Loss of someone dear

The recent deaths of the chef Anthony Bourdain, Inés Zorreguieta (the little sister of my country’s queen Maxima), bag designer Kate Spade, and DJ Avicii were quite overwhelming to me. It basically knocked me off my feet, when I was feeling like I was somewhat grounded again.

A neighbor also talked to me for the first time in more than ten years, bringing back more awful memories of my childhood that I tried so hard not to remember. In a sense, I was happy to be able to discuss it instead of ignoring it and letting the wounds fester. I hoped for an honest and open conversation with nothing left unspoken so that it could give us both some closure. But she was only waiting for me at the side of the stairs to ask me why me and my family members were giving her and her husband the silent treatment lately. I told her that I started to remember everything that happened in the past. Then, she told me that she would forgive me for my strange behavior. Those words kind of made me lose my temper. She would forgive me? After all that I went through, after all the effort I made to not hate them who aren’t responsible for somebody else’s actions, and after how hard I tried to still greet them friendly, whenever we would cross roads? After shouting angrily at her, she asked me for forgiveness, but I don’t think I have it in me at this point. After a short pause, she just walked away while saying that at least, she knows why.

This whole situation made me feel really upset. But when I reflected on it, I realised that I did a similar thing in the past to her. I told the whole neighborhood what happened to me and everyone was initially really supportive. After a while, it started to sink in and the truth was so horrible that they rather wanted to believe that a little girl would lie about that. I am sure the psycho’s also used their charms to push everything in that direction too. That was when I told myself to treat it as if nothing happened. It was the only way I could survive this. After some time, I was magically able to erase it from my memories. I kept repeating to myself that nothing happened and that I was still a normal little girl. After a certain point, I started to sense how weird some neighbors were acting. They seemed to be scared of me and tried to avoid me. After all the ostracizing at school, I got really sensitive to that, so I waited at the side of the stairs to ask the woman living nearby why she acted like that. She was confused why I would not know that. Was it really a lie? But after talking for a bit, some memories came back to me and then, I quickly walked away, while mumbling “At least, I know why you acted that way” and cut off the conversation. I wanted to escape to my room as quickly as possible so that I could repress the memories again. To her, it may have looked like a girl acting really rude. Getting angry at them for being sensitive to my feelings and not show up in front of me in fear of triggering memories and then, walking away after saying random things. That must have hurt her in some way, as even after twenty years, she still remembered it and was waiting for the moment of payback time.

This made me wonder about a lot of things. Is this how people deal with bad experiences? Because I only knew to keep it inside, until there was so much hatred that I did not want to be near people anymore. Although I understood where the anger from others might come from and why they need to hurt me (they need to project their anger to others and not themselves to stay alive), I still couldn’t let the hatred go away. It just felt incredibly unfair that they needed to unload all their stress, anger, and hurt on me, the one who was the most vulnerable and alone. But also, the safest person to unload it on, as it will have no bad consequences for them. The continuous pain, humiliation, and the loss of a precious person at twelve years old made me unable to forgive them. I could only forget. In the beginning, I had tried using the same method (putting others through the same pain as yours) to the bullies, but I felt disgusted by myself for acting the same way as the people I loathed. They already did all they could to crush my self esteem and I didn’t want to crush it with my own hands too. But I needed to live on carrying a lot of sadness and hatred.

It is strange, but the people who died lately have a lot in common. They are known to speak their minds and to do things that others might be too scared to do. Could it be that they are fearless, because they had already seen and experienced some of the worst like me? They are also extremely creative and creativity is a talent of mine that I have cherished my whole life. In combination with high empathy, it can bring immense success. But the downside is that everyone will depend on you. High responsibily and perfectionism will drain you. Carrying the world's pain and sadness, is a heavy weight on your shoulders too. But sadly, our personalities doesn't allow us to do nothing either. Just like a famous Dutch writer, Joost Zwagerman, Inés did a lot of research on suicide, but was not fortunate enough to escape it. I wish I had the answer, so that nobody needs to ever lose someone dear.

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