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He Put My Ring In His Pocket!!!

Daily Prompt: Tainted Love..

Ever been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend? Was it a total surprise, or something you saw coming? Tell us your best worst breakup story. Never been the dumpee, always the dumper? Relate the story of a friend who got unceremoniously kicked to the curb. Change the names to protect the innocent if you must.

I swear, I laughed out loud when I read this prompt.  Loud guffaws.  Tell about a break-up?!?  Hell, this blog was STARTED as a way for me to work through the rambling musings bouncing around in my brain post-break-up with my former love!  I have written mmmaaaannnnyyyy posts about the very subject.  Well, more about the aftermath than of the actual event, but still.  I’ve also written about the end of my marriage.  May haps I should just link my whole damn blog!?

But, I shan’t.  As while those are interesting stories, they are not one of those epic “Oh. My. God.  Are you kidding me?!?” break-up stories.  But, honey, have I got one for you.  Buckle up!

I have mentioned before that I was engaged TWICE in my early twenties, neither of which “took.”  I am not three times divorced.  Just once, thank you very much.

So, here is the story of my break-up with fiancé #1 – AKA Fratboy.

Fratboy and I met my first year of college.  Became engaged my second year, and were planning a wedding the summer I graduated.  Right on schedule.

Fast forward to the summer before my final year.  We were in the homestretch!  10 months before we were to be married!  Life was perfect…or so I thought.

I show back up to school for my senior year, my head full of plans for the future, and a U-Haul trailer full of my stuff.  Fratboy meets me at my dorm to help me unload and to help carry all my things up three flights of stairs.  WHAT A SWEET BOYFRIEND!!!  Was I lucky OR WHAT?!?!?


Back and forth we go for 45 minutes.  Everything seemed fine.  We had  spoken the night before and he told me how happy he was I was going to be back the next day and how happy he was that I was going to be back in the same town with him and how much he missed me and loved me.  Blah blah blah.  While I had chattered on about how I had just gotten my ring professionally cleaned and how sparkly it was and how I couldn’t wait for him to see it.  Ah…bliss.

So, here we are on the final trip down the stairs to get a few more things, when about half way down Fratboy says to me, “Hey, let me see the ring.”

I grin and hold my hand out for him to see the sparkle.  “Isn’t it beautiful?!?”

“No, let me SEE it,” he replied.

Being the trusting young thing I was, I slid the ring off my finger and held it out to him to look at.  Makes sense, right?  I mean, we were GETTING MARRIED!!!!!  Weren’t we?

He takes the ring from me, and then…

(ready for it?)


My ring.  It was no longer on my finger.  It was no longer in his hands.  IT WAS IN HIS DAMNED POCKET!!!  What the hell?!?

My two-thirds of a carat heart-shaped diamond on a gold band FREAKIN’ CUSTOM-MADE FOR ME engagement ring WAS IN HIS POCKET!

Ok.  In retrospect, the ring was incredibly cheesy, and I want to go back and slap the shit out of my 20-year-old self for ever loving it in the first place.  But, HE PUT MY RING IN HIS POCKET AND I WANTED IT BACK!

I remember I kinda laughed and said, “Hey!  Give it back!”

“No,” he said.  “I’m going to keep it.  I don’t think I want to do this any more.”

(BTW, gentlemen, “I THINK” is a passive statement.  If you are in the process of breaking up with someone, passive terms do not sugar coat the situation.  Use plain language.  A helpful little hint from me to you.  You are welcome.)

All this happened as we were walking down the three flights of stairs to go back out to the parking lot of my dorm.

At this point I am somewhat hysterical.  Standing, by now, in the parking lot next to my 1974 orange Volvo SOBBING.  He asked if I needed him to bring my things up to my room.

I just answered, “NO!  I WANT MY RING BACK!”

“I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that right now,” and he got in his car and drove away.

Somehow I made it back upstairs and into the arms of my best friends who started calling him every name in the book, and how they never liked him, and how I was better off, etc., etc.

And how right they were.

If I had married him, I know for a fact that I would have either divorced him, or killed him.  Either way, I would not be with him now.

Ironically, he ended up marrying another girl from my college.  She is Facebook friends with several of my Facebook friends.  I can not tell you how badly I want to stalk her pictures and see if she has a cheesy two-thirds of a carat heart-shaped diamond in a yellow gold band engagement ring sitting on her finger.  Just so I can laugh, and know how she was given the ring that was custom-made for ME!

