Scar Tissue

I was prepared to take some time and heal after my engagement ended in April. I was prepared to face and endure the stages of grief. I took note of how angry I felt, how embarrassed I felt, and I set out to deal with those emotions. I did whatever I could to allow myself to experience the grief. I cried, I drew, I talked to friends, I talked to my family, I prayed, I hit the heavy bag, I went for walks and shouted to no one.

I knew I was emerging from the grief when I finally wanted to sleep. Every night for a year, I ended each day talking to him. And the absence of that experience, apparently left a scar. So much so, I stayed awake for the next eight months until I physically couldn’t stay awake any longer. Often drinking a bottle of wine to knock me out. Or just sit on my couch until exhaustion overpowered me. And then, begrudgingly, I’d collapse in my bed.

I knew I was emerging from the grief when I didn’t feel angry anymore. If I thought of him, my blood pressure didn’t rise. I didn’t feel anxious. I didn’t want to shout or hit anything. I didn’t have to tell myself I had been angry long enough. One day, I simply noticed it wasn’t there like the way it was the day before.

But I wasn’t prepared for the scar tissue to manifesting itself when I started dating again. Like the moments when I experience situations that used to give me anxiety. That used to lead to a fight…That used to make me afraid. Things like missing a call, wanting to meet friends for dinner, or having a meeting with a male coworker. All of it seems marginal now, but it wasn’t before. Each one was a conversation, and each one was the groundwork for a potential fight, or a potential line of questioning that led to me feeling inadequate or unworthy of trust. But when I experience these conversations now, they seem so light, so casual, and so…rational. Each time I brace for impact, and each time instead of belly slapping concrete, I land softly onto a foam mattress.

This is going to take some getting used to. And it’s going to take someone, possibly with their own scar tissue, to help me properly open my heart again. So far, it seems like I found a good one…

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