As a nurse I see many, many wounds. Surgical incisions, traumatic injuries, bedsores. Gaping holes in the skin right down to the bone. Bruises and abrasions and lacerations with pools of blood or swollen, angry skin.
And I am consistently amazed by how some of the most wretched and horrific wounds are able to, with time and care, heal. The tissue knits itself back together and becomes whole. The result is often imperfect with scars or uneven bumps of flesh. But the body heals.
In the metaphorical sense, I am also healing. Being victimized by verbal and emotional abuse creates wounds. They might not be visible, but they are there. Having your trust betrayed makes it hard to trust again. Being lied to makes it hard to believe in people.
Being manipulated and tormented and belittled hurts.
Areas of scarring and damage become more sensitive, more susceptible to injury. My emotional injuries are no exception. I have emotional scars, that is certain. Because of my experiences I am more cautious and sensitive. I am more likely to be triggered and upset by a seemingly innocuous occurrence because it resembles something from my past. But I think that, with time, even this will fade.
I am healing. The name calling and the hurtful remarks and the deliberate attempts to cut me down-- those memories are fading and the wounds are healing. What I am able to focus on is how quickly people sprang into action to help me. How steadfastly they (you) stood by my side.
Back in November, I wrote about how grateful I was. Even when I was in the thick of it, even through the anxiety and terror, I could still see how lucky I was. What I remember is how amazingly people came through for me. How time and again my friends picked me up and dusted me off. How fiercely, unrelentingly loyal and protective people were. How insanely far people went out of their way for me.
I got to see just how much love there is out there for me. Because of that, my scars are beautiful. And I can heal.