So the song after which the title of this blog is named, would have us believe that the first time you ever love, get hurt or feel let down is the hardest. The first ‘cut’ takes it so deep that the scars take years, even lifetimes to heal – that you’ll never quite get over that first time when you learned the hard lesson about how bittersweet being in love can be.
But for me it’s simply not true – the fourth, fifth or sixth time you finally allow someone in again only to have them hurt you in ways you never thought possible is truly the worst. You see, not only do you have the deep hurt to contend with but you also have to deal with the additional pain of knowing you ‘should have known better’, or that by now you somehow should have learned to spot the signs and switch off your heart a lot faster.
I can’t lie – it really, truly and utterly hurts to be let down and disappointed…and I’ve had more than my fair share. I’ve always believed myself to be a pretty resilient gal too, able (after a day or two) to dust myself off and come back stronger than ever and with a smile to boot. But just as the rocks start to crumble at a cliff edge after weathering one too many storms, I can feel myself slipping. Two people this year I guess have been those final storms and I just don’t know that bouncing back is an option anymore. Outwardly yes, I’ll ensure those around me aren’t made to feel uncomfortable and so to all intents and purposes I’m ‘over it’, but inwardly I genuinely feel as though something has gone, giving way to a feeling of loss and despair.
The realisation that you allowed yourself to develop deep feelings for someone who can pass you off as ‘not important enough’ or as second best to someone else is a feeling that makes me feel sick to my stomach and entirely deflated. And yet I can never say the words aloud because vulnerability and bare naked emotions seem to be synonymous with weakness and unattractiveness in today’s society. Quite aside from that, they also seem to make people pretty uncomfortable. The trouble with hurt and heartache is, there is no easy answer or quick fix – sometimes I do sympathise with friends because quite frankly, there is nothing to say to make things better.
Even now I am sat here thinking twice about whether to go ahead and publish this. I’ve been a strong and sassy gal in so many ways and I know that writing as I am, I’m revealing a side of me I try to keep locked far away. The side that openly admits I’m feeling bruised, stupid and alone. I have no idea where this shame comes from because, hand on heart, if anyone I know came to me with this, I’d think them brave and offer a very open, judgment free ear. But somehow I can’t quite expect the same for myself…
And I think this is the way in which multiple hurts and heartbreaks really affect you – it cuts right to the core of your being. You look around you and feel as though you’re the only one allowing yourself to be hurt time and again, so you actually start to think that somehow you’re not good enough, there’s something wrong with you and that you don’t deserve (and will never have) the happiness that others seem to find so easy. These are the true scars that opening yourself up to the wrong people leave behind. These are the consequences. Your self-love and self-belief are shot to pieces until all that is left are the ashes of your optimistic self. This, no-one will ever truly understand because they haven’t been where you are and haven’t felt the things you have felt.
But..(she says with a faint glimmer of a smile) I have always loved the story of the phoenix rising from the ashes and so perhaps there is hope for me yet. As utterly pained as I feel now, I will find a way to heal – I just need to work out what it is. Writing is a help clearly and so, too is being honest…:) Distraction could also be a very attractive option right now! I do try really hard to see the positives in life and so I need to really try to do the same here.
Putting my measured and balanced head on for a moment I think I’ll conclude with this thought: In being hurt by people I don’t think I have shown weakness, instead I have shown a willingness to be open and true – to keep hoping and to keep ‘putting myself out there’. With any luck one day I’ll find someone who doesn’t abuse that but instead respects and admires it – it will be the glue that holds us together and the thing that will heal all the ‘wrongs’ of my past.
Afterall, if you don’t have hope (however small it may be) then you don’t have a huge lot.