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Saturday, July 12, 2008

"There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with."

I'll admit that there is a bizarre part of me that doesn't want the wound to close. It took a huge effort to start talking after so many years. It was both shocking and soothing to find people accepted me for who I was in spite of what had happened to me. I've spent nearly three years now looking at reality and no longer flinching from it.

And still, allowing it all to return to the past makes me feel that somehow there was no point to all that I have done.

I am an incredibly strong person. I know this. And yet, in spite of that strength, the things I faced brought me to my knees. I ended up in the hospital. I spent months wishing to be anyone but me. I hated myself--everything about myself. I saw all my unmet needs and wondered how someone as capable as myself could possibly be so emotionally inept. I despised my "weakness."

About a year ago I looked at pictures of myself as a child. I posted some of them. I confessed to a friend that I could not understand how a mother would not want me. I understood that everything lined up just right so that I was resented rather than cherished. I understood that what my mother had been through was horribly draining. The understanding brought no comfort. I told my friend that I could not understand how I was unloved and unwanted. It felt agonizing to know the truth, but be unable to apply it to myself. I've always known people should not love me or want me in their lives, but I've also never believed that. I know. That makes no sense.

My friend exclaimed that he loved me, and that he wanted me. In retrospect, there are all sorts of ways to misconstrue what he said, but my heart at that time needed to hear those words. I had no reason to disbelieve him, and I was in a moment of weakness. His words sustained me through a few more hellish weeks in which I belittled myself and told me all the ways that I was unworthy of love. In the subsequent months our friendship has morphed into something less intense and certainly more logical. I don't believe he could be paid a large enough sum to ever repeat the words again, regardless of my need. Sometimes I'm grateful for late night chats in which people lose their sense of reserve and I hear what I need to hear.

Ninety-nine percent of me wishes to close the book I've written and move forward without the impediment of my memories and my past. The remaining one percent screams that I'll be forgotten, dishonoring something I survived with as much dignity and grace as I could muster. It tells me that I'm still crying inside on many levels, and that I've solved nothing. I respond that I hear the cry, but I have no way to still it. The impossible task of finding comfort has brought more agony than peace. At some point one has to simply say, "This is how things are. It would be nice to have a 'happily ever after.' That's not going to happen this time." And then one goes through the damnable acceptance exercises, hoping that one day those will actually "stick" and it won't be necessary to keep repeating the same motions forever.

Today I thought, what do I want people to remember about me? I want them to remember that I laughed. I want them to remember that my life was joyful. I want them to remember that I found delight in simple things. I want them to remember that I was happy most of the time and that when I loved it was with my whole soul.

So why do I worry that the nasty parts will be forgotten?

I suppose, in the end, they won't be, as I sport a multitude of beautiful scars. But truly, that wasn't part of my list of preferred remembrances in the first place.


  1. I will remember that when you faced great pains---some at the hands of others, some just a part of mortality---you chose to trust the Savior, lay your burden on Him, and remain with His Church. And I will remember that told anybody who would listen.

  2. You share, "So why do I worry that the nasty parts will be forgotten?"

    I worry about the same things. When we forget and/or ignore the "nasty parts" of anything - we are doomed to repeat them; not recognize them; and ultimately others are hurt by the past we hide.

    I've been reading your blog for a few weeks. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. sweetisthepeace and rebbephd:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate them