throw away your old bank statements

In the hidden depth of my blocked messages folder on Facebook remains an elephant graveyard of insults. A litany of accusations. Back and forth pleas to stop messaging, marked by “you think you’re better than everyone else” sentiments.

I can’t even see the profile of the person in question. They, too, are blocked.

And the messages are horrible. Why do I keep them? Same for my text messages; a spiraling kaleidoscope of hate and anger, and rage. When did we become gluttons for punishment? Why are we re-reading these messages at all?

As I buckled up for the hate train yesterday afternoon, I read the messages with fresh eyes. They were sent a couple of years ago, and they still hurt like the first day I’d read them. They were full of malice. Their target was sent from ‘stun’ to ‘kill’, and even now their rage sears my skin, and punctures wounds in my heart. These are very, very angry messages. And they didn’t let off. Not until someone was finally blocked.

When we would engage in these outbursts in our analog childhoods, the words became faded over time. Scars would form over bullet holes, and we’d remember how badly we hurt. But we would have the opportunity to squash the flowers down the primrose path. We’d burn up those notes, or toss them in the trash.

Now, as many a keyboard warrior before me has said: the internet keeps receipts.

And you can delete your old profiles, and your messaging services, and your twitter accounts and your snapchats. But somewhere out there, those words and hateful passages live on. They find new breeding ground. When I first received these back and forths, I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and how I felt when I responded. And now, I am in a new place, reading from a new device, and yet, the words still gash open and pour out venom as the did the first day I received them.

And what am I doing for my participation in the round robin? Am I going to reach out to this person and apologize for my role? Am I doing something with these messages that will somehow serve and justify how I’m feeling tomorrow, ten years from now, or when (IF) this person makes their way back into my life? Will I hold these messages above my head like John Cusack in the rain, and say: SEE?! SEE all the shitty things you said?! See?!

Throw away your old bank statements.

Let go of anger.

You can delete the screencaps, and the blocked message folder. You can close the laptop lid, and turn off your phone. I wish I could take my own advice.

For now, I leave with this – what am I saying that is going to be left to spat out years down the road? What hate am I responsible for? What sadness have I brought on someone else? What gossip have I participated in? What gossip will I choose to avoid? What have I said or done that could hurt someone else? Do I really think I never have? Can I sleep well knowing that I am remorseful, or do I have to go further – do I have to reach out an apologize for what I’ve said or done in the past? Do I have to find that person (these people) and say hey: that time, I was an asshole. And I’m sorry.

Words live on.

Throw away your old bank statements.

— c ☆

One Comment Add yours

  1. brendaratcliffe says:

    Well care honestly we have been assholes at times but when people hurt us through words threats physical sometimes as humans we retaliate and not that you hurt me I hurt you but we do. And the old saying forgive and forget is the biggest crock of shit going I try to forgive only for my own health and not hold anger but…. you never forget as much as I could erase all that shit and hurt from my past it’s hard. Everyday I say to myself don’t dwell be happy where you are but then someone says or does something and that book opens it sucks. But every morning I thank the lord something I am grateful for and blessed with because holding anger with make you ill. So sweet Care I tell you all the time try try try to be so grateful for the beautiful person you are and try to erase all those bad scars from your past too bad we didn’t have delete button in our brain. ❤️🌹

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