My period of healing has lasted for four years now. It’s been hard to imagine what the other side will look like, and truth be told, I am pretty comfortable on the side I currently rest upon. I’ve dogged hate and humiliation and have come out unscathed. My hands aren’t bruised, my voice still speaks, and my body pushes forward; yet I claim to heal like some sort of trial period I keep on renewing. In my healing process, I have denied myself anything that may have the ability to bring me pain. I have denied myself the ability to grow. I won’t do anything that scares me, and I rest comfortably on the idea that I can’t change the circumstances of my heart overnight. Yet I claim to be ready for the next season of awakening and find sorrow in my life’s repeated cycles. It alarms me and magically overwhelms me, the power stored within my emotions. My ability to give life and put that same life to death. But what glory is there in my discovery when it all falls on missed opportunities? I’m sorry for making you victim to my overdose on healing. For demanding patience, security, and your time for something, I was in no need of. Please understand that the pain felt so good. That all my life, I have convinced myself that I needed to take care of other people, that I wasn’t important enough for my own responsibility, so I had to steal yours. I have always had a choice, whether I discovered the tools or chose to leave them. But I never thought in all my time of being the savior in everyone else’s life that I would become the victim in my own. That because I have been hurt and suffered at the hands of you; I am owed healing. I’m sorry for placing that false narrative on you. For asking you to sit and lick my wounds, to aid the misidentification of my victimization. Healing isn’t the process of preserving yourself from pain. It’s the warranting of immense change after you have thrown yourself into the fire of your own truth. I relied on you for shelter when, in reality, what protects you is the newness of who you’ve become after the fire. I can still see myself sitting on the floor, eighteen years old, victim to my failed reality, and to everyone who’d let me down. I remember lying there and crying my eyes out because the people in my life had brought me to my breaking point. That was the night I held everyone responsible for my impasse and denied myself any chance of real restoration. Now I must forgive me for falsely recognizing myself as a hero.