You know how sometimes you say something, and then realize you just put into actual, out-loud words how you really feel deep inside? Perhaps you didn’t even realize you felt that way? Something you’ve subconsciously never revealed to anyone…or even acknowledged to yourself? Something perhaps you didn’t even realize how much affected you? That doesn’t happen to me often, but it did recently.
I’m a person who doesn’t give my opinion much. I don’t post political things or memes on Facebook. I don’t ask people their income, weight or age. I try to be helpful and supportive. I try not to hurt anyone. I do everything in my power to go above and beyond for those I love.
I’m independent. I handle things on my own. I swallow my hurt and move on.
Our daughter came to visit us recently. We were sitting, talking about how it is really hard to see the true motivation of someone, what makes them think and act a certain way, how it’s hard to see inside the “why” of why someone does something, how it’s hard to peel the protective layers to truly understand what makes a person tick, how easy it is to be jaded once you’ve been deceived or hurt. I said, “If you could cut me open (metaphorically speaking, of course), basically all you would see is scars.” I was as surprised as my daughter that I said this out loud. She said, “Really?” And I realized that, yes, it was true. That’s how I feel – scarred. Very scarred.
I know we all get hurt in this life. There’s no way around it. Things happen. People are unkind.
We get hurt. We heal. We move on.
But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t leave a scar. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t permanently affected us.
I feel things deeply, more deeply than I let on. I hurt deeply, more deeply than I put into words. It takes me a long time to heal. I have been affected by all of the things that have happened in my life – Jason’s death, family and friends deserting us, putting time and effort and care into people who have not been worthy of my trust, investing myself in something or someone only to be left behind like an old couch, people you trust stabbing you in the back, people you trust to have your best interest at heart who prove otherwise. So many things over the years. It hurts. The wounds may have healed, but I am scarred.
We got a call yesterday that something had been delivered for us to our previous address. I called our old landlord and arranged to pick it up. Joe has not wanted to even see him at all. I dropped Joe across the street at the gas station while I went to pick up the package.
During the night, I noticed Joe was tossing and turning, not sleeping well. I asked him if he was all right. He said he couldn’t shut his brain off, he kept thinking about our old landlord. He said it brought back so many bad memories. It was as if my eyes were opened and I really, truly could see how traumatized Joe has been – and still is – by this whole being-unceremoneously-kicked-out-of-our-home thing – trying to be a good friend for so many years, the hurt, the betrayal, the unkindness. He has been wounded. He has obviously not healed from this wound yet, but I have no doubt it will leave a scar. And it will be added to the others that he has.
We all have been wounded. We all are scarred. We all need to treat each other kindly, because we have no idea what another person has gone through or how many scars are right below the surface.
© 2020 Rebecca R. Carney