I wish I could forget, sometimes, because remembering is so painful.
But… I don’t want to forget, because then it would be like saying none of it mattered, like saying you didn’t matter.
You mattered so much.
You STILL matter so much.
I really hate being judged for things that happened in the past, things that were blown so far out of proportion that no one even knows the truth any more.
No one ever bothered to ask ME if anything they were saying was true, they just made up their minds about the situation and ran with it. Unfortunately, being the honest person in a situation sometimes leaves you being the bad guy, and sometimes being the quiet one makes you an easy target.
I get the forgive and forget thing, but sometimes it is so hard. There is a giant piece of my heart that got left behind in all of this, and sometimes I get to missing it so much…
Years have passed, but… it doesn’t make the missing any less. Years have passed, but I still dream about that horse.
It is nights like tonight that I get to thinking, and even though I am trying to forgive and take the high road, the memories and yearning get the best of me, and I don’t want to forgive. I just don’t want to. I know it is the ‘right’ thing to do, the adult thing to do. But at this moment, alone in the dark, facing all these memories and bitterness, I don’t want to be ‘right’ or ‘adult’. I want to be the petulant child who hides away in the corner and hisses at anyone who comes near.
Every rider eventually meets that one horse who changes their life, that one horse who seems to fit perfectly. This horse just somehow seems to weasel their way into every day life, and touch the rider’s heart in ways that can never be forgotten.
It is so hard knowing that the horse who changed my life, the one who will forever be in my heart, is so very near me… and yet so far away. Knowing that I cannot throw my arms around her whenever I need to, knowing that I cannot confide all my fears to her… and knowing that it was human malice and ignorance that made this so… that is a wound that I don’t think will ever heal.
I know it has been a few years, and there are people who think I should just forget and move on, but… it isn’t that easy. This little mare was such a part of me, such a big, important part… the BEST part of me… it can never be forgotten, just… pushed to the back of my mind. And there it stays, at the back of my mind, until nights like this, that I wish I could curl up in her stall and tell her everything on my mind.
I imagine that this must be a bit like what an amputee feels like. I wake up in the morning and have to realize, every morning, that I no longer have her in my life. I miss what was, every day. I feel like one of the most important pieces of me is gone.
Sometimes I really do get so disappointed in humanity. Especially on nights like this, when all I want is to see that beautiful face of her’s in person, to rest my forehead against her’s, and instead I’m stuck with memories or photos. All because people were too selfish and arrogant to believe that a nobody who dedicated her life to that place was anything worth hearing out. Too set in their ways to think that MAYBE it wasn’t the nobody who was the one in the wrong, maybe it was the one who pushed into their midst and dazzled them with her ‘knowledge’ and how ‘expensive’ she looked. With her promises to do great things, promises that, incidentally, weren’t kept. With her charm and charisma, and her need to be in the spotlight, her need to appear as the ‘savior’ or ‘hero’.
No one ever stopped to think that the nobody, who’d dedicated her life to those horses, the nobody who could sit in the office with her eyes closed and tell you EXACTLY which horse was neighing or sighing without seeing them, the nobody who put in so many hours just to make sure things ran smoothly and that all the horses were taken care of, the nobody who worked BEHIND the scenes doing what was best for the PROGRAM and the HORSES….. No one ever stopped to think that maybe that nobody wasn’t the one who deserved to be vilified.
Sometimes life isn’t fair.
Sometimes you lose important pieces of your life.
Sometimes people turn on you.
Sometimes even if you are not the one in the wrong, it doesn’t matter.
Sometimes people just aren’t happy unless they are stomping on others.
It isn’t right, it isn’t fair, but it IS the way it works sometimes.
Knowing that forgiving is the way to go… THAT sometimes doesn’t cut it. On nights like tonight… I don’t want to forgive, even if it brings me down to their level. On nights like tonight, I can’t forgive, because it hurts too damn much.
On nights like tonight, I want to scream at them. I want to ask them how much good SHE did them. I want to ask them if believing her turned out in their favor, if it was worth it.
I know that their program is now suffering, because she didn’t keep her promises, because she tried to turn it isn’t something that it wasn’t, because she was all talk. I know that she messed up so badly that she had to take her horse out of the barn in the middle of the night and disappear in order to avoid legal action. I know that she injured THREE of their horses, one permanently, and she turned MY girl back into the scared, psycho horse she was when I first laid eyes on her.
