PERSPECTIVE: Learning to hurt

Adriona Murphy

Adriona Murphy

Instead of spending my days lounging on a beach somewhere, sipping tropical drinks and taking all the Instagram photos I can imagine, I spent the majority of my break lying around my house feeling sad.

The last spring break of my college career and I spent it going through what could be described as a breakup. The details are convoluted and wouldn’t fit here (they probably wouldn’t make sense anyhow.) Suffice to say, I’d like to keep most of that to myself. It would also be super awkward in case they’re reading this but if they are: Hi, I hope you’re doing well.

Now, although this sounds horribly sad and borderline pathetic — I admit this wasn’t my favorite college memory — I learned a lot.

This was not my first “broken heart,” nor will it probably be the last, but it is the one that terrified me the most because A. I knew it was going to happen and B. He was my best friend.

He knows everything about me and I have never been as vulnerable as I was with him. Everything was just so comfortable. Yeah, our situation was kind of messed up, to say the least, but when it was good, it was really, really good.

When I told my mom I wasn’t speaking to him anymore (I decided I needed to step away from the situation,) I cried my eyes out in the kitchen. In that moment, it felt like everything was falling apart.

But somehow, as always, moms always know what to say. She told me I wasn’t stupid for having feelings. She told me that it doesn’t mean we’ll never talk again. She told me she regrets not ever showing me how to get hurt.

My mom has been primarily single since my parents split up when I was a baby, and said that she never put herself out there because she was afraid of getting hurt (the one time she did, he ended up moving back down south and she apparently looked a lot like me, crying in the kitchen to her mom.)

I was stunned by this response. Who wants their child to feel pain? Am I the way that I am because I was never taught how to hurt? Because I never saw my mom get close enough to someone to get hurt? Maybe.

I don’t blame her in the slightest for my really horrible and borderline non-existent love life, but it was interesting insight nonetheless: in order to be able to get hurt, you have to see someone get hurt and come out the other side better than they were before. Maybe a little bruised, but better.

Through this whole thing, I learned I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for (I got that from my momma, as I wrote previously). I learned what I deserve and what I don’t. I learned that not everyone is going to care about you with the same ferocity as you care about them, for a multitude of reasons. I learned that distance is stupid and I should probably tell people how I feel before it’s too late.

But most importantly: I finally learned how to get hurt. And be (kinda) okay with it.

Adriona Murphy is the opinion editor. Contact her at [email protected]