Oh, and to be ever so grateful for the day that Fratboy took it back.

Homeownership vs. Dating…

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I have had a love/hate relationship with my house since the summer after we moved in.  Ten years ago.

My ex-husband and I bought the house when The Middle Monkey was just about a year old.  We were living in a two bedroom/one bath/1,000 square foot house.  It was cute, and it was on almost half an acre.  But, let’s face it – it was a TINY house.  So, we figured we had two choices.  1.) build on to the existing house, or 2.) buy a new one.  We decided that since we had an infant and a not-quite-3-year-old, it made more sense to buy a new one.

So, we put the house on the market.  THEN we started looking for a new house.

We looked for MONTHS.  And nothing was “perfect.”  But, we thought we had time.

That is, until an offer was made on our house and we had a month to vacate.  Suddenly, we had to find something new AND FAST!

When we toured this house, we fell in love instantly.  Four bedrooms (sure one is really closet sized, but we only had two children at the time), two and a half baths, big fenced yard (necessary as Duffey was still around).  Perfect!  Oh sure, it needed some work.  But, it didn’t seem like things I couldn’t handle.  (I love my ex-husband with all my heart, but a handy man he is not.)  Oh and, sure it had been a rental property for eight years.  No problem!  This was it.  Our HOME.

We moved in on a cold February day.  It was during the school year, so I didn’t have time to really work on it.  Until summer rolled around.  I decided to tackle the yard.  The huge mess of a yard.  And I have been working on the house and the yard ever since.

As I have been tearing up the yard, it occurred to me that the lessons I have learned about owning a home, I could apply to dating.  No, really.  Just stick with me here.

So here they are, Susan’s Lessons on Homeownership and Dating…

  1. Beware of love at first sight.  As I said, it was love at first sight with the house.  And love at first sight usually means you are not thinking rationally – and you are seeing things with rose-colored glasses.  Had we REALLY looked at the house, we might have seen the problems.  The same holds true with dating.  ‘Nuff said about that…
  2. Watch out for “fixer-uppers.”  Yes, I knew the house needed work.  But, my thought was, “with a little bit of elbow grease, it will be FINE!  I can make it PERFECT!”  Ok, now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s admit it.  We’ve ALL said that about someone we have been interested in.  Every last one of us.  And what happens when we can’t “fix” them?  Or they don’t WANT to be fixed…
  3. Bigger is not necessarily better.  My house sits on a BIG corner lot.  I have a front yard, a big side yard, and a back yard.  It’s like a yard and a half.  Seriously.  Oh, sure.  It LOOKS good.  And it really seemed like an ideal situation.  Lots of room.  But, really.  It is just a whole lot of work.  Smaller would be easier.  And how does this fit in with the whole dating thing?  Well, ladies…I am sure you get my meaning behind it.  And gentlemen?  Think about it.  😉
  4. Things may look great on the outside, but watch out for hidden problems.  Jumping right in on the dating part here.  Haven’t we ALL dated someone who on the outside looked PERFECT?  And WAS perfect.  For a while.  Until the CRAZIES come out.   Same with the house.
  5. Problems that you THOUGHT were taken care of, may come back to haunt you.  When we moved into the house, the whole backyard was COVERED in English ivy.  It slopes and until we took out 5 trees, it was very shady.  Our first summer here, I started pulling out the ivy BY HAND.  Yanking it out of the ground.  It was backbreaking work.  And you know what?  It STILL COMES BACK!  I am still pulling up ivy from the yard.  I hate that freakin’ ivy.  And in relationships, haven’t we all had to deal with a re-visited issue?  (“Yes, damn it!  I got upset when you said we were just having fun.  I had been drinking.  Let it go!”)
  6. Just below the surface there are roots to some long dead things that is damn hard to get rid of.  In preparing the backyard to seed with grass, I have been clearing out a bunch of stuff.   Digging in the dirt.  Smoothing things out.  I’ll dig down just a bit, and find a root.  To what?  I have no idea.  There is nothing near it.  Absolutely nothing.  So, I start pulling up the root.  And pulling.  And pulling.  And pulling.  And the next thing I know, I have pulled out an inch thick, 12-foot long root.  Oh – and there’s another one.  And another one.  What the hell?!?  I have dated men like that.  Scratch the surface and there is a loooooooonnnnnnnggggg root to some long dead relationship.  Whomever messed them up REALLY did a job on them.  And no matter how much I try to pull out that damn root, there’s another one I have to contend with.  It is unending.
  7. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, you might as well just walk away.  Homeownership and relationships are both HARD WORK.  You really have to work at it.  Period.
  8. Once you have everything just right, you have to make sure you maintain it, or everything will fall apart.  I hate cleaning my house.  I really do.  With a passion.  It never fails, I ignore it for a bit, and all hell breaks loose and I have to spend DAYS cleaning it again.  Ugh.  Same with the yard.  Relationships also need maintaining.  When things are going smoothly, we tend to slack off.  Next thing we know, someone feels neglected.  And you start arguing.  And well, all hell breaks loose.

