I have lots of scars. Insect bites all over my torso. The spot where they set up the camera in my abdomen and where they cut into me. A spot on my left knee when I fell off Dad’s VW Bug but not before the license plate nearly sliced off a strip of skin. The scratch on my arm I got at Broadway Brewery and Mojo in Nashville’s West End after I kissed Soldier for the first time(several times). A new abrasion on my left forearm. I have tender skin, easily bruised and injured. But I heal. I get up, wash off the dust, and shake off the hurt. Emotional scars are no different.
This morning I woke at 6 in the morning so I could talk to my dad. We had a good conversation though I cried(of course!). I was reminded that I got my hope from my father. He is always optimistic, a firm believer in forgiveness, compassion, and the healing balm of time and effort. He is a firm believer in me. With his blessing, I did Pilates for the first time in a month, went to Morning Mass for the first time in months, cleaned my room for the first time in weeks, did my nails for the first time in months, and saw my old therapist for the first time in over six years. I did not cry at my first session. No, I saved the tears for after my session when visiting my mom and seeing her cry as she declared how brave I am.
The chance to be me, I told Soldier. Only I can give myself that chance. I know I will because today I got up again. Because I am as strong and brave as I have always been. I sometimes get lost in the deep fear of my mind and heart. I am so scared that I will be forgotten and abandoned by others that I turn my back on the person who matters to me the most–me. But I am willing to face my darkest feelings so that I can be myself again and do what I have always done, which is to help everyone else who gets lost. I can take the scars. I even take pride in them.
This journey won’t be easy. I may find that I lose companions along the way or that they will surprise me with their steadfastness. I don’t need anyone to fix me because only I can do that. A little affection and words of encouragement will help. Otherwise, I am the one to carry this cross.