I’m totally stealing this graphic from Mama Kat. Go to her site and see what everyone has linked up. Theirs will be much more sane and upbeat than mine. I’m writing for me tonight, and if you’d like to read, that’s fine.
I’m dressed up as me for Halloween. Not the me everyone sees, but the me inside. I’ll have a vice clamped to the back of my neck, and the hilt of a chef’s knife sticking out between my shoulder blades. My lower back will be bruised and bloody, with my mangled vertebrae poking through. My hair will be a long, loose mess, because I can’t even wash it or comb it without my hands going numb. The clip or sock-bun people usually see – something they’d be embarrassed to go to Walmart in – is the best I can do, and probably took a couple of thirty-minute lie-downs with an ice pack to get through.
My skin is covered with scars. They are all words people have said to me, or about me. They burned at the time, no matter how long ago, and the scars won’t fade. Some are the little white lies people told to avoid me when I wasn’t of any use to them anymore. If you want to know who your true friends are lose your job, your health, your looks, and your endurance. Those few people who will still take ten seconds to text you back are still your friends. But then ask a favor – ask to talk to them about something you’re really excited about, something that has changed your life. They’re really not interested.
Then there are the wounds that won’t heal. They are burned deep into the muscle, but can still be read through the swelling and the black, necrotic tissue. DENIED, DENIED, DENIED on the tender undersides of my arms. BANKRUPT just below my collarbone, on the thin skin of my chest. That flash of white is my sternum. FORECLOSURE is much smaller, just over my hipbone. I can still hide it for now.
But I’m wearing my boots, and my head is held high. My fake smile is gone, and the nice manners with it. My eyes are cold and feral as a wolf’s. I’m damaged, but the anger inside me burns hot. I can and will take on any challenge to my family. Blood may spill, but never enough of mine that I’m not here for the next fight.