Posted in Being Vulnerable

Holding space for other’s pain

My sister emailed.

She is still in pain.

My choice to block her on every platform broke her heart.

She feels betrayed.

I know the feeling.

Because that’s why I blocked her.

I felt she took his side instead of mine and I was enraged.

After all this time, how could she?

But maybe I am mistaken.

Maybe I assumed incorrectly.

I tend to do that when I’m angry.

Assume the worst.

Blame everything on you

Because of course it’s not me.

So her email.

Her pain.

Feeling alone.

Again, I know the feeling.

When I moved from California to North Carolina when I was 23, I felt alone.

The only people I knew was

Me, myself and I.

And to top it off, my friend Teddy, who I was very close to at the time, stopped talking to me because his new girlfriend didn’t trust our friendship.

I don’t think he realized how painful that decision was for me.

I cried immediately when he told me we couldn’t talk anymore.

I sobbed realizing I was alone.

I was so utterly alone.

I had just moved across the country and I had no one.

All I had was my work.

And my mom.

I would call her everyday

During lunch.

Just because I needed to hear a familiar voice.

So I do understand my sister’s pain.

And I do understand I acted rashly in my anger.

And I apologized for what I did.

But I don’t expect it to go back to normal.

I’m not that naive.

I understand I cut a deep wound in her heart.

And since I have my own wounds, I know they don’t heal quickly or even smoothly for that matter.

I feel all I can do is just wait and hold space for her pain.

Because isn’t that what I would want if I were in her shoes?


lover of words

3 thoughts on “Holding space for other’s pain

  1. Wounds cut deeply. We feel them in our flesh for awhile, for over time they leave an indelible mark on our souls. Holding space for pain is sometimes all that we can do. The adage that “time heals all wounds” is not particularly accurate. It is not time, but a new perspective that allows the wounds to be acclimated into a different emotional and intellectual mindset. The wounds remain, but they can become the fertile soil for artistic expression, changed relationships, or even more substantial life changes. Where once they were crutches on which we hung on sadness, they become a new set of legs. Poetically, your piece is very raw, real, and visceral. It is straightforward honesty, and I find it very compelling and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well as the common phrase goes, I don’t know how I feel about it until I write about it, hits home here.
      Thank you for appreciating my struggle and relating in such a helpful way. And as I believe all things are connected, you’re not the first person to remind me that pain can grow legs. Pain can become our greatest gift if we let it and that is what I’m slowly trying to do. Yes, as you stated, it does take a new, more self aware state of mind. And it takes compassion for self and others. Something I’m also learning to implement.
      I also hope through my vulnerable writing, I will see more vulnerable writing in the world. Because what we want to see, we first have to give.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vulnerable writing has the most value for both the writer and the empathetic reader. It allows for a connection between storyteller and story receiver that is the core of what a story really is. Story is not just plot, character arcs, style, semantics, etc. It is at best a connection that endures between the storyteller and the story receiver. Few writers attempt to do “vulnerable writing” for various reasons, but I agree with you that we should see more of it. Putting it out there from time to time in such a visceral manner helps to carve out for space for others to do the same.


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