The Journal

by Wendy


I pick up his journal, knowing the content is sacred, a man's judgment of himself. I immediately feel the self-loathing, the bitterness, the hate. He directs it all at a world he feels has helped to destroy him, helpless to stop the life put in motion at its destined time. It is not all destiny, he freely admits. Choices made, consequences the reward. The hard reality of a consequence gone wild. Anger at himself drips from every word.

He puts his words on the pages as festering sores, his words a raw, open wound infecting his very soul, his feeling of self-worth. He seeks his approval, his right to be human, through others eyes. He tries to prove himself over and over again, only to feel deserted and kicked by a world that has been cruel, still his reality.

I weep for the little boy he was. After all, I too have a little boy and I would never want him to feel so much self-loathing, so much hurt, so much helplessness in a world of disarray and chaos.

The wounds seem fresh, as if they happened only yesterday.

I am touched by the depth of his feeling. His need for love, for physical love. The pure joy that simple act has brought to his life. I find myself trying to remember when I felt that way, if I ever did. (I want to tell him he doesn't need someone to complete him, he is already complete.)

I feel like I am a voyeur, peeking in on someone's very being, their soul.

I put his journal down. It's too much emotion. I don't allow myself to cry- crying is for the weak, and I can't afford to be weak.

Can anyone ever really know the heart of another?

His soul is tortured, wounded; his spirit is close to being crushed. I allow myself to cry for him, for those he's hurt, for his regret. Regret is deep and a relentless companion in this man's life. Pain washes over me, hard, like a wave from the ocean.

This is not the man I've come to know and call "friend." He has hidden his secret pain very well. Veiled from the world, open only to a select few. I feel honored by his trust of me. I hold it sacred.

I sleep a disturbed sleep, filled with dreams, longings, and my constant companion- helplessness. It has haunted me since childhood, victimized by my mind, by the people in my life, my pain wrapped around me like a lover.

I realize he and I live in the same Hell, the Hell of our minds...the walking wounded. We are wounded, damaged, down but not out. I realize I hold something very fragile in my hands, his self-worth, his need to be accepted. I cradle the thought in my mind and hope.

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