One of the benefits of having a writing pact with a friend is the grace you give each other when you’re just not in the mood to write. The last few weeks have been busy and chaotic and both of us were in another session of a writing group. This week, we chose random pages for each other and the pact was to pick up the book closest to us, turn to that page, read it, find a quote and write: I picked up Poster Child by Emily Rapp and began writing from a quote on page 57:
“I believed that something magical happened within the walled fortress of my casts. Bones dwelled, alone and unwatched, for weeks at a time in those dark caves of plaster. I was sure that when the scars were finally exposed, secrets would be disclosed and conspiracies revealed.”
I am entering a season of casts, I think. A season of controlled walls surrounding vulnerable bones where magic is bound to happen, as it has before.
I am not healed. I know I am not healed.
But I am not broken anymore either.
I’ve long feared that I was broken… completely… beyond repair. That even a body-cast would do nothing to heal me. That there was no healing for the pain I’d endured. For the pain I thought I caused myself.
I’ve resonated with this line for years:
I had to hide away that pain: I put up a walled fortress… around my entire self. Around my entire being. Around my entire heart. Around my entire soul.
I put up a wall and I just sat within the dank darkness of the space within myself.
And I came out not knowing much more about myself than I knew when I went in. But there was still healing in that. There was… strength in waiting. There was a knowing, somehow, someway, that I could use my voice and that I wouldn’t crumble. Magic did happen in that cast.
I came out strong enough to learn the things I needed to learn about myself. To heal. To cope. To live.
For a year, I’ve hammered through plaster. I’ve torn down walls. I’ve exposed every inch of this fortress within. For a year, I’ve sat in this muck. I’ve sat in this pain. This pain has instigated other, more poignant pain. For a year, I’ve lived this hell without my cast. Without any casts or braces or crutches. Without a wall of protection.
Vulnerable. Exposed. Naked.
And I have healed. I’ve progressed.
I am not the same girl I was a year ago.
But I’m not done healing, either.
Everything has been getting… harder, lately. Harder than it should be. Harder than I want it to be. Harder than I will tolerate it being.
And now there is this push and pull between wanting to be in this muck to get more healing, but also wanting to step on to the clean ground I’ve created for myself with all this hard-work over the past year.
The muck has been contained. But my being is still fluid and goes where it pleases.
Push and pull. Push and pull. Teeter-totter. Up and down. Left to right. Left, right, left.
And so now… I am entering a season of casts again. Of this pain dwelling, alone and unwatched in caves of protective plaster.
This time, it is not my whole body being put in a cast. It is only certain things… certain parts… things I know I am not ready to look at right now.
And I hope that secrets and conspiracies are revealed when these wounds-made-scars are revealed once more.
Now, right now, I am looking forward to not looking at them anymore for awhile. I’m looking forward to the fortress of protection that stops this tug-of-war. I’m looking forward to the safety of the cast. The protection of it.
I think I am even looking forward to its limitations.
After a year without boundaries… without containment… I’m looking forward to a little bit of control.