There are many reasons why someone ends up hurting you. But mostly it’s because they’re hurting themselves. And they can’t find a safe place to put it.

So they stumble upon a sturdy vessel and fill it with their sadness.

But he is unable to fully love you because he hasn’t yet found a way to love himself.

Your strength becomes his crutch.

You are now carrying around more than your own burdens. You’re trying to hold up your weight as well as his.

But you will eventually break under that weight, regardless of how strong and loving you are.

Because, you see, he may have problems that are so distant the years have skillfully buried them.

And then something happens, a trigger, and they rise to the surface and obliterate everything else. Even you.

You walk along the shore, sand squishing through your toes, hand in hand, trying to keep that spark alive.

And then a mighty wave comes and covers you in its swell.

He may falter first, his sadness and agony too heavy to bear up under the weight of something so much stronger.

And suddenly you are swept out to sea with him.

You will fight against the onslaught of water while scrambling to find him in the rolling waves. Even though you can’t swim, you will not hesitate to risk your own life.

You will do your best to lift him up and carry him to shore.

And I know you won’t hesitate to do that. Because you love him.

But sometimes love is not enough to overcome his pain.

Please stop when your strength is being diminished inside his well of sorrow.

Say I’m done when the candle flickers inside you and threatens to go out.

Because you can’t love someone into being happy.

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  1. Wow! I’m not sure I’ve read anything that so exactly describes what I’ve gone through in the last 22 years. Heartbreakingly true. I’m through the worst of it and am out the other side for the most part. Your words really hit me. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse to know that I’m not the only one to go through something so difficult. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  2. Such poignant and true words. If only we could have seen and known back then what we have learned in hindsight.

  3. This was beautiful. I can really relate to this and the pain life heaves upon people. My husband was in Nam for two years with the Marines and it scared him for life.

    I’d love to know which book The Survivor came from that was written by Ms Gill. Her poetry is so moving. Thank you Brenda for writing this.

    1. That was so beautifully said. You are so right, you cannot love someone into being happy and why should we let them rob us of our happiness!

  4. Thank you for the beautiful awakening. I am a survivor and your words define what it was like, but no more.

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