Hurt People Hurt People
We’ve all heard it said or seen it on someones Instagram story. We probably shared it Sarah let’s be self aware here. Okay you probably seen me share it on my Instagram story. I thought it was one of those sayings that I could use to justify my shitty actions because I was hurting. I’ve come to accept it’s so much more than that.
We see it apply to so many situations in life. In families, friendships, relationships and situationships – Can I just add I hate the phrase situationship, to me it is used when someone doesn’t want to take responsibility for someone else’s feelings, like you can say its a relationship. That doesn’t always have to mean it’s romantic. We see it manifest in different ways, in friendships it can appear as jealousy of ones own failures and so they can’t see anyone else successful. It appears in families when some family members only know hurt and pain and don’t think it’s fair that only they have to suffer it. We see it in all relationships, more so failed relationships. I think it’s quite rare to come across someone whose behaviours aren’t a result of the pain and hurt they’ve endured. It’s hard to separate your circumstances and trauma from who you are as a person. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I owe a lot of the best parts of myself to people I’ve come encountered in life for the good or for the bad. I’m grateful that I came across things in life that have helped shaped me in to the person I am.I am however simultaneously aware that I’ve caused hurt to other people that I’ve crossed paths with.
I have been the hurt person to hurt another person.
I’m not going to say that the people I’ve hurt can take some lesson or gratitude from the hurt I caused because that’s so invalidating of their feelings. Just because you can understand why someone may have done something, doesn’t mean you have to be okay with it or not be allowed to hurt. Being aware of someone’s reasoning does not equate to forgiving the action. This is something I struggle with. I tend not to see things as black or white or right or wrong (big shout out to Grey’s Anatomy which has helped me come to this conclusion). I try and find a reason why someone behaves the way they do. I try and justify their actions by looking for reasons why they made certain choices. I try and believe everyone is good and something happens which causes a bad reaction. I try and think everything happens for a reason. This is all well and good in theory and very optimistic of me. In reality though we can’t get trapped in this bubble that you can’t have feelings toward someone doing bad because they had their own stuff going on. All that is going to do is create endless unhealed hurt people that in turn, you guessed it, hurt people.
We hurt others for different reasons when we are hurt. It could stem from trust issues in which you think everyone is out to get you and can’t be trusted. It can stem from jealousy or a sense of losing control in a situation and so to gain it back, you bring people down to your level. As humans we’ve been trained into suffering in silence and seeing others as competition. We see other peoples successes as a reminder of our failures, that some people aren’t as deserving of good things because they haven’t experienced the bad. But we truly don’t know what anyone else has gone through on this planet. When we use our own hurt as a justification to make others feel small we’re creating a cycle of abuse and we need to escape it.
I am allowed to understand why someone acted a certain way but more importantly I am allowed to feel how it made ME feel. My feelings are valid. Your suffering is valid but that will never excuse the suffering you exert onto others. Many people get hurt and build walls up so that it doesn’t happen again. This may be seen as an act of resilience but you can’t build walls around yourself that you can’t escape from the inside. If you build a wall —you better have a door that people can get in and out. I will allow you to have a key that limits those who come in, but do not lock yourself away because of another person. Yes, set your boundaries but respect that other peoples boundaries are not the same and remind them of this.
Now I’m not saying go out there and be such a sponge for others peoples hurt and never drain it out. We need to find a balance, we don’t have to understand everyone’s reasons or forgive them. We just have to accept it has happened and that we have control over the next hand we play. The person to my left just made me pick up two in cards and I have the power to pass that on to the next person and add to it. But we’re sitting in a circle with an infinite number of cards and so I can add to the hand they just played and continue the cycle -or I can decide to accept it happened and break the cycle by not inflicting my pain onto the next unassuming player. Also I’m very aware many people would put that two down because they want to win -do you really want to win or do you want to see other people lose? If the answer to that is answer two please do not come near me I have encountered enough pick up twos from other people and I am fully prepared to walk away.
So please be kind to each other but more importantly be kind to yourself. You have to do what is in your power to heal from the hands of others. You also have the power to try and stop being those hands for others.
Live ya life knowing that sometimes you are the villain in someone else’s story but that doesn’t mean you’re not the hero of your own.
P.S. You deserve the world and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Even yourself.
Lots of Love,
Sarah (Soon to be Miss Sarahtonin)