i’ve come to the end of another journal. only three pages left. i began this journal 34 months ago, and as always, i couldn’t have predicted at the first entry what love and loss i’d process in the pages that follow. i burn journals. sometimes i rip pages from journals to burn immediately after writing. other times i wait years before torching the book’s entirety at once. i don’t yet know what will come of this journal because it contains things that i want to remember, lessons learned. lessons that were hard to learn. lessons learned through pain and self-destruction rather than gentleness or self-nurturing. i’ve reread this journal many times already, surprised and not surprised at the foreshadowings and predictions that came true. surprised and not surprised by the knowledge and wisdom i wrote down and did not apply. if i could travel back in time to those dates and pages filled with what i knew but wasn’t ready to accept or take action toward, i wouldn’t be able to add anything more insightful from this after-the-events many-months-later perspective. i can’t edit or revise anything that would have helped or encouraged me. i had to live those moments as they came. i had to endure my own resistance, avoidance, and suffering. i had to love and hate and fight and lose in order to gain what i have now, and the details of the journey are contained (or torn from and burned) in this journal filled with stories that i’ve lived these past few years.
many weeks i didn’t write. i refused to report the details of violence and fear. i was afraid if someone (mostly, me) were to read my journal that i’d be confronted with the undeniable danger in my world. i wrote about leaving. leaving myself, my past, my life, and about leaving a relationship that threatened my safety, that threatened my sanity, that threatened my life. i wrote convincingly, securely, confidently, believing as i wrote those urgings that i would escape. escape is a tricky scheme. danger can be siren-song alluring. intentional self-destruction begins to feel like a game without rules that keeps a score which won’t indicate whether you’re winning or losing.
leaving turned into arriving somewhere else. leaving what used to be true became realizing what is truer for me now. some losses aren’t losses, but gains. some love isn’t love, but need, lust, or desire called by the wrong name.