I have many faults. I have many issues that are created not only by a disease that ravages my mind but by the soul I was born with. I am passive-aggressive with everyone I know. I am often scared of strangers, of people that I am meeting; so much that I come across as snobbish. I can have a short temper and be lazy. But one of my greatest weaknesses is my bleeding heart.
There are those that would say that a bleeding heart isn’t a bad thing. I would argue passionately. I would explain about the times I have given money with the full knowledge that I would get nothing in return. I would give you stories of times that I have put myself in very real danger because of my heart. And I would tell you the times that I have felt the compulsion to help in lieu of all that should have been important.
Some say bleeding hearts are simply more sensitive than others. And I suppose this is true. I certainly have difficulty listening to stories that for a normal person would simply be a sign of a tragic past. Especially if there are children involved I will infer more about the situation than the facts that I know. I will step in to protect a child no matter the actual need.
On top of all of these very real weaknesses, I acknowledge that I am a voracious reader. Most wouldn’t see the correlation between reading and a bleeding heart; but here is where it is most evident.
Today was an abnormal day for me in terms of routine. My children were home from school because of a snow storm. So while I am typically home – desperately searching for a job that can not be found – my children are not. This leads to hours of silence that I very rarely disturb with calls to friends or discussions with strangers beyond my doors. And yet as often is the case, today I read two books: a romantic suspense that was lighthearted and contained a happy ending, and multiple chapters of the new biography of Joseph Kennedy.
Take these two facts about a person – their bleeding heart and their insatiable reading – and what you get is someone who is not only angry at the world but still believes so much in the goodness, the perfection of humanity. Despite the knowledge that there is neither perfection nor disproportionate goodness in anything, the hope is still there.
But it leaves my heart without repair. Time and time again I find myself disappearing into the bloody heart of my conscience without the means to ever leave. I am tired of the horror. I am tired of the destruction of humans. I am so tired of the continual need for one-up man-ship that resides in all of us.
I know the naivete that these words portray. I know the child that wants happily ever after resides in me without apology. I know that all my beliefs about what this world could be and all my beliefs about what this world should be are simply dreams. There will always been someone who needs to be on top. No matter how naive I sound, I understand the seduction power can bring to each of us. I know power; I have felt power. And yet, I still feel that child moving inside of me.
I am tired of humans ignoring what is in front of them for either political gain or simple need of ignorance. I am tired of each of us believing that stepping on those that never had a chance is worth the moment of release anger can bring. I am tired of believing in love, in a foundation of trust, in the ability for each of us to forgive. I am simply tired.
And truthfully there isn’t much I can do. Yes, I can sit here in my little destitute world and write about these things but let’s be honest there aren’t many people that will read it. No, I can’t get a job at a non-profit agency; I have submitted enough resumes to know this intimately. And because of my fear of others I can’t raise money or run on a platform of change that will never happen. I am not built for greatness; I am built only to mourn the lack of it.
Someone, somewhere decided that I would be educated yet never use my education for good. Someone, somewhere decided that despite the fact I have a basic need to help others I am not meant to help more than one. Someone decided that the only thing I was truly meant to do was bring a son and a daughter in the world. That was my role in this life. That is my destiny.
We can all pretend we are thirteen years old and that the dreams we believe in will actually come true. It is good for teenagers to believe that because some of them might be right. We can all pretend that the fantasies we have at night are reachable. We can even take steps to make those late night picture shows become real.
But I long ago dealt the truth. I can’t help those victims because I have always been a victim myself. I can’t help others because the defeatist attitude that is companion to my bleeding heart knows that my simple reality is so much more real than the dreams I dream. You can’t pity someone who knows the truth; you can only nod your head in understanding.
To have a brain that can read at the speed of man’s great machines; to have the belief in children and the future with every beat of a bleeding heart yet not have the ability to reconcile or accept the incredible and often extreme horrors of this world is yet another aspect of this world that simply makes no sense.
I always supposed that someday I would understand. I started early dreaming of the day when I would have answers to the questions that have destroyed so many of my nights. I believed that one day it would make sense.
But it never has; in fact the truth is that it gets worse each and every day. But I can’t stop reading nor can I mend this broken heart. Instead I have to believe in the goodness knowing the reality of the nightmare. I don’t want to sow up my bleeding heart. At the end of the day I want to embrace all that is making me who and what I am; and in the end staunch the blood as fast as I can.