Revisionist History

We are all victims of revisionist history, to some extent. It could be a friend that remembers things a bit differently than the way you do, or a parent who refuses to admit to mistakes made. Regardless of the instance, being a part of something like that, that you believe to be incorrect, stings. It stings because, in your heart, you know that things played out differently. See, but then the certainty becomes supposition. “Are they right about what they are saying?”. “I couldn’t have really been like that, could I?” Admittedly, we can’t be aware of every little thing that we do, over the course of the day, or we would not be as productive but, with your certainty wavering, you start wanting to comb through the different situations in order to pinpoint the error of your ways or to challenge the assertion that has been made against you. Mind you, you only care about this because you care about the person stating their issue. Had this been any old nobody, a bit player in your grand overture, you would barely bat an eyelash. But it burns when it’s someone you care for. It hurts because you just want that person to be happy with you and since they clearly are not, there is a growing discomfort.

This is where it gets interesting. Because you assess the situation and you start remembering instances that were mentioned in the grievance(s). In the moment of hearing these issues, your mind races to situate yourself, within the turbulence. There are instinctive emotional pivots that you know that you can rely on, but that can also complicate the situation further. You’re very aware of this. So you reject the option to go in that direction. You start scanning for other alternatives. “It’s important that I handle this correctly”, you say to yourself. Not even realizing that you’re saying it. So you try to acknowledge the issues that the other person is having while attempting to clarify your side. It doesn’t work. There are more examples that start flying in your direction, like the rubber bands that your older brother used to shoot at you, as a kid. It stings. And it’s frustrating. And you’re powerless. Weakened by the gripe of an important person. Hurt by the inability to make it right. Damaged by the aftermath. You know that the truth is being skewed because the totality of the situation is not being addressed, merely small moments. Moments that, by themselves mean different things without the sum of all the parts but to make that thought known is going to cause another problem. There’s no way out, beyond resignation.

As you wake up, in the following days, you go about your business as usual, on the surface, all the while being frustrated with the outcome. Sad about the current state of affairs. You start to formulate arguments, in your mind, that make large amounts of sense which, when you think about the arguments of the opposition and how lopsided it all was, makes you annoyed. Part of that annoyance stems from the fact that you’ve finally realized things for yourself but you know that revisiting the issue will only lead to another confrontation. It’s too late. You also know that allowing things to remain the way they are is tantamount to admitting guilt. “I’m not guilty…not THAT guilty”. You come to realize that the situation is unresolvable and this is probably the most crushing part because you’ve grown to believe that you can fix anything if you have enough understanding. The problem, in this instance, is that you don’t really fully comprehend what is happening. No fix. It becomes apparent that space is needed but that kind of space scares you.  “People don’t usually come back from that kind of space…not to me, they don’t…” That’s part of the reason that you isolate yourself. This is the reason you don’t let them in. It’s always hurt so much to see them go because you knew that you weren’t getting them back. “They will understand, someday”, you say. But will they, really? You don’t believe in poetic justice and, with that being said, you can’t convince yourself that things will smoothe out. There is so much going on in your life though. You can’t despair. You won’t. No. Not like last time. You’ve developed thicker skin. However, you do start to wonder if all of this “thick skin” is turning you into a person that you won’t recognize, before long. You understand that you have to deal with the hurt. Not push it aside. Because it will fester. Mutate. Become something worse than what it is. So you stand, looking out of the window as the sun rises anew. On the precipice of a new day. And you hurt…