How do you deal with the people you love who have made huge mistakes?
How do you deal with people who have hurt you in the past, in a serious way, but with whom you still have to communicate with and deal with?
I love the idea that you can forgive someone, but if they’re still harming you and won’t stop, that you can distance yourself from them. The hard part is that the good memories are still there, too. That’s also the good part. After some time, I remember the good memories better than I remember the dark ones. Then on an optimistic day after they’ve been a little kinder by text or e-mail (or even in person a time or two), I reach out, and the ugliness threatens to spill out, all over.
I was told in a blessing a few months ago that the things this person says…..how do I say it…..that I’ll be able to handle them now. I would have liked that a few decades ago, but that’s not how life works. I think I’m coming through it again, but I’ll have to distance myself. Again. There is a big irony in my situation that those who hurt me are now having to help me. Do I like it? No. Had I known 20 years ago that this would happen, I would have given up then. The workaholic high school student and college student and missionary that I was didn’t want to have to rely on anyone.
I tell myself that on today, my daughter’s birthday, all that matters is that my two children are doing well. I don’t want to be without them. But they’re okay, and someday this will end.
I still have such a hard time with those who see my situation and that of others and think (and they’re so sure of themselves), “If they just did this, they’d be a lot better off.” But when they’re around me, they realize it’s not that easy. So, for some, it’s easier to push us aside. If they don’t understand, we must be doing something wrong.
Now, I can’t complain. I have a lot of friends. There are a lot of people that I love and that I love back. I’m stupid and a jerk sometimes and I do things wrong. But there is nothing that I can go back and do differently in my life that would keep my PTSD away. If you don’t think I go through that in my head over and over almost every day….well then of course, you don’t know what’s in my head. Which is why I write. And you will likely misunderstand parts or most or less, because there is no way of understanding all of the possible trials and situations in the world. And I like to think (I hope) that the reason things get pushed aside sometimes is because of that. No time for everyone’s trials. The one thing I wish for, though, is that those who judge those with mental illnesses (the ones that appear more normal, like mine, and the ones that don’t) can at least say, in a twist from King Benjamin,
Mosiah 24:4 ” I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.”
“I judge not, because I cannot judge. I have not the time nor the ability to judge.”