Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Wounds and The Scars

I remember when the wounds were fresh. When the words were first spoken, the fights new and hurtful.

I remember the moments when I realized divorce was eminent and the world I thought I knew shattered before me.

It's strange how the memory works, and how I remember that even in those moments it felt as if I was watching my life happen from a distance. Snapshots. Like the day I packed up my children and a week's worth of our belongings into my car and drove through the rain to my mother's house in Tulsa. Or the day I returned to our home, and sat on my sofa in a daze with tears in my eyes as my friends and family packed up my remaining belongings into a moving truck.

I remember the moment it occurred to me there was no saving it, and then much later the moment I realized I didn't want it to be saved any more.

I remember sitting in my car and sobbing after touring the daycare where my children would soon begin attending for more than ten hours every day while I worked to care for them.

I remember the wounds, and when I remember, I feel them as fresh as they day they cut me.

I remember the moments I began to heal too. I remember looking at myself in my first suit as I headed out of the house for one of my first interviews. I remember the sound of my high heals on the tile floor as I entered the elevator in the lobby, and the power and energy it gave me. I remember feeling my shoulders straighten and my chin lift. I remember smiling at myself in my reflection.

I remember my first Christmas with my boys as a single parent, and the precious gifts I gave them with the $100 given to me by one of the most generous people I know. I remember the moment I decided it would be our last Christmas in a home that wasn't our own.

I remember the final car payment I made, the final loan payment I made, the final credit card payment I made and the first rent check I was finally able to write for our own home. I remember the fire in the fire place, and the presents we opened in our own home on the most special Christmas of my life. It was beautiful.

I remember the moment I knew I was strong, that I was more than okay, and that my children were happy and thriving.

I remember the moment my life changed again. The moment I knew I'd found love again, in a man, and two sweet children.

And yet, though the wounds have healed, there are still scars.

I couldn't help but feel broken and sad when I heard his excuses and his sadness. I wanted to feel compassion and wished I could help, but knew I couldn't. At the same time, I felt bewildered and angry at myself for still feeling that sympathy for him and the hope I've always had for him. To be more, to have more, to do more.

Then I remembered, and felt wounded all over again knowing how real manipulation and heartache are.

I told myself I wouldn't, but as I left the courthouse my car seemed to drive on without my permission and I found myself parked in front of each of our old homes. I tried to remember the sweet moments, like when we brought our babies home from the hospital and where we stood in moments of laughter. I tried to conjure up snapshots I have of smiles, Christmas trees and happiness. Instead my eyes fixated on places of pain and sadness. I remember exactly where I stood, what was said, the looks in the eyes, the tears and feeling so very alone.

Even though wounds heal, there are still scars. It always helps to drive away from the city where I once lived, to leave it behind and drive towards my home now where I have memories of healing, of moving on, of life and love, strength and freedom. But it doesn't erase the sadness, the loss of a dream, the real and present memory of grieving a marriage, and saying good bye to a whole life. Every time I make that drive back to Tulsa, and drive towards a life I love and am thankful for, I can't help but remember that rainy drive four years ago that changed my life forever. Or the 45 minutes before I got in the car where I realized I would never really have the chance to say goodbye to my friends and the life I once knew.

It seemed fitting that as I drove through that little town, looking at my old homes and my old life, I listened to npr and an interview with Brandi Carlile. One of her most well known songs is called The Story.

"All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true... I was made for you...

I am thankful that I have someone to tell my story to. I'm thankful that love has found me, that I've been rescued from a destructive and painful life. More than those things, though, I'm thankful I have a story to tell and that I've been given the strength to tell it. I'm thankful for the lines on my face, the scars on my heart and the snapshots in my memory of the good times and the bad. The wounds, the healing, the scars and how each of them make up me and my story.

Love and Honey,


Lana Wilkens said...

one of the rare moments when a blog post makes me cry. love you and your tenacity to move forward into hope

Missy Rose said...

Thank you sweet friend. Love you too.

MS said...

So...glad? not sure that's the best word, but...glad you are processing. There's SO MUCH to process and reflect on. You are beautiful...

Missy Rose said...

MS - Just reflecting on how interesting it is that sadness can remain long after we've moved on from the source of it. I haven't reached any special revelation or anything, just seeieng and accepting the phenomenon of life being a constant ebb and flow of joy and pain.

Marcus Fidel said...

A beautiful but painful post to read.
Oddly I have been posting on the same topic since 5/29.

I believe our creative works help heal us and that healing is a very real phenomenon.

May God Bless, Keep, and Heal You.

Missy Rose said...

Thank you, Marcus. I do truly believe our creative works help our healing process.

I'm beginning to think there may have been readers that may have misunderstood the overall theme or goal of this post. Many may need to just know me or know more of the details of my story rather than the ambiguous allusions made to it here, and then I fear that those that do know it all may still have misunderstood.

That said, this post was more reflective than anything else, and not reminiscent in a way of wishing for my old life or wishing things had turned out differently. I am grateful and joyful at my outcome, yet I experience from time to time waves of emotion of remembrance. For me, I find strength in understanding, feeling, and in some cases reliving through my emotions pain I have once felt, and often still carry, recognizing it is a part of who I am and a part of life. The ability to accept that life is a mixture of difficulty and success, pain and joy, sadness and elation is growth to me.

