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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Lewis

The pain is getting to me tonight.

I know, I know. I've no right to talk about my pain. My pain means nothing. I'm not the one who has the right to be hurt right now. I'm the one who hurt people. I'm the one who caused the pain of others. I've seen the numbers on the blog, something like 69 different people viewed my blog and presumably all of its worst parts. How could I ever claim to be hurt when there's that many people who have viewed what I did, what I said, and came away in various degrees of pain, up to and including heartbreak? I've no right to say I'm hurting, because I am the one who hurt people.

The person who did the damage to others has no right to say how much pain they are in. All they can do is...well. I don't really know, really. What does the person who causes harm do after having caused the harm? Try to reduce the harm in any way, try to promote healing, learn from the mistake, try to do better, regret it, apologize for it, accept the consequences of their actions...can they do anything more than that? 'Cause that's...all I can really think to do myself. I'm guilty. I'm guilty of the worst sins I can think of, and that is hurting the ones I love, my friends, my closest of people. What can I really do after having done that?

I don't know. But I know what not to do. I know not to make it about me. I don't matter. Only the people I hurt matter. I'm not important. Only they are important. The extent of my role in their healing process is to promote it by acknowledging and accepting their perspective, their viewpoint, and how valid and right they are. How I was in the wrong. How I hurt them. How I caused them pain. How I made a bad mistake. How I regret it. How I recognize my actions have consequences, and whatever they do, whatever they feel, is valid, no matter what.

That's the only thing relevant to me. I don't get a say in their lives, in their process, beyond that. The path of empathy requires putting myself in their shoes, understanding them, accepting them, and doing whatever is best for them. It has nothing to do with me, so making things about me is the exact opposite of what I should do.

But, just as their lives will go on, regardless of whether I am in their lives or not, Mine does, too. And part of my life is that I am not a robot, and I do continue to make decisions, have feelings, and do actions, regardless of whether they are good ones or not. And that part of me just...needs to continue blogging, and in this case airing out a debate within me.

I generally don't believe in deleting evidence of my wrongdoing. For a start, it makes it look like I'm trying to cover things up. Like I'm trying to rewrite history. Like I'm trying to ignore my flaws. Like I'm trying to pretend I'm perfect. Like I'm trying to erase the mistake and pretend it never happened. Like I am guilty of everything people think I am, and then some, that I am worse than I actually was. Deleting the proof deletes it from being widely available, but leaves it in the minds of those who already saw it, and to them they will likely think even worse of me for having removed it after they already saw it.

I don't like to pretend I was better than I was. I don't like trying to pretend my past was better. I made a mistake. I screwed up. And the proof is currently immortalized. By showing everyone I made a huge mistake, I can also show how I've grown from that mistake, how I'm better than I was when I messed up royally. By leaving it there, people can see I was in the wrong, and how I now know I was in the wrong. Leaving it there gives everyone a record of what I did, what people should not do, and gives people the learning experience of knowing what to avoid doing and how to do better than I did.

All of that is why I don't delete my past, no matter how cringe-worthy it is, no matter how horrifying it is, no matter how mortified I am, no matter how much I squint when looking at it, no matter how much my heart sinks reading my past words and feeling the absolute gut-punch of knowing I once wrote that horribly wrong thing that was badly hurtful.

...and yet...

...never before have I been more tempted to do exactly that.

I don't want to delete the evidence when people have already viewed it and thus know of my guilt already...

...but I don't want people who haven't already seen it, to then see it and end up hurt by it.

Part of me has always thought, "people reading my words should see all of me, even the bad, even the hurtful stuff, even if it causes them pain, so that they can accept me as the flawed imperfect human I am". Which supports not deleting my wrongdoing.

...But another part of me is screaming that in this case, I should.

I don't know why.

But part of me is just looking at what I did and going, "your words have hurt enough already"--that they should hurt no more, and that I should delete the hurtful things so that only those who have learned of it thusfar will be hurt, and nobody new can be.

That part of me is, for whatever reason growing, but is facing resistance.

I have an entire lifetime of not deleting my wrongdoing because everyone should know how I did wrong, how I suck, how I'm terrible.

But I have a growing part of me that wants to at least remove this wrongdoing from the public eye. It'll remain in private. I'm sure people have screenshots of it, to prevent it from being erased by me doing exactly this. If they didn't already have them, then this blog post will prompt them to TAKE said screenshots, to make absolutely sure the proof remains at least in private. (Although to be honest, if anyone wanted me to give them the proof in private, they could just ask. I would give it to them but warn that it would be harmful.)

Which is smart! You can't let a criminal get away with their wrongdoing by them deleting the evidence of it. You can't rely on word of mouth to prove the wrongdoing. You need the tangible proof of it, so they will immortalize it privately, in whatever ways they deem necessary. And I am a criminal, who deserves to be punished.

Yet. I don't know why. But part of me does want to just...remove it, say what transpired was TOO harmful to leave to the public eye, and that the frail of heart should not learn what transpired, that only those who know already should know.

I kinda just want to be told what to do.

Have someone who has read the damaging blog posts give me a suggestion, or even an order, or a demand. Tell me what to do. I even kinda want it to be that just-delete-it option. And I'm a coward, because that would mean I don't have the strength to do it on my own, despite a large part of me wishing I would have already done so.

But I'll give it some thought. I have the rest of my life to decide, yet the sooner I make a decision, the sooner my actions will have consequences, for better or worse.

Once again, for everything, I am sorry.

I'm trying my best to do the right thing.

Even when I messed up badly, I was trying to do the right thing, but with the benefit of hindsight I know I was badly wrong. I should've never done what I did. Even back then I should've known better, and that I didn't speaks volumes of my character and how tremendously terrible I was--and might still be. I should've been better, but I wasn't. So now I need to keep trying to do the right thing, moving forward.

I just don't know what the right thing to do is.

Like, is leaving it up the right thing?

Taking it down the right thing?

Is neither the right thing, or are both the right thing, with it depending from person to person?

I don't know.

I'll try giving it more thought.

As always though, I just want to remind all of my readers that I do truly love you.

I am sorry for every failure of mine. I am sorry for every shortcoming of mine, as well as all the consequences to flow from my actions.

And...thank you. For reading this. I know this is not something you were likely to have been linked by another. For you to have read this, you likely pursued it on your own, without anyone being told to. You gave me a chance, and listened to what I had to say. You may or may not have judged me, and whatever your judgement is, it's valid. But you still read through it all, and that means everything to me, because it means that despite everything, I am still at least to some extent a human to you.

It's more than I deserve, to be sure.

​But it's welcomed, all the same.

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