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Agent009's picture
on September 9, 2010 - 6:44am

(This is going to be painfully lengthy. You may want to just skip on to someone else's post!! Consider yourself warned.)

At 4 AM, my cat FiFi Fancypants (AKA FiFyFoFum), was in hot pursuit of a fly. In the hunt, Fi managed to slam a door shut, and that woke me up. For the life of me, I could not get back to sleep. I tossed. I turned. I flipped a pillow this way and that. I had a cramp in my foot. I had an itch on my arm.

In my overzealous scratching, I suddenly remembered that I had a small cut there and was now in need of a band-aid. So, after attaching the sticky strip of elastic to my arm by the soft glow of the bathroom nightlight, I shuffled back to bed. And at 4:30 AM when sleep evaded me, my mind wandered.

I thought about that tiny little cut. I have no idea how I got it. That's pretty common for me. I'm always getting minor injuries. I'm not a cutter or an abuse victim. I'm just a klutz with a high pain tolerance. Thus, when an injury occurs, I don't always notice. So if a bruise surfaces a few days later and someone asks, with great concern, "What did you do to yourself?", I just shrug and admit, "I really don't know."

I have scars from all sorts of little things: tree climbing incidents, small burns from the oven or cooking, scratches from play-fighting with kittens and puppies, and yes the occasional scar from a knife slip. Hidden in the hair on the back of my head, there is a sizable scar acquired in childhood (from an inability to properly balance on precariously stacked furniture).
I've also got one noticeably crooked toe as a result of my penchant for wandering around barefoot. There's an additional little bump on my wrist from where it was broken when falling on an icy sidewalk( and no, I wasn't barefoot for that!).
I am incredibly grateful that bruises don't leave external scars. I'd likely be unrecognizable.

All of this makes me sound like a walking disaster area. Honestly, it's not that bad. Most people don't notice these little scars. They're a part of me, so even I don't really notice them so much.

Unfortunately, I think the noticeable damage is internal. The emotional scars are far worse than anything that's ever been inflicted on me physically.

When I think back on all of the disappointments, losses, betrayals and deceptions, it hurts. But like the physical wounds, the pain fades over time, and I don't really notice it so much. The real problem is that the history probably changes my behavior more than I would like to admit. More than that, it probably has changed the fabric of my character to some extent.

Some of that change is necessary and appropriate to maturity. Probably everyone is more trusting in youth and grows to a point of being selectively trusting. But at this stage, I have noticed that there are very very few people I trust....very few in my 'inner circle'. Perhaps that's appropriate and normal. I just think maybe I've taken it a little too far. While part of me takes a sort-of pride in 'flying below radar' and being more in the wings than in the spotlight, I realize that there might be a point where that can be detrimental to personal growth.

Now I need to start swinging the pendulum back to the middle. I don't let the physical scars scare me off of baking a muffin or reasonable rock climbing, so why do I let the emotional scars keep me from reaching out to other people and from being involved? Calling it self-preservation is my cop out. Time for a little risk. Now, where to start?

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