What I experienced yesterday in my life was also a wake up call. A recognition that feelings of sympathy for a person who clearly still attempts to manipulate me are not helpful. Though they're legitimate feelings and valid, they don't get me anywhere and affect my life negatively. Consequently, remembering the pain and suffering this person caused me and recalling the sorrow I once lived through reminded me my sympathy was misplaced altogether.

I guess I am still processing, and I hope I am not misunderstood or judged by others.

Maybe I don't have any need to explain myself, but I welcome comments and questions from those that know me well and those that know me from afar.

Missy Rose said...

I hope anyone reading this blog post and comment thread will go and read marcus' blog post referred to above. But yes, and amen, my brother gets what I'm saying. He shares the lyrics of a really beautiful song, some of which get right at the heart of what I hope I have shared here: "Praise God we don't have to hide scars
They just strengthen our wounds, and soften our hearts.
They remind us of where we have been, but not who we are
So praise God, praise God we don't have to hide scars."


Marcus Fidel said...

At 5:30 on a Saturday, I am thinking about this on a very deep level. Jonny Diaz posts on twitter @jonnydiaz. For greatful reasons not yet understood by me, all of this, and Psalms 16 are mixing together in my soul. King David with golden words alludes to life having labor pains that bring delight. I have never felt labor pains, and honestly don't think my countenance as a man, any man for that matter could handle them. Sure I am strong, but not that strong. But I understand and have felt deep physical pain and deep emotional pain from a broken bone and a broken heart. Pain like wounds, like scars can be looked at from different perspectives. In labor, the deep soulful core pain, I have witnessed in most cases results in the joy of a new birth and a new life involved. Sometimes it doesn't end so joyous with a women bleeding to death or a baby getting stuck in the process and dying because a spinal defect did not show up on ultrasound, but literally got in the way. Even then however there is transformation. This actually happened to a dear friend of mine, and to hear her story of devastation, soul death, depression and grief followed by a long path of addiction and then healing and finally freedom and acceptance is beyond all form of verbal expression. My point is that pain lful wounds and scars lead to, if we Get out of God's way and the natural course of things, a transformation of strength and sacredness beyond regular words. I leads to a place where poetry, art, music barely touches. It leads to a place where we are reborn, resurrected as we share if only forban instant the pain of Jesus on the cross. My life, my scars, my wounds, my brokeness are what bring me closer to my authentic self, the sacred relationships with others, (Thou) and ultimately with that which is God.

Missy Rose said...

I'm so glad you mentioned the allusion to birth, made by many and particularly the Psalmist. As I have continued to ruminate on this experience since last week, and discussed with friends and my husband, I've wondered and asked myself why I wanted to drive by and see my old homes and I realized there is a part of me that cherishes that time in my life, the pain, the difficulty, the person I was then. At first I thought maybe there is a part of me that "isn't over it," or searching within my heart to see if there is anything in me that wishes for my old marriage, my first husband. Truly there isn't; let that be clear. But then I thought about the birth analogy, which I think about often as a Birth Doula. Any woman you speak to about her birth experience will usually go into detail discussing various pains, exhaustion, hunger, fear, confusion, anger, sadness, dispair, and an array of other difficulties and emotions. She will never leave them out. Never. I don't leave them out of my birth stories, and mine include preeclampsia, weeks of bedrest, seizures, hours of unconsciousness, fear of stroke, extremely painful engorgement, depending on another woman to nurse my infant, months of difficulty breastfeeding, and a hip injury that has never completely gone away. And I literally cherish those difficulties. They're MINE. When I looked at those homes, while I saw pain, I also saw each moment of desperate prayer to my God, desperate and hopeful worship to him as I trusted that He would provide, speak, love, teach, and ultimately rescue me. And He did. It is a process that we have to allow ourselves to be painfully open to - if we don't allow ourselves to truly experience, see, feel and accept the pain, we can't move forward to see the healing and freedom on the other side. There is a moment in birth called Transition, just before the woman pushes her baby out of her womb and into the world that is notably the most terrifying, painful, and confusing time of birth. Without medical pain relief you can literally feel your entire pelvis stretching, widening, shifting, as if someone is taking hold of the bones and cracking them like an egg and pulling apart the two halves. For a moment you resist because it hurts, but until you surrender and open your soul and embrace the pain your baby will not be birthed. In fact there can be serious complications if you fight against this process, for you and your child. The moment you surrender to that pain and listen to the urges of your body and push, your child is born and there is a rush of endorphins and oxytocin, "the love hormone."

With that said, I will continue to feel confident that the way that I cherish my experiences, and remember them and remember the help of my God in those moments is the same way I would erect an "Ebenezer" to His glory. He pulled me out of the pit as it were...

I also want to quote Ani DiFranco, in her forward to the book Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin, "But pain is the right hand of growth and transformation. pain is in the history of all human wisdom. The pains associated with menstruation and childbirth (even the emotional pain) are the price of having agency with the bloody, pulsing, volcanic divinity of creation, and they lie at the core of feminine wisdom. The literal experience of 'my body is your body, your blood is my blood,' holds great insight into the way of things. A self-possessed woman in childbirth can be a powerful teacher for all (including herself) on the temporality, humility, and connectedness of life." Amen.

Anonymous said...

Love you Ms. Missy! <3

Missy Rose said...

Thank you Kris!


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