Part of me wants to throw it in their face, and say, “HA! You deserve this!” but the bigger part of me just wants to cry.
I KNEW those horses she injured. I cannot bear to think about them in pain.
I know that the most important horse, my once in a lifetime horse… I know that she is now so messed up. That there is no sparkle behind her eyes any more. And she stands in the back of her stall with her head sunk low, her ears back, and just stares at the wall.
And the worst part?
I cannot do anything about it.
They all still believe her. Even after she went and did something like this.
No one there seems to know WHY exactly I’m persona non grata, it is just a vague ‘we heard you did something that goes against our policy’.
Because no one is willing to think that MAYBE the dressage queen, with the wonderful wardrobe, who won’t buy a horse if it costs under $15,000, and looks like she just stepped off a Horse & Rider magazine… maybe SHE might not be fully truthful.
They don’t want to think that a nobody, someone who did barn chores for them, might actually be telling the truth.
They say that my record speaks for itself, that I was one of their most dedicated people, that I worked my tail off for them…. but because of the rumors they heard from a ‘prominent someone at the barn’ I cannot be trusted, and therefore, they do not want me there.
I hate that after EVERYTHING she did to that barn, to those horses, they STILL believe her, still believe the worst in me.
I know that I was quiet, and interacted more with the horses than with the board members but… I never did anything to warrant this.
I guess that was my mistake though… being quiet and shy.
SHE was dazzling, and charismatic, and over the top. She talked to everyone, and everyone seemed to fall under her spell.
And look where it got us all.
The barn is struggling because of the way she left it. She decimated their program, injured horses, stole money and alienated MANY of the ‘barn help’ people that she looked down on. People that the barn NEEDS.
And… the part that hurts me most… the horse I love, the horse I tried to buy from them (but was unable to, because SHE wanted my little mare. Wanted her.. only to toss her to the side once she messed with that poor horse’s head) my horse… she doesn’t sparkle any more. She has dead eyes. And I cannot fix it, because they won’t let me work with her. She is hurting, and I cannot make it better.
Because I’m not welcomed at the barn… all because sometimes humans really suck, which may not be an eloquent way to phrase it, but I just cannot think of anything that fits better. People SUCK.
Sometimes people just want to hurt others.
Sometimes people NEED to hurt others, in order to feel better about themselves.
And it hurts, to be on the receiving end of that.
I wish they would see how much harm it is doing to both my mare and me. I wish they could see that keeping us apart does nothing but hurt.
I wish I could wrap my arms around her neck, or fall asleep on her back again. I wish I could curl up in the corner of her stall while she is munching on her hay late at night after all the activity in the barn has ceased. I wish I could see that stubborn, defiant spirit come back into her eyes. I wish I could be on her back, flying, even if she decided to misbehave. Because frankly… even a bad ride on her is better than a good ride on any other horse. I wish I could see her every day.
But… most of all… I wish she was happy. Even if I wasn’t there, wasn’t a part of her life. I wish she didn’t always have this dead look behind her eyes, like she has given up. I wish she didn’t look like they’ve broken her spirit, killed her will to try.
That is what hurts me most of all. It has been a few years since everything went down… and she has still not bonded with anyone else. And she is suffering because of it.
They haven’t found anyone yet who can heal the damage the dressage queen did to her soul.
And that is why I cannot forgive. That is why I cannot let it go. That is why, late at night, I dwell. That is why it hurts so damn much, that sometimes I want to forget. Because if I forgot… I wouldn’t remember those eyes… those big brown eyes completely filled with … nothing. No spark, no energy, no happiness. Just dull, flat eyes that gaze out at the world without really seeing, like she is already dead inside.
But… if I forgot… an entire part of my heart would be missing forever, and I’d never know what happened to it.
I’d always feel like something major was missing.
If I forgot, I wouldn’t have the memories that get me through.
If I forgot, I wouldn’t be ME.
If I forgot… then she would be left to keep suffering forever.
But… now, even though I haven’t been able to accomplish anything, I can still try.
And try I shall. Forever, if necessary.
Because I cannot forget. And I cannot let it go if there is even the slightest chance that one day, they will let me back into that barn to be with her.
Or… maybe one day, when she is no longer useful to them… if I keep hounding them, if I’m always trying… maybe they will sell her to me then.
All I know is that I miss that horse, with my entire heart, and that as much as I may sometimes want to forget… that would be worse than remembering.