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Everyone has baggage.
But you did not leave me with baggage,
You left me with scars.
You see, baggage can be forgotten. Somewhere. Someday.
Scars have painful stories that permanently mar the surface of who you are.
These are not the kind of scars that fade.
Reminders. Of actions, behaviors.
I can forgive, but I cannot forget.
I understand that these scars are from actions not yours alone.
I accept my pieces, I hold myself accountable for the mistakes that I made.
I forgave myself, but I will not forget.
There is a term you seem not to comprehend.
You are a bulldozer, looking through protective windows in your isolated box.
You plow through a forest of lives. Flowers, trees, grass.
I was one in this forest,
And now I stand in your wake.
I see the destruction.
Trees reduced to stumps. Flowers trampled, petals torn from their stems. What once was their identity, stripped from its center.
And in this destruction I see their struggles.
To stand again, to reemerge anew. To grow from the torn bits of land that remain.
Your path is selfish.
For it is not causing you harm.
You wonder how the world could be so malicious. How people won’t care for others, how this havoc and carnage exists.
You are responsible.
And you are the worst kind of predator,
Because you hide your malicious and manipulative ways.
Even from yourself.
Even you don’t understand what you are capable of causing.
You convince yourself that your actions are logical. Healthy.
But your subconscious preys on this foolishness.
You choose your prey wisely. A forest of life, life that is bright, adaptable, pure.
Everything you are not.
I can forgive, but I will not forget.
I forgive you for the scars that I now carry. Forever a part of my story. But I cannot forget that you continue your path.
I do not need an apology.
But if one day you apologize,
I will look at my scars with hope.
Hope that something caused you to stop in your path.
That you stepped out of your windowed view,
And looked behind you.
Hope that maybe, you even knelt in the battered wreckage to plant a seed.
Or watered a flower so that it may one day grow again.
I have forgiven you, but I will not forget.
And I DO hold you responsible.