Resilience

Flashback (Age 8): As she swung the belt, I immediately threw my hands up to block the rain of blows coming down on me. She was so pissed that she just grabbed the belt and started swinging, not realizing she was hitting me with the buckle of the belt (she’d already chipped my tooth earlier in the week with a cup without any provocation, so why would I expect anything different). I knew I should have asked for the crackers, but I was hungry…I just wanted some crackers. As she swung the third time, I felt the speed of the buckle slip between my raised hands as it struck me on my back and head. Suddenly I felt her hands on my chest…shoving me. My were feet tangled underneath me…I knew I better grab onto something…grabbing as many clothes as possible to break my fall as I fell back into the open closet. I sat at the bottom of the closet…half-listening to the typical berating that followed a beating…”you’re stupid, you’ll never be anything, you’re worthless…”…yada, yada,yada. I was barely listening; my attention focused on the tingling sensation emanating from the top of my head…as if I had just gotten out of the shower..you know…that feeling of cold air on a wet body. Once she finished her tirade, she walked away letting me know I had a mess to clean up. I picked myself up from the closet floor and started picking up the clothes. The tingling feeling was still there – my head was throbbing. I reached back to touch the area that was throbbing most. Overwhelmed with shock as I felt a sticky moisture seep between my fingers, I pulled my hand to my face, scared to see what I already suspected – there it was…my fingers were covered in crimson red. Stunned by my discovery, I reached back with the same hand in disbelief – my palm now matched my fingers. I looked back at the closet to see if I had scraped my head on a nail or a hangar; then the realization…it was the belt buckle that had cut me. Quietly sobbing, I went into the bathroom to see if the mirror could answer where I was cut. As I tried to turn my head to see where the blood was coming from, I heard the door open. She stood there, awe-struck as the blood dripped onto my shoulder. “What happened…you sure you didn’t hit it on the wall?”…searching for a way to recuse herself of causing anything…never accountable…

Always the same bullshit…always my fault… if only I had not taken the crackers without permission, if only I had done this, if only I done that…I wish I could say this was the only time she hurt me…the only time it was my fault…

Present: I guess the reason I shared this story is because as I continue my transformation, I think of all the things in my life I have had to endure…all the pain and the bullshit of my childhood and now my pending divorce…I’ve never had it easy. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not a pity party. I have had some great childhood memories….some great memories of my marriage, but the overarching theme is that I seem to be able to endure the physical and emotional pain because I believe there is something better waiting for me. I’ve taken these negative moments in my life and tried to really learn from them. Things could easily be different – I could be abusive, or an addict, or just bitter. However, I endure…a quiet confidence that I just don’t think a lot of people possess. Certainly I have moments of sadness and despair…wondering why…but I endure…I have what only a few possess…I have an unrequited resilience…

until next time…

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