A Watered Down Story

In a way, it’s weird now. I think it’s good that I can talk about it; that those close to me think it’s okay to bring it up in casual conversations. From that viewpoint, I truly think it’s good. After all, I don’t want things shoved under the table to pretend they never happened. I don’t want to never talk about it.

But in a way, it also makes me—uncomfortable isn’t the right word—but it’s the closest I can come to the right one. It just feels off when it’s brough up in casual conversation. Weird to have people fascinated by a story they find unbelievable. It’s hard to tell people about something so serious when it can’t be a serious subject to them. It is a fascinating story, but it was horrible at the time.

What is maybe most off to me is hearing myself tell a watered-down, cut-up, slim version of a story which still measures up to everyone’s expectations of fascination and interest even in that format. It meets their desire for a good story. But it doesn’t show any hint of the hell it really put me through. Maybe it’s so off for me to tell because that version is a version that is easy—when the real thing was so damn hard. Maybe it is secretly uncomfortable for me to tell because it just reminds me that no one else understands what it was like. Maybe it just exemplifies the near impossibility it seems my story has in being truly grasped by most people. And don’t get me wrong; that’s a good thing. But the story is only good to those who hear it because they don’t have to understand how bad it was.

Maybe it also just exemplifies that the only real understanding I’ll ever have of what happened can only come through the made-up answers I supply myself– because I’ll never understand. People don’t get it. That’s okay; they don’t have to. But I do have to be at peace. I don’t know if I’m at peace yet. Separating all my emotions from my tale is unsettling for me. Walking around with it; it’s not impossible and it’s no longer horrible, but I sometimes wish I did have someone who understood… Part of me will always wish that I understood. I don’t honestly like telling this story. But maybe someday there is a way I will.

–Written by Sandy Heights
Image by Виктория Аникина from Pixabay

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