So, what do you do when you get what you’ve always wanted? There it is, boom. Martha Lou would like that I made such a clear opening statement wouldn’t she? I’ll be sure to start a sentence with and in this blog to counteract that. She used to pull my hair when she knew I could do better, remember that classmates? I’m gonna write this fast and on the fly, so forgive my grammar just this once please.
It seems I now have achieved something that I never thought I could but was always in need of. And now I don’t know what to do with it. I’ve held on to wanting this “thing” for so long that it’s really part of who I am. I don’t want to give many details out, because it concerns another person and I don’t want to involve them here. I will say that it’s not a physical, tangible, thing but an emotional “thing.” It has to do with a lot of hate and rage that I’ve carried for, well, all my adult life.
To try and understand this, I think back to the things I’ve always wanted. I’ve always wanted to be socially accepted. I felt like an outsider in school, but then later I learned that pretty much everyone else did too. So that was pointless. Also around that time I always wanted a Fiero GT. I truly loved that car, never got it. I rationalized to my father that he had been given a hot new car in high school. Again, never got it. Instead I got several cars in back then and loved them all, funny how that worked out. Lets see, I also wanted an Irish Setter. I was about 7 or 8 when I had that great want. My dad promised me that if I got up early and fed the chickens for, I don’t know, two months straight in the summertime, I could have this dog. Never happened. He claimed that he had never made that promise. I couldn’t have been wrong about that could I? I’m not remembering incorrectly, I don’t think. I do know that I fed those f%cking chickens all summer! Either way, no puppy.
Straight hair, that’s another thing I always wanted and never got. Oh the embarrassment in high school when it would kink up after PE. So very embarrassing. I wanted to lose my dreaded virginity like all my bros had done. Guess what, most of them were lying through their teeth...bastards. Jealousy, envy, all those emotions played into the things I wanted during my teen years. Now I know that I’m “grown” I think I was better off without all the things I wanted, I think the wanting made me a better person. Not that I’m some great person, but that I understand that you can be made better by appreciating the things you have.
Then on into my so called adult years, the sins of the teen years were taking their toll. All I wanted then was forgiveness. I had done some things that I truly wanted to undo. I tried to be a better person and make a better life and any and all success I had during that time was due to me wanting to show the person I hurt that I could be “good.” Through that wanting I learned to accept the blame for my actions and to be accountable for the things I did. That parlayed into successes in college and in my job. All due to the wanting to show this person how well I could perform. I think I needed a reason to be hard working. Not that I didn't’ have a million other reasons to do “right”, but this one reason was what drove me. Then one day, I was able to apologize to this person, and through God’s Grace, the person forgave me. So, I actually did get what I wanted in this instance, but I wanted to show how desperately I wanted this forgiveness and how ultimately it led to a better life for me.
Now on to the present. For years I have been taking my brain to shrinks trying to work on my many issues. But this one issue, it’s a big part of who I am and I’ve worked on it for a long long time. My current doc said laughingly “that’s going to be several sessions” when referring to this issue. She’s a great doc by the way. Back to the subject, I now have gotten this thing I’ve always wanted. For decades I’ve wanted this thing and now here it is. I can accept it (I haven’t accepted it yet) but then what? How do you let go of a “wanting” that has been part of who you are for decades? I mean this thing really defines me. At least part of me.
In the instance above, getting what I wanted was a great thing, but will this be a great thing? Am I just going to be hurt again? Can a tiger change it’s stripes? This issue is similar to that issue in that it involves forgiveness. I’m trying to put myself in the person who forgave me’s shoes, but it’s proving to be a difficult task.
To be very frank and honest, I have taken some joy in doling out punishment toward the person who hurt me when I could. That’s a hard thing to admit to anyone reading this, but I did it...a lot. A verbal barb here or an unreturned phone call there, yeah I did all that. I considered it the least I could do to return the pain. And though it was wrong, it did give me some sense of retribution and I enjoyed it each time.
So now, put yourself in my shoes-if you can based on the minimal information I disclosed about what was done to me-and let me know what you think I should do. Go deeper than a one line response and imagine yourself and the person who has hurt you most in your life..and them asking for forgiveness from you. Would you do it? Really? I don’t know if I can.