"Pain is pain, hurt is hurt, fear is fear, anger is anger, and it has no color." ~Iyania Vanzant
There is a saying in recovery, "hurt people hurt people". I used to think I understood what it truly meant and felt that I did not apply to it in any way. I always considered those around me and their feelings in all my actions, but it seems that I have been mistaken.
It has been over a year now since I went through my last divorce. It was my second unsuccessful marriage, and it was in my actions after that time that this truth become clear to me like a freshly cleaned window.
There are all kinds of ways we can hurt people in this life. It is not just done directly by a gun, blunt object, or the tongue. We can inflict all kinds of damage to others just by the choices we make for ourselves. The man a woman chooses to marry, if he is not a man of integrity and kindness, can possibly down the road be an abusive father, or simply a poor example of what a man is supposed to be. This is not a direct act of blatant hurt or premeditated infliction, but it still has its effect on others in the long run.
That being said, it is easier to realize that there are ways in my life I might have inflicted pain and suffering upon another.
My point of greatest weakness is in my relationships. My choice in men has left others to ponder my very sanity, and question my judgment deeply. It is almost like a scarlet letter than I have placed with my own hands upon my brow. For others to witness. I am drawn to a broken man like a river is drawn to the sea. Is it because I want to fix someone or repair what’s broken? Maybe, I only know that when faced with a room of choices I will always gravitate to the ones that others would avoid.
When I started dating again after my last divorce I talked to a couple of nice men and then decided to join a dating site. Needless to say, a person with my kind of issues should never join a dating site. It is like putting a heroin addict in a room full of needles; or a child loose in a china shop. Not a good idea all the way around.
In the course of trying to find the perfect man for me, I found myself dating the most broken ones. I cannot completely explain it, but that is only part of the problem I created. As certain dates did not work out, or did not meet my need to be utterly needed, I would immediately latch onto the next prospect like a spider grabbing its prey. Poor unsuspecting men, who simply wanted to meet someone to love, would be trampled upon like they were in the middle of a stampede, as I scurried over to my next prospect of a mate.
Unfortunately, I left behind a trail of destruction in my wake. I will probably never know just how far and wide, but I am certain it is there, and I am its culprit. Now in hindsight I can look back and see it more clearly. I can view the wreckage for what it is; a broken person hurting other broken people as they pass in life, like a frantic hand reaching through the broken glass.
I am now settled into a new relationship. To someone that I met on the date site. A man that captivated me from the first moment I laid eyes on him. Our desperate need to be loved and needed makes us both the perfect pair and not. It is kind of like science experiment that is both amazing to watch, but can be a disaster when it explodes over the flask. He is a beautiful hearted man, who has made choices in life that have sent him trailing down a harder road than most, and in so many ways so have I.
I guess one could say based on my last paragraph that I have not learned anything from my past mistakes, but to that statement I would disagree. It may appear that way, but I believe that some changes do not happen fast. Some things move slow like an old man without his cane. I may still be in a relationship with a broken person with a past, and I may be frazzled and broken myself, but like a window that has been repaired with new glass, I can see what is before me. There was a time when I was wandering blindly to this truth.
Life is like that; a journey of different measured cobbled stone steps that take a while to make. I may not be where I need to be today, but I am not where I was yesterday, and that is a progress, be it slow as it is. The truth is, I am a work in progress, and I may still fall along the way, but I am learning a little here and there as I take each step forward. I may have lingered in the place some would caution to leave, but I also am aware of the cause and effect of my actions and this is a clarity that in the past was utterly broken. Now it is in the process of a careful and slow repair.
Yes, hurt people hurt people, but those in the process of recovery can reveal healing in their life, that can also give hope to another on their path, and that is where the miracle of recovery begins.
Linking with Poetry Jam for Mary's prompt "Broken".
The photo above was obtained from Google Images.