not change who I am for the sake of someone else's happiness. I'm also grateful that learning to be true to myself to people who aren't necessarily homophobic helped me connect better with them, leading to deeper, more solid friendships.
I'm also grateful, because I've found strength in myself to make the choice of walking out of this endless tornado of chaos. I never thought I could. I'm sad, because I once believed in this person. I looked at the good sides. I made excuses. I loved. I believed we could remain friends. And suffered. Tremendously. But I won. By taking the most radical decision, by figuratively burning everything down to the ground, good and bad memories, anger and excuses alike, for a new cycle to start.
I'm grateful because my ability to spot false, manipulative people and sociopaths is now more acute than ever. I may have had to acquire it at my own expense, as it is hardly the first time I deal with such a person, but hopefully it will be the last.
Because the biggest lesson I may have gotten from this whole ordeal is that some relationships (in the general sense) are not worth investing any energy in. In the future, I am determined to surround myself with people who are positive, healthy to be around, and completely trustworthy.
"What begins in chaos always ends in chaos."
And the chaos ends now.