This is a story about living, and loving. It is a story about escaping, about pain, and about being free to be the person you are inside yourself, inside your heart. It’s a story dedicated to each person who is hurting and in pain.
Hurt knows no boundaries. It crosses within every race, creed, religion, country, environment and age. From the very young to the very old, we each hurt, and we each feel pain, even though we may deal with that pain in different ways. So let a few of us who have been in pain and been hurt tell you a story. A story of “The Land of the Hurt Ones”.
I wake in a cold sweat, my heart racing fast with fear, the room dark around me…I am alone. I’m comforted by being alone and yet I’m hurting because of it as well. Closing my eyes, I take deep breaths, trying to calm the fear…trying to escape the past. Each day brings a hurt, so why rise to greet it? Each night brings the fear, so why lie within it? “Why?” the word mocks within my head. My heart answers with two simple words, “Why not?”. Why not let the sun kiss your face with warmth another day? Why not let the wind tease and caress you with its tenderness yet again? Why not let the sweet scent of the daisies envelope the senses of your soul in the evening? Why not? These words echo as my heart begins beating it’s strong, and steady pace within me, at last.
Tomorrow will go as today, I think to myself, and the thought brings tears to my eyes. The pain should be gone by now… So many people have told me those words. People that don’t understand, because they have never felt it. They haven’t ‘KNOWN’ it, and lived within it. The world isn’t a bad place, I keep telling myself, there are just some bad people living in it. But it is hard when you fear people hurting you and yet at the same time wish them near on some level.
I go to the open window. The moon is full tonight, shining with the brightest of lights, the trees casting shadows upon the thick wet grass beneath them, reaching, needing, and yet pulling away from it’s brightness. That’s how I feel, craving ‘touch’ and yet pulling away from it in fear at the same time.
Fear… I have heard is “False Emotion Appearing Real”, but it’s not just appearing real in my mind, it’s feeling real in my heart. A short distance away there is a big rock; people would think it’s an ordinary rock, they might even break it into pieces and get rid of it. However, I never had the heart to move it. For, you see, within a crack in that big rock grows a single clover flower. That tiny beautiful ‘life’ had sprouted between the cold hard surface of that stone and was surviving. Against all odds and against all pain, that clover blooms with life and beauty. A statement of hope, a reminder that it can be done. Time is what it needed, so maybe time is what I need as well. Time to grow, time to heal, and time to find the ‘me’ that is hidden beneath all of the hurt, fear and pain.
I have so much fear and pain inside me. Sometimes I wish I were the rock instead of the flower. I somehow know that I can survive this pain. I will one day find that inner flame that hasn’t been burning for so long. That flame will give me warmth and strength to continue life because every person has a purpose. Some days I can not find a match to light the flame. I learn by the day. Sometimes I am the flower, which needs the rock; otherwise it will not grow. I need people around me, although I have been hurt by people. A flower has seeds and these seeds can land on other places, where rocks can be transformed in green landscapes. We can change what other people think of us. Rocks into happy landscapes; careless people into people like me.
Suddenly a memory from when I was a child comes into in my head. I breathe the fresh air. I am shaking and I feel I am going to faint. The pain is taking over my heart and I don’t know what to do. I close my eyes and think about the good things in life. I feel I am nobody, that I have no purpose. Suddenly a bird flies into the room. I am scared. The air is full of mystery and love. The bird talks to me and tells me how beautiful I am. I missed that when I was a child. The bird tells me that behind the rock there is a cave and river. The bird rests on my shoulder and tells me to go to that place. I say to the bird that I am hurt and that I have so much pain. The bird says, “Go there and you will see”. He flies away. I don’t know what to do. I can’t remember a cave and river behind the rock. A bird that talks, that cannot be. I say to myself, “I am strong, I will go”. I leave the house. I walk towards the rock. I see my name written on the rock. It dates back to my childhood. I had written it down, so that people would remember me. When I was sad, I used to cry on this rock. Nobody could see me then. I was alone and I could be free.
