Pulling Words From Scar Tissue

There is a memory that has been haunting me. I thought it was something long dead, long gotten over, but there is a rawness to it still. It is tender to the touch.

I thought the best way to deal with it was to avoid it. But, avoidance is never the answer. Especially for a writer.

They say that a writer should use everything. Funnel everything, every hurt and happiness, into their writing. Into their creating. I never fully understood that before. I thought it was good advice, but there were tender places in my heart that I didn’t want to write about. I wanted to forget about them.

One such moment happened when I was in college. It was a moment of rejection that I’m sure most people have tasted to one degree or another. There was a boy. We’d been through a lot of ups and downs already, but I cared for him. Cared deeply for him.

One night we hung out together - watching a movie, talking, just the two of us. The next morning he sent me an instant message (yes, this was back in the days before Facebook and social media) and it said that we would never be anything more than “just friends”. Some might call it a minor hurt (and I have walked through what many would consider much larger pain since) but for me it was a heart wrenching moment. A defining moment. A numbing moment. It took me a long time to get over.

After a while Bryan came into my life and I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am for him. He is a direct answer to so many hopes, dreams, and prayers.

But I learned something recently: current happiness doesn't negate past pain. I learned that moving past something doesn't make the scars go away. 

I still carry a sensitivity around that past moment. I still carry insecurities that are directly tied to that rejection.

Recently I found the power of exploring everything in writing. I found why writers need to dive deep into every scar. I found a new sense of healing having pulled words out of scar tissue.

Here is what I wrote:

Do you remember The night that I stayed? The morning you wrote the word Never? As if from the grave it taunts me the same. At times I can still hear your Never. My memory fades. Does yours still remain? Of why you first said that one Never. Despite all the years it runs through my brain. My psyche still twists that word Never. On days of dissent, insecurities vex. My heart can still hurt from that Never. The years they have changed, that word stays the same. Why does it matter? That Never. Growth comes with age, and wisdom with change, to free me from that simple Never. Please free my from that, that old distant, Never.

Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany

PoemsBethany Stedman