A couple weeks ago, I had one of the most painful and heartbreaking experiences I’ve had in a very long time. I felt betrayed by people who I care for and love with all of my heart. I felt alone and angry and misunderstood. One part of me wanted to just sit somewhere and breakdown until it was all over, another part of me wanted revenge. I wanted to call and scream and tell them how wrong they were. I shook with anger as I tried to keep myself from calling and saying nasty things that built up inside of me. Finally I sat in a deserted hall at the campus library and broke down in tears. I knew it would be wrong to call, but if I couldn’t contain myself, I knew I would do it. Don’t call. Just breathe. Just breathe. Don’t call.
At the end of the week, I was with my two best friends, who had read my long emails and talked to me on the phone for hours during the week. They congratulated me from getting through it. I did it. I didn’t stab anybody. I didn’t do anything that I’d later on regret. I made it.
When I sat there with my friends, we talked about the usual: boys, dates, weird classes, funny teachers, sisters, parents. But this time, we also talked about pain and suffering. One of my friends is away from her family for the first time, living in small town campus where everyone already knows each other. She is still healing from an injury that has kept her from all of her passions—golf, basketball, and working out every day. The other is without her parents in a different country, waiting anxiously for acceptance letters to colleges, trying to find out where her life is taking her, keeping patient with those around her who are difficult, and trying every day to find friends. I have talked to others in the past week who are struggling as well. With almost all us, our challenge is that we are alone. Misunderstood. We don’t feel at home. We don’t have our comfort. We have no friends.
It has been heartbreaking to listen to the stories and experiences of friends I have known since I was thirteen. I wish I could be with them after school to hug them and congratulate them for getting through the day. I wish I could be there every time they need to lean on my shoulder and cry. I wish I could drive to the gas station and pick them up a couple donuts whenever they needed one.
But even after we talked about our hardships, there is no doubt that the two are stronger and more beautiful people. They have a light in their eyes. Even though they are suffering every day—to the point that getting out of bed in the morning feels unbearable—they still have hope. They know they can do it. They are strong.
At the end of my terrible week, I decided I wasn’t going to be angry anymore. The only person I was hurting by carrying all of the emotions was myself. I decided that even though I felt I should be upset, I was just being selfish for wanting to take a stab at them back. I sat down and prayed for me to be strong. I slept for a whole day. I ate over twenty chocolate strawberries in a sitting. Finally, I was able to forgive and forget. When I decided to let it be, my body filled with peace and comfort and love. Yes, it still hurts when I think about them. But I know that because I left it alone and didn’t hurt anyone, I am stronger.