It feels like willingly walking through fire, knowing how much it will hurt, but doing it anyway. It feels like a commitment that you signed with your blood and that cannot be taken away from you, because you already sold your soul. It feels like you are ready to walk through anything and even give your life, but for someone who has already given up.
Living with this feeling in my gut for so long has shown me how much I can endure, how many heartbreaks I can go through before picking myself up again, only to repeat this torture I am putting my heart and body through. It reminds me of the people that continue living and fighting for us even when we are lost and hopeless. They continue trying to open our eyes and pushing us from behind even if they are tired themselves.
However, I don’t remember signing a pact with whoever makes people go through this experience. Ripping my heart out for someone who couldn’t care less about their present or future is not how I planned to spend years of my life that I will never get back. What happens to all the days and nights when you begged someone to get better and when you were there for them when they needed to breathe or cry? What happens to the people who also watch you destroy yourself because you also became careless about loving yourself in the process of trying to teach someone else to do it?
And yet, I can’t seem to stop. Or I don’t know how to, no one teaches you this. How do you stop caring even when you’ve had enough? When your sink has overflown little by little and so often you wake up drowning? The line has been crossed more times than you remember, but when is it time to cross it yourself? Where do you find the strength to say “No” for good and close the chapter? What happened to creating secure boundaries for yourself, in the process of loving someone selflessly and destructively?
I am tired. I am in pain. I burned myself out trying to be there for someone who can’t see the good from the bad and who likes their own misery. I became exhausted dreaming of a reality where things will somehow settle down and all the effort will finally be worth it. Loving the idea of someone and what they could be, will never be who they are or who they may become in the future, if they prefer living in pain and unhealthy behaviors.’
“You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.”
Like a fake preacher, I remember saying this to several people who were fighting the fight of other people, but I didn’t know or learn this lesson myself. How do you love someone and let them go, let them sail and watch them drown without giving a hand to rescue them? How do you sit and wait and hope not to get hurt while somebody that you hold so dearly in your heart doesn’t know how to control their chaos?
Sometimes I close my eyes and dream of a better place, far away from here. My own heaven keeps my heart afloat when everything else is tumultuous. To be in touch with a fantasy is to know how hard it will fall apart on you in reality. I assume the pain I’m also causing to myself, but I don’t see the exterior, I don’t see those who see me. And this is how pain continues to spread, through love and unclear boundaries. What and where is the hand that finally drags you out of the water and breaks this cycle?
Hopefully, one day I will learn to leave my heart at the door when it becomes too much. Someday it will have had too much, so much that it had been torn apart and crushed and destroyed to a point of no return. But I pray that you and I won’t have to get there, in order to learn to choose ourselves first, no matter how much we love the people who can’t see how we break and twist and rip out our hearts for them.