I’m Done Giving The Benefit Of The Doubt To People Who Don’t Deserve Me

woman in hat looking to side
Joe Gardner

I haven’t written anything for this series in the past month and a half because I’ve been repeatedly making the same mistake. My irrational brain has been trying to trick my rational brain into thinking that by choosing wrong, over and over again, each negative outcome would be fodder for a new article. But, that’s just not true. We go back to bad decisions—whether they be people, places, or things—because of the comfort that comes with the illusion of choice versus the fear of the unknown.

If I could describe myself in a few words, I would choose: passionate, loyal, silly, and naive. I don’t think it’s possible for me to see the world with anything other than the eyes of a child. I am naive in the sense that I still haven’t shaken this juvenile idea of a world where malicious people don’t exist. Therefore I am loyal to those who don’t deserve loyalty and passionate about finding the good above all in every circumstance. It’s quite silly, isn’t it?

The concept of someone going out of their way to intentionally hurt another person—to me that doesn’t exist. It cannot. But, it does. Sometimes life sucks immensely and other times it is beautiful. I like to see the beauty in everything and I want to believe that people care, but sometimes they just don’t. Not everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes life can be really fucking tragic.

I think something that so many girls (and women) my age can understand is the sheer pain in heartbreak. I speak for girls because it would be irresponsible to speak on behalf of men and boys, since I am not one. This pain comes in waves and it exists in many more ways than one. Because I am obsessed with taking what I’m dealt, and feeling it as much as possible, then using that to write or create new things, I tend to idealize, analyze, and rationalize everything.

I am slowly and painfully learning that you can analyze things until they barely exist, but you can never rationalize another person’s behavior. There is no point, you’ll never be them and therefore never understand what makes them do the things they do. Sometimes there is no reason why a person has used, abused, and cut you out of their life. Sometimes the only reason is that you don’t matter or they no longer care. Sometimes people are just really terrible.

I want this world to be good. I want people to be good. I want to feel good and do good and be good all of the time. But, thinking these things is beyond irresponsible. There was a time where I would have rationalized this thought process. I would have probably pitched yet another idea for an article which would have toyed with the concept of masochism.

I must be a flaming masochistic narcissist if I am willing to continue to go through all of this; I must be hurting myself because this is what we do as young women, right? We get hurt and we endure, but we never back down. I must feel it all and have it all. All of the good and more so, all of the bad because this is what the stars have laid out for me. This is my life, so I must endure it. That right there, my thought process, is what I would go through a million times a week, while I set myself up for heartbreak.

I want to circle back to this idea of choosing the bad, in order to avoid the unknown. There is so much to be unpacked here, but let’s start with comfort. I think we go back to our exes, even the abusive ones, because we’re comfortable. We know what we’re going back to, and it is all the more easier to look yourself in the eye and say, “I chose this, therefore I will endure it.” Rather than saying, “This is messed up and I don’t know where to go, what to do, and what the unknown outcome may be.” So, we stick with it and blame the bad on what we don’t have control over—someone or something else. Giving people the benefit of the doubt can be okay, but it can so rapidly turn into an excuse. This is where I continue to struggle.

I am hurting. I am stressed. I am confused. Most of all, I am tired. I am so exhausted of wishing, checking horoscopes, looking for actions that will excuse words that may or may not have ever been said. I am at a breaking point, where I wonder if anyone is giving me the benefit of the doubt. If they are, do I even deserve it? Is the benefit of the doubt a fucked up concept on the path to self destruction? Is it an excuse? Is it a coping mechanism?

In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Ceasar, Cassius is quoted to have said something I often think about. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…” This concept of fate, and hoping, and wishing for the best to arise is pointless. Sometimes things are bad, and we need to take the initiative to jump ship. There is no more and no less to it. The stars may have a plan for you, but in the end you will always have a choice. TC mark

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