And while my house makes me nuts, and I hate it at times (like now…my hot water heater just died), I continue to have faith that ONE DAY it will be exactly what I want it to be.  Kinda like the hope I have that ONE DAY, I will find a relationship that is exactly what I want it to be.

Optimist or delusional?

You be the judge.

Moving On

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I heard once that the one way to truly get over a former relationship is to move on to the next one.  How strange.  And how seemingly unfair to the next person.  To be used for the purpose of getting over someone else.  My question is, how, exactly, do you know when you are really emotionally ready for that?

Yes, I understand that there is only so long you can HOPE for a reconciliation – particularly if the relationship ended amicably – or if there are some unresolved issue.   I mean, it’s not like the love disappears overnight.  It is still there, right under the surface.

Take my relationship with my former love as an example.  There is no doubt in my mind that I still love him, even though it has been seven months since our “break-up.”  And no, not just because I am sitting around feeling sorry for myself that we are no longer together.  Well, that’s not overly true.  We are still “together,” but in a different way.   We have managed to remain friends.  Close friends.  Our relationship has moved on to a different phase.  But, if given the opportunity, I would welcome the chance to try our relationship again.  There were far more goods than bads.  It was right. Full of joy and love and happiness.   99% of the time.  But, the situation is/was so damn complicated, we never had the chance to have it be about US.   He and I have said that if our relationship had begun THIS April instead of LAST April, things would have been completely different.  If we had simply waited until his past was truly in his past and no longer in his present.  But, that isn’t how the story of us played out.  Unfortunately.

The fact of the matter is, it HAS been seven months since we ended what we had been.  And the fact of the matter is, he has “moved on.”  He is in a new relationship.  (It is even “Facebook worthy.”  He changed his relationship status.)   I gotta admit, I was surprised it happened so relatively soon.  There are times (only a few times) when I will doubt how “real” we were – because he has moved on, and I don’t quite seem ready to do so.  I mean, was I really that easy to get over?   God knows he hasn’t been.  But, in my heart  I know that what we had been was incredibly real and special and unique…which makes it even harder for me to stop looking longingly upon the closed door.

About a month ago, I fessed up and told my former love that I was still in love with him.  I felt he needed to know.  Not that I thought things would change.  Admittedly, I was pretty sure they wouldn’t.  But, I felt he had to know.  And not by reading my blog  – and deciphering the metaphors from my poems.  Just point blank.  I am still in love with you.  I do not regret saying it.  It came from my heart.  And I also know that no matter what happens in the future, I will always be in love with him.  It’s just how things are.  Relationships like ours don’t come along every day.  After all, it was one of those great loves that if you are fortunate enough to have one, it will change you for good.  Forever.

letting goBut, even seven months later, there is a part of me that feels as if I am betraying him – or us – if I were to move on.  How could I say I still love him, if I am ready to see someone else?  How could I say I would step right back in to what we had if I were to move on?  And would that be fair to the next person?  Knowing that in my heart I am still conflicted?

Who knows.

But, something happened this week that made me think that maybe, just maybe, I might be just about ready.  You see, I saw a former crush.  A wonderful, kind, sensitive, compassionate, creative man I had a MAJOR crush on for a couple of years – before children – before my ex-husband – before his ex-wife – before I had even met my former love.  And for the first time in seven months, I actually felt a little giddy at the thought of seeing someone.  You know.  Made sure I looked cute.  Tried my best to be witty.  Smiled a lot.  And I felt that old familiar feeling of my heart going pitter-patter.  Not that anything will happen – other than us getting together to chat about everything that has happened in the seven years since we have seen each other – but, it felt good to see  him.  Really good.  And I realized I had missed him.  So, it made me think maybe, just maybe, I was just about ready to move on.

