notes on a heartbreak

I keep trying to rationalise. How did I become so lost? When did I start to erode? Why am I still hanging onto this poison?

In everything, I want to understand. Understanding fixes problems. Understanding allows for connection — to people and experiences and myself. If I can just understand, maybe I can make this work. If I can just understand, maybe I won’t make the same mistakes. If I can just understand, maybe I can seal these cracks in my heart. Maybe that pit in my stomach will finally close up.

But it doesn’t matter how many layers I peel back on this one. Insight has always been an invaluable tool for me, particularly in moments of crisis. Insight blends emotion with direct perceptions — none of us can ever be truly objective but we can know (or learn) how something happened, and how it made us feel. Sometimes, though, you end up in places where emotions aren’t tolerated. Sometimes you end up in situations that happened one way but then you find out they never happened like that at all. Sometimes you end up being told, over and over, who you are and sometimes you end up believing it.

And at those times, the only thing you must hear is the storm, deep inside. I have peeled back layers. I ignored my instinct. I trusted someone else more than I trusted myself. I believed a lie I’ve been told since childhood: I must be what others need me to be.

I have peeled layers and with each one, I am stronger and more vulnerable. I am fragile and untouchable. I believe understanding will bring me through to the other side.

But there is no other side. There is only the core beneath all the dead skin and rotting regret. And the core is pain.

There are no more problems to solve. There is no other way through this. There is insight and trouble and old revelation and then there is the crux of it: the loss of something treasured.

It hurts.

Some problems are not problems at all. They can’t be fixed because there is nothing to fix, only a pain to be felt. The only way through is through. I will still ask why. I will still want to understand, to fix, never give up. And then, finally, I will stop. The grief will travel through me and I’ll feel every atom of it. My cracked and broken self will fall apart and the old storm will wash away the pieces, and then I’ll find myself in bits along the shore, clean and weak and jagged.

And maybe amongst those pieces, there are fragments of my own layers. Here is trauma carried, and there is suffering endured. This is my loss, a glittering gem amongst broken glass.

And here is me, at the core of it. Alight, unwavering, ready to put together a new mosaic.

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