Deflection is something we learn to use in order to protect ourselves, primarily starting with a game of Dodge Ball in elementary school. Being hurt by others is inevitable; it happens by our peers, strangers, coworkers, and even our family. Learning to forgive and forget is something that I am still mastering, despite all of the trials throughout my life Shaking it off isn’t a natural instinct.
We can’t be friends with everyone but we do have to learn how to at least live civilly. Difficult people enter our lives at any given time; they can be classmates, business relations, ex-husbands, or your uncle who has spent his entire life tormenting his family and is now dying of Pancreatic Cancer.
Ok… So maybe that last one is a little more of an isolated case but this scenario that is happening in my life is making me come to terms that I deflect my pain but I do not let it go. When I told my uncle was dying, it really brought back a flood of very heavy emotions. My uncle was horrible to my dad, a monster to both my mother and stepmother, put my grandma through Hell and when she passed he stabbed a knife in his sibling’s backs. I learned to put distance between me and him, about 3200 miles to be exact. I am a true believer in due justice and figured one day, life would hand him his ass on a dirty platter. Well, that time has come and as to no surprise to me, I am too compassionate not to care. Part of me wants to fly to Michigan to go to his deathbed to let him know how horrible he is; would that give me the closure I so desperately need? The other part just wants to put these emotions back in storage and carry on.
Instead, I am going to let it go. I proved that I am better than him by being a (mostly) good person who holds her own and loves her family (most of the time). I wrote him a letter that I never intend to send but I put every emotion I ever felt about this ordeal into it. I then read it out loud and will be setting it on fire this afternoon. At the end of the letter I wrote this.
It would be impossible to forget all of the awful things you did to not only me but my family as well. In some weird way, I attribute my strength and endurance on you. You taught me to think out my actions, to think of the other person, to weigh out the long term affects of my actions, to not drink or do drugs, you laugh a lot, and to love dogs. You had a sense of humor that I know I inherited and it is the one blessing you gave me that you be proud of. When you are buried, you are taking with you my pain and heartache; these things are leaving with you. I found my peace, I found my release, I know you can hurt no one anymore. I am sad for your lonely departure; it has to be awful to be hated; this makes my heart sad for you. What eases that sadness is knowing that Grandma and Dad will be there to greet you with love and open arms because that is the unconditional love they had for you. A love that heals my heart. I have let this go, a chapter of my life that I can finally write these two words “The End”.
Taking it one day at a time.