I have come to the conclusion (or perhaps I should say to the agreement with what Rose Kennedy said about it) that many times, old wounds never do heal. Yes, they do get better. Yes, the pain subsides. Yes, you do get over it. But despite these all, the scars of those wound remain and no matter how much time has passed, the damage is always going to be there. The thing is, even as you try to heal it or to fix what had been broken, it never completely is the same anymore.
Let me put it this way: There’s this street corner I pass on my way to work that, despite how many years have passed, still cause me so much fear and anxiety.
It was on that street corner years ago that I met a car accident that, if not for some twist of fate could have ended my life the way I knew it. As I was driving down that road, a cab came careening out of nowhere and as it tried to avoid another car as he sped down the road, it slammed into the drivers side of my car. Yes, I was driving and the next thing I knew, there was a cab right smack at my side. The impact was so strong that I felt the seat belt snap me back in my seat, and yes, this was the time I was still driving my trusty old Kia Pride (which, no offense, is really not much in terms of strength to withstand such impact, right?).
Much like crossing that street corner, no matter how much time has passed and how much I have worked at forgiving people who have hurt me and letting these go, there are times when I am caught by surprise and the next thing I know, the old wounds are picked at and these old hurts hurt again. In the same way, there are some things that are said and despite my better judgment, despite being able to see the bigger picture, still tugs at those heartstrings in a way that I can’t explain.
As I once wrote in one of my many other blogs, healing from wounds apparently takes more than just slapping on a band-aid. It should be allowed to bleed and be given patient attention and cleaned with antiseptic. While it may sting and hurt, it allows for healing to begin. However, what it needs more than anything, I learned, is admitting that it hurts. The thing is, just when you think you’ve healed, you get careless and then you find yourself picking at an old wound.
Today I find myself there, face to face with an old wound, once covered in band-aids, that I thought had healed. Today it bleeds and aches. What makes it worse is that it was so unexpected and so I had no inkling of what was coming. And because it hit me with such surprise and intensity, I don’t know how to recover just yet.
One thing that’s different, however, is that I’ve noticed that although it hurts, the pain is somewhat different. It doesn’t cut so deep (yes, cliche as it may be but I guess Sheryl Crow’s song The First Cut is the Deepest is so true) and the rush of pain is not as intense and immediate. It’s more like a deep ache, but something I can breathe through without panicking. It’s much like my response to that street corner I was talking about earlier, I guess. While I still get my breath caught in my throat when I cross it, my heart doesn’t race as fast nor do my palms get as sweaty anymore. So I suppose one day I can just see this scab fall over and peel, and maybe it will start to bleed again, but when that happens, I will feel no pain at all. That’s all I can hope for.