A forever reminder

cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossoms, Hyde Park London.

In a hotel room in Paris, I sat bolt upright in bed and gripped my left forearm with my right hand. There was a searing pain there on my arm. Whoa, I thought what the heck is going on. I know I had been having a nightmare, I was sweaty and disoriented, but I couldn’t remember what the dream was about. I gripped my arm until the pain subsided, then I laid back down and fell back to sleep.

The next morning, Thursday, May 12th, 2016, packing my bag to leave Paris as our travels were now taking us to London, a memory gripped me. It was a vivid memory of me opening a card from the other woman. Me, sitting at my home office desk with a sick, empty feeling inside as I read the words written by the woman who had been, intermittently, having sex with my husband for eight years. Even though the sane part of me knew she erroneously held me accountable for everything my husband had said and done, I still couldn’t believe the words on the page. Words of hate and venom and blame directed at me. Ultimately, words of understanding, friendship, and encouragement written to Blue Eyes. The comment Blue Eyes’ therapist made to him at the time, after reading the card was, “wow, she thinks she is your best friend.” That day was May 10, 2014, and what transpired from there is documented in this post: I did not leave tonight.

There aren’t really enough words to describe how I feel about that day two years ago. It is a bit of a blur now, but after waking in the middle of the night in Paris, I know there is still pain there in my subconscious. There is also a forever reminder of that day, in the form of a 10cm scar on my left inner forearm. That scar does not physically hurt me anymore except in my nightmares, I guess. But, emotionally, it makes me sad. Most people do not notice the scar. It mostly blends with my skin and is in a fairly inconspicuous place. It was never meant to be seen by anyone. It was for me, I needed it to release the pain, so I didn’t die of heartache. I didn’t mention the nightmare to Blue Eyes. I didn’t even mention the two-year anniversary of that fateful day. Instead, I went about enjoying the rest of our time in Paris. Later in the afternoon on the Eurostar from Paris to London, I know Blue Eyes could tell I was a little down. He had no idea why and that is a good thing. These memories are mine. They are mine to metabolize and work through. He did not cut me. I cut myself.

scar

There are lots of inspirational sayings about scars, but I think my favorite one is this:

scars

The scars we have on our bodies do tell stories, many of my own I have revisited here on my blog. When I was 14, I had an emergency appendectomy. I was not a clumsy or accident-prone child. That surgery scar was my first real noticeable scar. I have written about how scary the experience was and how it left emotional damage as well. (I did it) When I was 30, my second son was born by emergency C-section. That scar is one I cherish, but again, I never acknowledged the emotional baggage, until post d-day. (Unburying the trauma) When I was 49, I was in a snorkeling accident and I have some nasty scars to prove… I fucking survived. (Ocean Waters)

This particular cutting scar on my arm, however, is one that humbles me and forces me to face the fact that I am much more vulnerable than I ever imagined. I did this to myself. I had my reasons, but they were driven by trauma. I have learned from the experience and I have a forever reminder that I am a survivor.

 

16 thoughts on “A forever reminder

  1. I have scars they tell a story of illness and birth, I have stretch marks that tell the world I have made other people, I have tattoos, to remind myself not to forget that others have pain, that it is not just me.
    Your scar is your Japanese pottery, whereas they inlay their pottery with gold to celebrate the cracks, your scar is inlaid with knowledge and strength, your own kind of gold x

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that Japanese pottery… Totally Caroline was the first to send me a picture of it. I had never seen it before. It is so lovely and makes total sense. I have stretch marks that tell the world I eat a lot!! Ha, just kidding, but I do love food! Our bodies do tell quite a story and I love the perfect imperfectness of it all. xoxo

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  2. All of the above and more my angel. Your post made tears well up in my eyes and when I read the linked post I couldn’t stop them flowing. I don’t know how you have found the strength to get to where you are today. Thank you so much Kat for having the strength to share your painful journey if you can survive the pain then I can. Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, you can definitely survive this! Your husband’s mistakes are not yours to bear. He needs help. It is so not fair, what he has done (and what my husband has done), but you are not to blame for any of it. I know how incredibly painful this all is. I know how awful it is to not understand how they can do these things, how they can hurt us so deeply when they profess to love us. They don’t know what love is because they are broken. My husband has received so much help on his journey out of the darkness… Just since we returned from Europe a few days ago, he has been to 12 step meetings, fellowship, a therapy appointment, and today he is at a buddhist meditation retreat. No more excuses for doing bad and broken and hurtful things. Big Hugs, dear one. xoxo

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  3. I look back at that first year and it truly humbles me. I think for so many of us Dday , and the first months that followed it, were our lowest point but also our strongest. I’m so glad you have made such great progress Kat. That scar will always be a reminder of your strength during a very dark time. And you’ve become a source of strength for many of us to lean on also! Thank you!

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    • Thank you, Kaye. I know that fear controlled me that first year. It takes time for us to realize we can do this. We didn’t want it, we didn’t deserve it, but we can survive it. It just wouldn’t be right if we let someone else’s pain and weakness break us. We won’t. Our lives are too precious. Much love. ❤

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  4. It would be lovely to be completely scar-free. Unblemished, untainted, pure. But then, we would be as airbrushed and unreal as any magazine cover model and just about as interesting. Our scars, whether physically seen or emotionally hidden, are part of what makes us who we are. Part of our stories and part of what refines us into the amazingly resilient beings that we are. You Kat, are not so much scarred as marked with the insignias of special powers! ❤️

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  5. That is a really visceral reminder, Kate. Our trauma is etched on our bodies. Scars, worry/sadness lines, goosebumps, ongoing clinic appointments for STI-induced health monitoring … I got a “survival-kinda-trying-to-flourish tattoo. Yes. It was for ‘knocking the bastard off’ – my undergrad degree, but I know I wouldn’t have tattooed if I had not survived the worst emotional pain in order to do it. Was kind of a fuck you to uptight Leanne all at the same time. Love this post 💖

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    • Thanks, Paula. Our bodies do tell our story… and parts of our stories are just messed up. Not much we can do about it now except make the most of it. Fuck the damn STI shit though. God I hate that for you and everyone else that has that mark on them. I do love that tattoo!!! It is very you! ❤

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      • I’m not really into tattoos on older people as a rule. But each to their own. I wanted to etch something that was positive onto my skin after all the negative. That sure is a hell of a scar, Kat. You really were hurting to keep cutting such a long wound.

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        • It happened in a split second. The pottery shard was so sharp. The cut was also very deep. None of that was intentional. I remember the feeling of shock as I looked at what I had done. Glad those days are behind me. ♥️

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