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Tracing scars and remembering my Rome burning.

As I lay in bed tracing the various lessons etched upon my body I also reflect upon the time that’s past. I trace the scar upon my stomach and remember August 2013. I remember standing before the parole board blood flowing down my leg, the wound fresh and the company vile. I remember the horror on their faces as I opened my shirt and showed them my bleeding stomach!

I traced the scars on my arms, wrists and legs recalling the pain for pleasure. I traced the secret scars meant to hide from my prying parents under my breasts, inside my lips, the bottom of my feet and other places they wouldn’t look. The shame hiding my addiction, hiding my need to feel pain for pleasure. The need for pain because it’s all that was real to me.

I cry knowing I’ve scared my body and for the blood I’ve spilled. I trace the scar that started it all from my left eye, along the socket to my hair line and down along the ear to the jaw. Regret and pain and shame. My companions this night as I remember.

Regret for so many years spent lost in pain and hate and darkness. Regret for the time lost to my heavenly father. Regret is tough to live with and tougher to move past.

Pain knowing how badly I hurt, how badly I was broken. The pain of knowing how I once though it (pain) was my champion in a world of shit and piss. Pain knowing how much I hurt those who watched in horror, those who tried to help and those who loved me in spite of it all. Pain knowing how those who love hurt as they sat helpless to stop my pain and self-destruction.

The shame of hiding it and trying to go it alone. The shame I feel when others see my scars. The shame I brought to myself while lost in pain. The shame of not trusting those who love me with my pain. The shame of not letting those desperate to help me in.

My addiction to cutting has brought me these things. It alienated me from family, god and love. I know now it’s a tool used by evil to divide our heart and betray our mind with lies that pain is all that’s real. I also know when you’re broken so you can’t believe at the time anything beyond the pain exists.

Time holds no meaning for these scars. Each fresh in my mind as if the wound was fresh made. I recall the desire that drove me to this and the one that pulls me from it now. The power I thought was once mine and the enslavement to the darkness. I remember the illusion of control all too well. I remember it’s dark lies and false face and I’ll never forget them.

Laying in the darkness I cry as I remember. I remember each day, each cut, each betrayal. I remember the pain in my parents faces, the desperation in Sarah’s. I remember the pleasure in the pain and its lies to my broken mind that I deserve to feel and this is all I can feel.

I will never go back! I will never have pain as my champion again. I know it now for what it is. It’s the deceiver, the divider, the instrument of all that is wrong in the world today. It’s not my friend and it never was. It kept me from all that could heal me for a very long time.

I have to remember even in a world of shit and piss if your head is above water then you can see the sun. You aren’t in darkness if you can see the sun. So as your personal Rome burns and your world crumbles seek the sun, seek the light and don’t give in to pain. I need to remember these things myself when again my Rome burns.

Perhaps Nero had it right. Dance even while your Rome burns! Dance because Rome can be rebuilt and in its destruction a new Rome shall be reborn. Dance because your father in heaven watches and he see the pain and death but he will not let them take you! Dance because even in pain joy must remain.

So tonight I dance, I cry and I remember when my Rome burned and from it’s ashes is reborn.

~Michelle Styles – February 27, 2014

Some additional context:

My psychiatrist asked me to put into words how I feel about my past, my cutting, how I feel today about that past. This was my attempt to make that connection.

I think in colorful and relatable terms. I’ve placed a picture of myself inside as the beautiful city of Rome. Rome; with its majesty and grandeur unmatched in its time and unlike any city before or since. Inside each of us is this city, one unmatched in beauty, splendor, and never duplicated. A city unique to you, your personal Rome with all its grandeur that makes you uniquely you.

In tragic times like my brutal rape our Rome burns. How we react to that defines the road we travel. When it burns do we dance knowing you can burn and pillage my city but you can’t destroy it. Do we dance knowing it will be rebuilt bigger, grander than before. Or do we leave our personal Rome in ash.

Those are our choices. I left mine in ash for a very long time. It’s grandeur tarnished and its majesty dull. Only when I learned to dance in its destruction did I learn no one can take my Rome because it can be rebuilt. That’s the beauty of humans, if we can imagine it we can build it.

Our creator made us in his likeness. He created the universe and all we see. He left that gift in each of us the gift to create. And when our Rome burns he left us the tool and ability to recreate. He lives in us and our vision of our perfect city within can only be complete with the sun shining high above. It can only be complete when we love the city within.

My choice is and ever more shall be to dance as my Rome burns because with love and the gifts God left me I will rebuild it bigger, better and grander than ever before. Forever more I shall dance in the ash because God created all we see from nothing I can certainly rebuild my city within from the ash and mud to make new brick and mortar within.

Choose do you dance or wallow in the ash after your Rome burns. Look to his creation and remember he made me and gave me the tools to rebuild or close your eyes and cry for what was lost. Say it with me. I will create, live and dance even when Rome burns!

~Michelle