broken glass by jilbert ebrahimi

You Break It, You Pay For It

When I was a kid, my parents used to warn me to keep my hands behind my back whenever we’re in the fragile part of a department store (i.e., the glassware and home accessories section). My mom would tell me that if I break something, I’ve got to pay for it. For a kid with limited funds, that’s enough to make me get scared and opt-out from the excursion on that part of the store.

Now, looking back on those words, I can’t help but relate it to every day my life, but it a less literal way.

I learned early on that glass, ceramics and porcelain are not the only things that can break. Trust, hope, love and all the abstract things in our lives can be broken too — and we have to pay for it one way or another. 

This realization is something that I have dealt with several times this year already.

One person I trusted and should have protected me, abused that trust… abused my kindness. I have created a clean slate for that person when I found out that we’d have to work together… erased all prejudices that I might have based on a past that person has. But that trust was broken. I have trusted too much, I guess. The emotional abuse was too much that I have contemplated leaving a job that’s growing on me… leaving newfound friends that I’m fond of… leaving a [sort of] job security that is almost too hard to have these days.

I have let that abuse lasted months, not saying anything because of fear: Fear for myself and fear for my job security. Alas, the last straw happened. I learned that I wasn’t impulsive in my decision after all. I took careful steps, covered all the bases so to speak, and took the legal route.

I persevered and I was able to carry on.

Have I ever tried mending the emotional fence?

Of course I did.

I reach out, trying the salvage any lingering affections there still might. However, a relationship (regardless of whether it’s friendship, familial or something romantic) takes more than one person to make it through tough times. I can do so much.

If I’m asked if the fence will ever get mended between that person who devalued me and treated me so shabbily… I would vehemently say NO. I offered numerous chances… numerous ways for redemption. None of that happened and I had reached my breaking point.

Call me tough, but the truth is, once my trust is broken, it can never be repaired.

Sure I can forgive, but I can never forget. The pain in experiencing broken trust can never be erased in my emotional bank. There’s always that wariness that will cloud my judgment whenever I deal with a person who broke my trust and hurt my feelings… and I would forever hesitate in subjecting myself to that same feeling again. I would always treat that person with distrust, and that’s not a very good foundation for any relationship.

If there is one lesson I have lived with throughout these years is self-preservation. It has worked well for me. I have experienced less disappointment and heartache whenever my foolish heart makes me take another chance… another leap of faith.

I attempt once or even twice to mend a broken fence… and the ball is on their court. Whatever they want to do next will be up to them, but I won’t wait forever.

Rooted In The Past?

It could have been rooted on my past or could have been accumulated throughout the years. I don’t know. One thing I’m sure of is that I had an abundance of experience to make a case of it.

You see, I’ve suffered through heartache a lot when I was younger. It started from home and carried over to school life and even to my love life (including the pseudo ones).

I’ve been wary of people ever since. I’ve grown to be careful with friends, even with those those I’ve considered very close ones. It seems that in the back of my mind, I’m waiting for them to fail me. As is the case, some did fail me.

Then again, the heart is a resilient SOB. It made me a fool numerous times since it’s a basic human need to seek companionship… to seek comfort from another person.

Whenever I become weak and let those foolish moments happen, I blame myself more for lowering down my barriers and taking a walk on the wild side. The distrust I have slightly fades away during those foolish moments and regrets are all I have afterwards. Those are the things that feeds my weary heart.

Wasted time… wasted efforts… those are the constants in my life whenever I start opening up. I can’t get  a break. It’s sad, really. The amount of effort I put forth and never getting a return of investment literally breaks me down. It makes one wonder how I can still smile (and I smile a lot) every day and give inspirational and motivational talks to other people.

At first, I pretend to be okay. I hate seeing pity in other people’s eyes. But I guess the pretense became second nature already. It seems so automatic that I am not sure if I’m still pretending or is it real. I fear I’m losing myself during those moments.

I fear that I am not myself anymore as disappointments chip away a shred of my personality one heartache at a time. I fear that I’m left with but a shell of a person that I once was.

But then, I’m still holding on to the hope that there’s a special person out there that would break down the emotional barriers I have painstakingly constructed throughout the years. I’m holding on to that thought as I turn another year older this month. Maybe before hitting the big 4-0, I will be whole again — I will be me again.

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