A new day

I never slept so well as I did last night (of course, I had Shorty B., the hellion cat, caged, so that helped!).

During the past couple of days, I’ve been exchanging e-mails with someone from my past. I wish I could share the e-mails, and maybe someday I will post some excerpts. But the short version is that we’ve had this secret hanging over our heads for years, and it was like the proverbial elephant sitting on the kitchen sink — everybody knew it was there, and everone tiptoed around it and pretended not to notice.

I chose never to bring it up. I chose instead to drop off the radar with him, much like he did when that elephant moved in. And I don’t know what happened, but he chose now to talk about it, chose now to try to make amends with me.

I took the apology. I listened to the stories. I don’t do that for everyone, but I’m glad I did for him.

More often than not, people in my position never get that apology. Even though it sucks, we just learn to accept that when the going gets tough, some people head for the hills and leave the mess behind. And for the rest of us who can’t stand a mess, we take care of business, no matter how hard it is. But I’ve had friends go decades with no word that the trauma ever registered on the other person. And now I have the gift of knowing that I’m not the only one who hurt, that I’m not the only one whose life is interrupted by reminders, usually at the worst possible times.

It’s not necessarily that he needed my permission to move on, but I did offer my blessing to deal with it and not be too haunted. And in doing so, I feel better that I meant enough to him for him to want to finally know what went on, and what will always go on, inside my head.

I left a lot of bad memories behind when I left Pittsburgh nearly two years ago. But last night, I was truly able to close that chapter and hopefully to save a friendship that got mangled in the current that swept me away.

And today is a new day in all senses. The poison is out of my system, and I am truly free to move on. The ability to forgive is empowering.

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