Not that I suddenly don’t feel conflicted.  Because I do.

Not that I suddenly don’t love my former love.  Because I do.

Not that I suddenly stopped feeling a little guilty about thinking about moving on.  Because I do.

But, maybe it is time.

Maybe it is time to stop staring longingly at that closed door and see the ones that might open for me.

Maybe it is time for me to realize that it’s not that I don’t still care for my former love, but that I can’t control the fact that he has moved on.

Maybe it is time for me to take control and open a few doors.

Maybe it is time to move on.

Just maybe.

When Your Past Comes Screaming into Your Present…

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I love Facebook.  Really, I do.  I mean I have gotten back in touch with friends I hadn’t seen in YEARS.  It has been great.  Back in the day, you had to wait for a reunion or something to reconnect with folks.  And if they weren’t there, well, you continued to wonder what happened to them.  Of course, there were those that you didn’t want to see again.  The ones you DREADED walking in and finding them there.   I have been lucky.  The one person in my life whom I hope to never see again (the high school boyfriend I wrote about in my post Just Turn Around and Walk Away) has yet to reappear.  And I am fine with that.  Grateful, in fact.

This morning, I pulled up Facebook to see what was happening in the lives of my friends and I had a friend request from someone from high school.  I accepted it and popped over to her page to see what she had been up to in low these past 29 years.   A person on her friend list made my past come screaming into my present.  No.  It wasn’t that evil son-of-a-bitch ex-boyfriend.  If it had been, I probably would have unfriended – and then blocked or something so that bastard couldn’t find out anything about me.  However, it was someone who was intertwined with the whole crazy situation.  The “other girl.”  The girl he was seeing while he was seeing me.

My heart stopped for a minute.  I hadn’t expected it.  Crap.  It’s her.  I couldn’t resist though…I went to her page.  I just had to see.  The curiosity was killing me.  How was she doing?  Was she with him?  Were there pictures of him?  Oh, Lord.  Please don’t let there be.  I just don’t think I could handle it…

So, I started perusing her pictures (Niiiiiiice!  Low privacy settings!)  She looked so happy.  Married.  Does triathalons.  Strong, literally and figuratively (DAMN!  How’d she get muscles like that?!?)  Full of joy.  And absolutely no reference to that crazy bastard.  Thank God.

I finally exhaled.  I think I had been holding my breath the entire time I was checking out her page.

And in that moment, I found myself happy for her.

In that moment, I found myself wondering he had left her as royally fucked up as he did me.

In that moment, I no longer saw her as my high school rival – my combatant – but, as a fellow survivor.

I don’t know if he ever laid a hand on her, like he did to me.  But, I know the emotional toll being “in love” with him had to have caused.  I know, because I lived it, too.

At the time, though, she and I didn’t blame him.  We blamed each other.    To me, she wasn’t a victim.  She was the girl who (at least how he told the story) convinced him at the last-minute (literally at the last-minute.  Like he called me from her house when he went to pick her up) to take her to the Duran Duran concert I had been looking forward to seeing for months.  She was the girl who (at least how he told the story) tried to convince him to take HER to senior prom, instead of me – after all, I had already paid for everything (because his mother had thrown him out of her house and he was living at my father’s house).  She was the girl (or at least how he told the story) who tried to convince the entire band that I was a man-stealing-slut who should be shunned, causing a rift between choir members (who took my side) and band members (she played in the band…HE was a flag twirler…no I am not kidding…).

We were horrible to each other.   We would scream at each other in the parking lot – calling each other the worst possible names.  She would prank call my house – and threaten me.  I did not refer to her by her name.  To me she was simply The Whore.  My senior yearbook has her name and face completely blacked out – while his has hearts drawn around it.

We both thought, “It wasn’t HIS fault.  It was HERS!  She deserves everything she gets!  The bitch!”

One’s senior year should be one of happiness and joy.  A time to make memories to last a lifetime.  Unfortunately, the lifelong memories left by that year are ones I really wish I could forget.  It was horrible.  Truly horrible.

