Where it Hurts

You will begin to forgive when you understand the many ways in which the world has killed those who try to survive it. When you see how the scars have drawn themselves like maps on their bodies. And, like maps, the scars will show you how to reach the pain. You have followed this path lined by scars for so long that you criticize the quality of scar tissue.

Show me your scars, you asked.

Show me where it hurts.

Here, they said, they came one night and destroyed everything. Here, they said, I was nine years old. Here, they said, I was trying to walk home. Here, they said, I was in my bed – asleep. And there. And there. And there.

You thought that knowledge  – or at least memory – would work as an armor against feeling. Having known it becomes simple to disassociate. That’s what it’s supposed to be – simple.

But nothing is simple. And knowing that fire burns doesn’t prevent scalding.

So while you knew what was coming, you weren’t ready for the pain. Weren’t ready for the scars. Now you continue along your journey – an eager traveler runs up to you. Their backpack looks new and their eyes carry that a brightness that is seen by those who are yet to be touched. Show me, they ask, show me where it hurts. You sigh and sit down.

Here, you say, I wanted to understand.

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