I’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of words on here talking about the various ways that people have hurt me. The cheater, the Ex Boy, the random gropey ginger; all people whose actions have dug into me somehow, left little scars, shaped me. But of course, I am a person too. Maybe I am a better person than they are (I probably am, frankly, none of them are contributing much to society as far as I can tell), but I’m still a person and in my constant interactions with others I have inevitably brushed against or collided with others’ sore spots and open wounds, or created some that were not there to begin with. So I want to talk about hurt, about moral gray areas, about doing the best we can in the life that we are given.
In the fall, I was attached at the hip to a girl who I slowly came to realize was unhealthy for me. She was insecure about her weight and appearance, and we were a dangerous combination even though I wasn’t insecure about looks so much as incredibly wrapped up in them. Our conversations revolved around how terrible we looked on any given day, how much weight we thought we’d gained or lost recently, calorie counts, clear skin. It was a suffocating environment that I’d created for myself unwittingly, and I needed to breathe, I needed to climb out of that hole. So when I came back from winter break, I stopped talking to her. I was weak and vulnerable and crying in dressing rooms over size 2 jeans that didn’t fit; I was drifting, feeling like the world was too difficult for me to continue trying to live in it. I didn’t think I had the strength to maintain my close relationship with her while also healing myself, and I think now that I was right.
But I hurt her. She is a person, created by God in His image regardless of whether she believes it, and I hurt her. I cannot imagine the pain and rejection I would feel if one of my best friends just threw up walls one day and suddenly I could not go to them anymore. And I ache over this.
I saved myself. She and I were both standing on this ledge, staring down into self-destruction, and I took a step back and walked away, never asking if she wanted to come with me. And she’s still there, having leaned in further (from what mutual friends have told me). But I’m so happy now; God is painting my life to glorify Him, giving me friends who pull me back to center whether I swing towards the self-serving or the self-destructive end of the pendulum. So I can’t say it was a mistake, necessarily; and this way, it’s all my fault. I’m mysteriously bitchy, she can’t explain it, she got the friends in the divorce. And good came out of it, overflowing good. But I hurt someone.
I wrestle with this all the time. Why did I have to knock someone down to become healthy, especially since a result of “becoming healthy” has been my also becoming much kinder, gentler, more patient, etc? Is this a gray area? Is it better to do harm now if you know it will result in a better later? I still don’t have answers, kittens.