"The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body. After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind."
- Francois de la Rochefoucauld
I wrote a post last year, What Happened In Italy, in which I described a process of pain experienced so deeply that I lost a great deal of my confidence and my sense of security in pretty much everything. I felt like I changed overnight. This post describes how finding out we would never have a child affected me then.
I've grown past this and even though I have been blessed with so much goodness and joy, the memory of the pain hasn't entirely gone away. If it makes sense, it isn't not being able to have biological children that I mourn now because I have truly moved past that sorrow, rather it's the memory of the feelings, the hopelessness, the huge betrayal I felt, the memory of the overwhelming anger that hurts me. That I felt the way I did. That I said the words I did. That the anger filled me with a cold, cold fury I didn't know I was capable of. I have scars inside that I now barely think of but they pulse with distant pain sometimes when something sparks a memory of that period in my life.
I'm reading a beautiful book about a woman who finds out she can't have children and so adopts from India. I read it and I relate because it takes me back to when my own pain was strong in me. My heart beats out my understanding. I almost hold my breath thinking "How can anyone know this? How can they know what it felt like?" I understand what it's like to grieve in this way, to be set off at the most unexpected thing, (in the book the woman is tying her shoes before a run for example), so that the pain rushes up and takes over before it can be stopped. I've been there.
For me, it was a mild stomach ache. I sat at the table and said completely calmly "it hurts" and the next thing I knew I was screaming and pounding the table and sobbing "it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts..." in a frenzy of incomprehension. Why God? Why, why, why are you letting me hurt like this?
Yeah, for me, it was a million things...
I understand what it feels like to be powerless and incapable and stand helplessly on the sidelines watching my plans and hopes shatter. But God is so faithful and so I also have seen those hopes built up again over time, old dreams replaced with new, the pieces picked up off the ground and put back together more unexpectedly perfect than before. I've had my laughter and peace handed back to me.
I don't wish for anything different than what I have. I have come a long way in healing. Every so often though, I think about that bleak, sad time we struggled though and how it knocked me off balance. I'm content and I'm thankful but sometimes I don't think I'm fully recovered.
Maybe I'll never be the same again. Maybe I'm not meant to be.