I feel the memories of the past. I want them to go away, but they are deeply rooted in my heart, sticking like chewing gum, unwashable. I know I need those memories to understand who I am and why I think like this. I know I can overcome the barriers. I picture a rock transforming into a beautiful flower. I will be “me” instead of being what others tell me I should be. I am the flower! The wind is blowing softly.
Suddenly I hear a river. There is no river here. I am sure about that. I had dreams about being a dolphin, swimming in a world, so free. I follow the magical sounds of a river. I feel love. I didn’t know I could feel it. I walk faster. I see a small green mountain. I think the river should be behind the mountain. I compare people to rivers. Rivers can be strong and dangerous, but sometimes they are so gentle, peaceful and relaxing. Sometimes I need gentle people around, who are willing to accept the way I am, who realize that I have a life too. I live! I am a human being. I deserve respect! I also know that people just don’t understand me, they can be like that rock. I want to show them that I exist.
You have to be hurt in order to know it. All the hurt ones of the world are my true friends. I climb the mountain. I get excited. This is totally new for me. I pinch myself to know if I am dreaming. It’s real. It is so beautiful. This moment brings sad tears to my eyes. My heart is like a machine. There is something behind the green mountain. I look behind. Nobody is following me. I am alone. This place is my place! I spread my arms and I shout at the top of my lungs, “Leave me alone, let me be ‘me’, respect me!!!!”. Never have I cried so much. I am happy. I go to the top of the mountain. The sound becomes louder and louder. As I reach the top I understand the sounds I am hearing are the sounds of other hurt people … a sound to faint for the world to hear. It’s a soft mellow cry that rings through my head like a train at midnight. I walk closer to the sounds and find what I was looking for … others. They welcome me into their world, a place of disorientation.
Others in the real world walk by not even knowing we are there. They cannot see us … understand us. We carry the pain of world and see the sorrow all around. There is no place for us to go, so we sit in limbo waiting for the world to wake up and feel the pain they have caused. We sit and listen to each other tell the tales of the sorrow we have manifested so others could go on. We are heroes in our own way, we gave up our lives and true beings so that the ones we cared about would never find the world that I now reside in. I begin to understand my new place as the numbness sets in and the visibility is gone.
We decide to move on, one says “there is nothing for us here”. We find a plan and try to begin to move. It’s painful, walking through the pain we hid in this world. We try to focus and have a singular movement because we only have the search now; we search for our utopia, for our light to the better world. A world where no dream is impossible and where happiness reigns in abundance. You can be and do whatever you wish without the fear of being singled out or labeled as strange, different, odd or quiet. In this New World you can commit no harm because the occupants live in harmony with one another. Everyone is equally important and respected.
You may think that it might be nice if this world actually existed and it does within the hearts of all those people whom have suffered the abrasive waves of sorrow, pain, deceit and hate. For the hurt ones know the path to this utopia – this world only others dream about. The entrance is concealed to the evil tormentor in order to prevent extended harassment. The New World is filled with music, dancing, poetry, singing and people who care about each other.
Now, all the hurt people of the world will be banded together for happiness. Our souls forever reside in this place of tranquility our eternal home to which we have escaped to many times before in order to ignore our pain. But it’s hard to ignore it sometimes when all you ever feel is hurt.
I deserve someone who only wants ME, forever. I don’t want to be second best. Sometimes second place is better than no place at all. Maybe having someone part-time is better than to have no one at all. But the hurt is always there. I want to be loved so much, just for ME, not having to take whoever comes along just because he makes me feel good at that time. Someone told me once that I use my faults to avoid getting too close to someone for fear of getting hurt again and again. This protection, this shield I’ve built around me is hard to break now. I’m too afraid to let it down. I’m afraid to hurt. But I don’t want to be alone any longer.
I know I’m hiding in my own little utopia, my land of the hurt ones. I feel safe there. No one to hurt me, no one to judge me for what I look like. Will this pain ever go away? No. It’s there to protect us against the cruelness of this world. Listen to us world. We are beautiful, loving, giving people who are just tired of being hurt and being alone.
Written by Javier, Virginia, Kristina, Nicole and Chandra and contributed by Javier on December 26, 2000.