I ran into them once, months after I turned around and walked away from him.  She had “taken him back.”  If I remember correctly, she gloated about it, showing off a ring he had given her.  And while there was no way in hell I wanted him back, I remember being angry he went back to her.  It felt like the ultimate slap in the face.  Not only had I been replaced…I had been replaced by HER.  Damn it!  Damn him!  Damn HER!  I hate them!

I had spent all these years wondering if she had married the asshole.  Not jealous, but scared for her.  Worried that his pattern of abuse had continued, and that she was still living it.

Today, as I lurked on her page and saw her smiling face, I felt relief.  Relief that she too had escaped.  Relief that she too had managed to pick up the shattered pieces of her psyche and go on with her life.  Relief that she was happy.

And in that moment, as my past came screaming into my present, I also felt regret.  Regret for having hated her.  Regret for having called her a whore.  Regret for taking it out on her.

It wasn’t her fault.  It was his.  He stole from us.  He stole our joy.  He stole our youth.  He stole our trust.

But, he will NEVER be able to steal from the strong women we have become.  Despite and in spite of him.


Little Houses on my Bookshelf

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Daily Prompt: Bedtime Stories.

What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”  ―    Laura Ingalls Wilder

I have been reading for as long as I can remember.  Family legend is that I just began reading on my own when I was 4.  I don’t remember the first book I read by myself.  I just did.  When I ventured out of the safety of my Montessori school and into the wilds of my neighborhood elementary school in first grade, my teacher didn’t know what to do with an established reader, so she sent me to fourth grade every day for reading time.  Talk about awkward!

I do  remember Charlotte’s Web being the first book that I truly LOVED.  Even now, after probably 25 readings, I cry at Charlotte’s death – and again as her babies leave poor Wilbur.

I poured over the writings of Beverly Cleary.  I could relate to Ramona and her “spunky” attitude.  Poor misunderstood – ADHD Ramona, boinging the perfect curls of the ever so obnoxious Susan.  When I read her book Fifteen (terribly old-fashioned now, but still) I wanted nothing more than for my first date to be just like Jane’s.  I wanted the dress she wore for the date, a deep blue princess seamed dress with a white Peter Pan collar (out of style even then, but I did not care).

I was fascinated by the quirkiness of Roald Dahl’s characters.  The way the poor, down-trodden child overcame his lot in life and TRIUMPHED!

The books of Judy Blume taught me about the challenges of childhood.  From divorce, to being over-weight, to your first period, and eventually about your first sexual experience.

However, when I think of the books of my childhood, the ones that I still hug to my chest, it is the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I was given a boxed set of the series (yellow paperbacks in a lovely little yellow cardboard box) for Christmas in 1974.  I was eight years old.  I read each of them cover to cover – and then read them all again and again.  The Box of Books was given a place of honor on the top shelf of my bookshelf.  The shelf where I kept special little mementos, like the Chinese doll my parents brought me back from San Francisco, and the lion shaped candle given to me by my father’s hippy sister (because I am a Leo after all).  That shelf was the only neat spot in my entire room.

As far as I was concerned, Laura and I were kindred spirits.  Straight brown hair that never held a curl no matter how long she kept those rags in her hair.  Incapable of sitting still – no matter how hard she tried.   Wanting nothing more than to run around barefoot, like a wild Indian.  I loved her.  I loved Ma’s gentle spirit.  I loved the twinkle Pa always had in his eye – even when Laura had misbehaved.  I wanted nothing more than to slap Nelly Olsen.  And I wanted to marry Almanzo.

I didn’t just read the books.  I all but memorized them.  I was one of those obnoxious little girls who would sit in front of the TV every week, watching the show and pointing out the inaccuracies.  “THAT NEVER HAPPENED!!!!  DID THESE PEOPLE EVER READ THE BOOKS?!?!?”

The summer of 1975 – the summer I turned 9 – my parents, my brother and I (and our silly little dog) towed our Airstream trailer from West Palm Beach to Colorado and back.  Coming home, we drove through Missouri.  Missouri.  The state Laura and Almanzo moved to early in their marriage.  Missouri.  Where I could visit Rocky Ridge Farm , and the house that Almanzo had built with his own hands.  I just HAD TO GO TO THE HOUSE!  The only problem was, Mansfield was not on our way.  More like three and a half hours out-of-the-way.  But, I was not going to be THAT CLOSE without going!!!  NO WAY!

