We all get hurt by people we love, deeply hurt. Just as much as we hurt them.

It is this unbearable feeling of pain, anger and fear.

Pain over the loss, anger that the imagined future will never come into being, fear about a tomorrow that we cannot even imagine.

It is this desperate feeling for an answer “why does it have to be this way?”.

It is this longing for the confirmation “it is all okay again”.

It is this resignation knowing “some scars last a lifetime”.

(photo: Falmouth, Cornwall by Lisa Gellert)

I have scars. And I carry them proudly. On some days they cut open again; I can literally feel it. A wave of “whys” and “what ifs” crushes over me. It is a very real moment. I get to experience how a feeling, an emotion which is hard to put into words, hard to pinpoint has an actual, real effect on my body. It does hurt. My body reacts. I get tears, physical pain and I need to bend my body.

We love the idea that we are in control of things. We plan things down to the detail just to find out that we cannot know what’s around the corner the next day. But surely, we can be at least in control over our own body, of our very own being.

I find that in these situations, when we are so vulnerable being confronted with uncomfortable and seemingly unbearable emotions, I have no control at all. Some people might be good at suppressing emotions. However, I am convinced that they still make their way to be felt, yet in other ways. Other people can engage with their emotions. Acknowledging their existence, not wanting to dismiss them, but gently getting in touch with them. This is a high goal and I am far from being there!

The physical reaction can be brutal, but even more so can be the voices that go along. They build up fairytales of “being not enough”, “being alone” or “being the meanest person in the world”, “being unlovable”, it “being my fault”. I suffer more from these voices than from the physical pain.

Yet, I am no longer afraid of hurting. Because, even though it sounds like a cliché, it hurts because it matters. Because the person I am longing for matters. Because the person who can hurt me the most is the person who is the closest to me. Because I decide that this person matters.

We all leave marks. Some even sparks. And some leave scars.


“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


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