Exhaustion

Have you ever been a part of something that just makes you tired? Something that sucks the life and the genuine joy and what pure hope that you have left, right out of you?

That’s a shitty place to be. Stuck in a tireless cycle being put through hell for someone that only hurts you, over and over and over. But you don’t really know anything else and you don’t really have anything else to pull you out of that sad cycle, so you stay.

And you become exhausted.

Now switch perspectives.

Have you ever seen someone who was stuck in that kind of cycle? Someone who’s situation you could identify and recognize as that exhausting cycle? You want to help them but maybe they aren’t ready to let go of it yet. They aren’t ready to break free and live happily.

Now, consider your own thoughts. Have you ever been so happy to see someone royally fuck up? For any reason. Maybe you dislike the person. Maybe you can benefit from their mistake. Maybe, just maybe, you were witnessing the person who was stuck in that exhausting cycle and you saw the person who was causing this chaos make the biggest mistake of their lives. Maybe you were actually there the moment that it happened. You were there when things ended.

Perhaps you got to sit there on that bench, in front of that building, and cherish the silence with this person who had been cut free. You got to see them take their first breath in this new chapter. They were done running around in circles and being out of breath, doing all that they could to please another person. They were now standing still, catching their breath; hopefully wondering why they had been running so aimlessly for so long.

The opportunity to help them become this whole new version of themselves had fallen into your lap and you felt more than ready to accept it. Maybe you love this person already even though you can’t tell them that yet. And maybe you’d do anything you possibly could for them, but you can’t let them know it yet, because what if they aren’t ready? What if it scares them that someone is so devoted to them so quickly?

In those kinds of situations, as the observer, you aren’t supposed feel things. It isn’t about you. It’s about the person who’s exhausted and the person exhausting them. You aren’t supposed to be happy that it happened and you aren’t supposed to be fighting the urge to jump up, pump your fist in the air, and say, “Yes! Finally!”

But 9 times out of 10, the person doing the harm doesn’t know how much you, the observer, knows, or even that you’re involved. That leaves you in what seems like your own little world with secrets. You feel like Smeagol from the Lord of the Rings, figuratively lurking in this person’s shadows with tales of how shitty they are. You have proof and knowledge and lots of things to say. You have feelings that you wind up literally biting your tongue to keep from saying out loud when you find them coincidentally in front of you in line at the nearest eatery. You keep your mouth shut for the sake of the person who was exhausted.

But finally you get to speak. You get the opportunity to say what you went through because of the things you knew and the part that you played in their situation. Someone hands you the chance to spill all of the details about your heartache as an observer, and all of the times that your feelings were hurt when this exhausted person would still speak fondly of the person who had treated them so miserably, and the threats you received, and the snide remarks that were made when others passed by you in public. Someone hands you the chance to come clean and air your dirty laundry.

But you hand it right back because you’re better than that. You’re better than them.

You know that if you were to tell her exactly what you thought of her, you’d get so caught up in your monologue that you’d spill every single thing you know about her and how worthless she really is and you’d tell her everything her sisters would never say to her face. You’d strip down the flimsy little barriers she’d set up around herself and called progress and wake her up to what kind of person she truly is.

…Oops.

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