Jul 11, 2017

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If I Had a Time Machine

If you ever got the chance to use a time machine and go back in your life and change just one thing, do you know what you'd change? Would you go back and change something? And what do you think the implications would be, if you did?

If I had a time machine, I know exactly when I'd go back and what I would change. I know where I'd go, almost to the minute.

I'd go back to that time when I made a decision that sent me down a dark path, changing me from a carefree, happy-go-lucky 22 year old and into a insecure emotional wreck with trust issues and more baggage than a fully booked Boeing 747.

Looking back, it was a tiny, seemingly insignificant decision...

It was a cold Sunday evening early in October. My beloved stars were out, and the pavement was covered in frost. I had spent the day at my parents' place, and just got off the bus outside my city apartment when I realized that I had forgotten to bring my keys.

I tried calling my roomie, but her phone was off, and I remembered her saying she wanted to go to the movies that day. And I looked at the time, realizing that the movie had probably just started, and that I wouldn't get a hold of her for at least a couple of hours.

I tried calling a couple of other friends, but they must also have been at the movies - no one picked up. So there I was, sitting on the doormat outside my apartment in the cold autumn night, wondering what to do.

As I searched through my pockets yet again for the keys, I happened to find a note. A note with the phone number of a guy that had pestered me at the club the night before. After him nagging for ages, I'd finally given him my number and taken his.

And there, because I was cold and bored, I texted him. And that's how I met my "Darkness", the one who took away all my light.

He was a handsome guy. Charming, funny, intelligent, charismatic. Everyone seemed to love him. And he wanted me. I wasn't really looking for a relationship at the time, so even though I was flattered, I tried to turn him down. But he was the kind of guy that always seemed to get what he wanted.

I'd give anything to go back and change that moment. I could have called the landlord, or gone to a cafe. Something other than texting a guy I didn't really want to hear from. And I blame myself for making that decision.

I keep wondering what I would have been like if I hadn't sent that fateful text.

People keep saying what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. But there are limits to how strong a person should have to be. And I don't feel strong at all. I still to this day feel like a mess, useless and worthless.

What I'd give to change the path of my life from that point... I probably wouldn't be the person I am today. I'd probably still be pretty carefree and happy, probably still have all my friends that disappeared when times got tough.

I probably wouldn't have my dog, and there are some people I probably would never have met. But I'd give anything to be a "normal" person with "normal" reactions and feelings. And not someone who's first instinct is to flee when people get too close.

And, yes, I eventually got on with my life, I managed to leave. I picked myself up, and tried my best to find that girl I had once been. But the scars will always be there. I'll always have strange reactions to situations. And I have so many issues that I don't want to burden people with. 

I think it's pretty unfair that on top of what happened, I will never be the same. That I'll always be worried that people will run away from me if I let them have a glimpse of all the stuff I'm carrying around.

Being quite analytical and logical about how I am, I know that I push people away - and why I do it. I know that the way I react to certain situations is completely bonkers. But there's that little guy on my shoulder always questioning things. Always telling me that no one would ever want me.

I know that life is not a Hollywood movie. I will probably never get that "happy ending" where the right guy comes along and decides to stick by me despite all of my issues. Besides, the relationships portrayed in the movies are often quite unhealthy (yeah, I'm looking at you Edward and Bella). They really aren't something to strive for.

So I've kept it all to myself, and I managed to get by, at times I even forget, at times it feels like it all happened to someone else.

But last Easter something happened that ripped open every scar, and sent me straight back to that moment when you are so afraid that your heart hurts with every single beat, as if a giant hand keeps squeezing it.

I didn't think much of it at first. But it turned out that the Easter incident brought everything to the surface again, as fresh as if I was 22 again. And I tried to ignore the irrational fears, tried to brush off all the feelings that kept popping up. But they just wouldn't go.

I think that's what made me decide, that it's time to tell someone. So I told my best friend, my rock. And she didn't judge, she didn't pity me. She was, and is, just there to support me.

Then I started looking through some of the old poems I wrote, and I started writing a few new ones. It's my way of processing things, getting my feelings down in writing.

And now I'm telling you bits of my story. Because I know that out there there are people who need to hear this, and I couldn't fit all the words into a poem:
You can get away. You can leave. It won't be easy, but you deserve better.

I leave you with a song by Janet Jackson that became immensely important to me at that time:

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