When I was younger I spent a long time in turmoil with my fucked up parts, and an even longer time coming to terms with the fact that these parts of me would be inseparable from who I was. I don’t think anyone grows up expecting to spend years at odds with themselves, but I found myself there nonetheless. At 18, my teenaged years were said and done for and I found myself at a crossroads: I could continue resist my damaged parts and let it spill over into my next chapter, or I could quietly carry them with me do my best to manage what I could. I chose the latter. I had a lot of ugly scars that no one ever saw, both physical and mental. Eventually, they just became little secrets that only I knew about. These parts of me were pushed to the back of daily consciousness, save for the occasional reminder, like when someone asks “What happened to your arm”, or when I have an anxiety attack and old trauma rears its ugly head.
I was laying in bed today, lounging in balmy spring sunlight — a much needed change in weather. I found my fingers creeping across my limbs, savouring the warmth and surveying the familiar landmarks on my skin. I had an instance of déjà vu, recalling how years ago I used to examine myself by the same method, but with somber resentment for the deep lines sown through my arms and thighs. Because my skin has never healed very well, my physical scars refused to fade for many years. I eventually learned to forget about them, the way you do to an old, ill-advised, tattoo.
Today was different however; I struggled to find many of the lines and crisscrosses I had engrained in my memory. I didn’t know what surprised me more: the fact almost all of my scars had finally dissipated, or that I still expected them to be there a decade later. In an eerily similar way, the emotional scars behaved the same as ones on my body. The memory of them weighed on me longer than they were with me.
My life has felt like a large directionless mess over the past several months, but this has be a gentle, and much needed, reminder that I have been broken before, and even though I’ll be broken again, I will eventually heal.
This post was originally published on April 24th 2017, less than three weeks after I had moved in with my parents following 8 turbulent months my mental health spiraling downwards. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my personal history and the experiences that had brought me to this point. Being back in my childhood room brought back a lot of memories from a very hurt and broken time in my life, not unlike what I was currently going through. I wrote this after reflecting on the healing power of patience, persistence, time, and letting go.