I Will Try to Fix You
A while ago, I saw someone who is broken. Someone I love.
I used to think that you could fix anything. That emotional cuts could heal, that a painful past could be left to reside in its yesterdays. I have learned with time that it’s not so easy to compartmentalize the good and the bad in your life. That old memories have a way of inviting themselves into your life when you least need them. That things you think you are over, that you have tidily found a place for in the farthest corner of your mind, can tip-toe back to the front. Demanding that you acknowledge them and stop throwing them into the back of the attic to be hidden once more.
I used to be good at hiding things away. At applying salve to my emotional wounds and covering my cuts with enough Hello Kitty band-aids that I thought they would only leave some small scars as proof.
I was doing ok. I did heal. But I still hurt. The band-aids didn’t take away the bruises and the fractures that had set in, beneath the surface. But I somehow managed. I imagine I was a bit like a functioning alcoholic or drug addict, walking a tenuous line between healed and wounded. Sometimes something would set me over the edge and I would lash out – with anger, with sharp words, with a venom I didn’t know I had in me.
All that hurt had lead to a great deal of anger. And insecurity.
I can’t say that I’ve fully dealt with it. These things are a process. There are no automatic fixes or miracles that can exorcise the ghosts of my past. Trust me, I know. I’ve tried.
I wish I could hold this person that I love, who thinks they are broken and say, “This is nothing. You’re strong enough. You’re better than this. You can still fix yourself.” I know that I can’t though. It’s not allowed and it’s not welcome.
So I watch from afar. And there is nothing worse than watching someone you love, someone who has spent their whole life hiding painful things from the past in the attic realize that the roof is going to give out. All of that pain is seeping through the walls, straining to be acknowledged. Neglected for years, it comes out, demanding attention.
Actually. I take that back. There is something worse than watching someone go through that painful realization.
It’s watching the light go out in their eyes.
How do you fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed?