The Mysterious Case of *******

On Sunday I was killing some time before work (because why take Labor Day weekend off when you can work through it) by going through some of my old journals and marking down entry possibilities for that book I keep talking about.

Things were going along, all fine and dandy, until I came to the one marked "11/03 - 12/04". Towards the end of that one, I started coming across entries with the name of a certain person blacked out.

That's when it got hard.

Prior to those years, I was pretty free and easy using full names in my journals whenever I wanted. After all, these were people in my life, people I cared about. I was spending time with them, and these journals documented that time spent. What was the problem? Well, there was no problem. Until *****.

This person spent a good nine months in, out, and around my life. I entered into the relationship openly, honestly, and yes I'll admit naively, but I went forward trusting the goodness I thought I saw. It was a lie. A manipulative, destructive lie that took me far too long to see.

When I finally saw the truth of things, I went back to the beginning of this person's time in my journals and systematically deleted the name with a sharpie. Each time I made that black mark across the page I said "I erase you from my life." For a long time, I even refused to verbalize that name, instead using He Who Must Not Be Named as a descriptor, or "Hewie" as a derogative short. Now, I am far more selective with the names that appear, although in all honesty I probably still use too many. These days there is just one friend who knows the identity of this person, and she is a dear one indeed.

This discomfort I felt in reading some of those journal entries was so great I eventually had to stop. And frankly, going back holds no appeal to me. I'm also saddened by the idea that I'm only up to 2005 and I have a whopping nine more years of depressive woe-is-me entries to slog through.

Can you see the black cloud of depression swirling around these books?
I am really beginning to understand the desire to burn old journals. Right now, building a great big bonfire and cleansing myself of all these old injuries and stories holds great appeal. I've been carrying these books around for years now, moving them from home to home. Never letting them stray far, and within easy reach if I need to remind myself of those old self-talk brain loops.

Those books represent what was, and holding on to the past is just holding me back.


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