We've known each other for a long time now, and I think you know I'd never try to stop you from expressing what you feel. But I also have to express what I'm feeling, and what I'm feeling is hurt. Badly. I just want you to know that you really hurt me when you hit me in the face with that shovel.
I've tried hard not to let my pain show, but it's not easy. Maybe you can tell by the sad, confused expression I wear these days. Or the rivers of blood streaming down my face. But since you don't seem to realize what you've done, I guess I have to come right out and tell you that your actions have caused harm.
I realize empathy isn't your strong suit. Let me assure you, though, that getting walloped in the side of the face with a steel shovel hurts. Is that what you intended to do–hurt me? Believe me, I've tried my best to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you were just trying to get my attention. Maybe you were showing off how good you are at swinging shovels. Or maybe you were signaling an airplane with it and lost control, sending it careening into the side of my skull. I hope so. But my gut instinct says your intent was to cause me pain, and I think you should know you did.
It's going to take a long time to get over this. This isn't something that just goes away. It'd be nice if the healing process were fast, but it'll probably be at least six months. This isn't the first time I've been hurt by someone I cared for, so I know what I'm talking about. What you've given me is a wound that may never heal. Even if it does, the scars will remain.
You owe it to me to at least talk about why you did what you did. Something like this will just fester if we try to pretend it never happened. If we ignore it, the six-inch gash in my cheek will get infected, bubbling over with gangrenous pus. But if, on the other hand, we work hard to make things better, with some time, understanding, and good old-fashioned reconstructive surgery, things might one day go back to the way they were. Especially around my left eye socket.
It's really just a matter of trust. And right now, I honestly don't trust you with a shovel anymore.
Okay, so maybe you didn't mean to hurt me as severely as you did. In moments of anger, people often don't realize the power of their actions. They don't understand that braining someone with a blunt object can really do harm. They just want to lash out, figuring you're more resilient than you really are. But now you can see that human beings, at their core, are fragile creatures. They can break. They can have their cheekbones shattered.
Look, we're all wounded creatures in our own way. No one goes through life without enduring his share of hurt and pain. But we owe it to each other to try to minimize that trauma, be it heart or head. So, next time you feel the urge to lash out at me, be it with a cruel remark or a nine-pound spade, remember that I bleed, just like you.