So, we went.  After spending the night in Independence, we set off on the three-hour drive.  I could hardly wait!   We pull up and I just about bounded out of the moving car. I could hardly breathe.  Before me stood the white clapboard house where my beloved Laura had written her books!

We walk up to the little gift shop – and find that the house is closed for renovations (including reroofing).  I thought I was going to die right on the spot.  The sweet little docents must have felt badly for this obviously CRUSHED little girl, and allowed us to walk around the house and look in the windows.  My dad lifted me up so I could see inside.  I saw Mary’s organ.  The desk where Laura wrote.  So close and so very far away.

We shopped in the little shop.  I bought a sunbonnet just like Laura’s (which of course I wore down my back just like she did),  a few recipe cards and post cards of the things in side the house we could not see.  And we left.  As we were walking back to the car, I happened to spy an old looking wooden shingle lying in the grass.  A shingle that had to have come off the house.  A shingle that in my overly romantic almost 9-year-old mind HAD TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY ALMANZO!  I bent over, carefully picked it up, and put it in my pocket.  I was terrified someone would see me and make me put it back.  But, DAMN IT!  They wouldn’t let me in the house, it was the least I could have!  I didn’t even tell my parents I had it.

When we returned home, I took my ill-gotten shingle and placed it on the shelf in front of the boxed set of books – where they all stayed until my mother sold the house when I was 25 and they were packed up.  I still have the set of books.  And I still have that shingle.

One day, I will take the Monkeys on a pilgrimage to see all the homestead sites.   Maybe not all at once.  But I will see each and every one.

I still love Laura Ingalls Wilder.

And I still wish I could slap Nelly Olsen.

Scars are inevitable – but they can fade if we know how to properly treat them.

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About five weeks ago, during dismissal at school,  I fell and badly skinned my knee.  Just stepped off the curb, and BAM! right down on my knee!  When it happened I immediately thought, “DAMN! That’s gonna leave one nasty scar!”  It took FOREVER for it to heal.  Just as I thought it was looking better, it would look ugly again.  I was right, it is a nasty scar.  And since it is on my knee, it is a DAILY visual reminder of the fall.  When others see it (which is quite easy to do) I hear, “What did you do to your knee?  Is that from the fall?  It looks so bad!”  I must hear it 10 times a day – and I have to recount the story again and again.  Oh sure, there are things I could do to make it fade.  Vitamin E Oil, Mederma, Time.  But I’d much prefer a QUICK FIX so I don’t have to be reminded of it.

In contrast,  about six years ago I had a mole removed from my lower back.  No biggie, I’d had them removed before.  But, the biopsy came back as pre-cancerous and the borders weren’t clear.  So, more had to be removed.  A year later, I go in for my check up and the doctor find it has re-pigmented, and had to be removed – again.  And once again, it was pre-cancerous and MORE had to be removed.  I am now the proud owner of a two-inch scar on my lower back.  The thing is, I can’t see it.  No matter how hard I try.  I know it is there, but there is no VISUAL reminder.  Occasionally, someone will see it and ask how it happened and I have to recount the story.  But, it’s not often.  So, I don’t have to be reminded of it – or of the scare of the situation.  Yet, I don’t ever have the feeling that I need to do something to diminish the scar…out of sight, out of mind…

But, not all scars are physical.  Some are hidden deep inside.  The emotional scars.  Ones left by people, experiences, and the worst – those left by ourselves.

Relationships (romantic, family, co-worker, friends) leave scars on our heart as well as on our psyche.  It is inevitable.  But how we chose to deal with those scars is vital.

The instinct is to obsessively pick at it.  We dwell on the “injury.”  We play the “WHY ME?!?” game.  We keep thinking about how deep the scar will be.  We think it will speed up the healing.  The faster we get rid of the scab – then VOILA! no more problem.

But as we all know, that can actually DEEPEN the scar.  We removed its protective barrier before it was ready. We had not left enough time for the WOUND to heal. Ironically, this continues the vicious cycle of continued obsession and picking.  We become even MORE cautious of the next experience – afraid of further scarring.  We become scared of being scarred even further.

Either that, or we want the quick fix.  We want the wound to heal NOW!!!! But, this is equally destructive.  Again, we haven’t allowed the time for the wound to organically heal.

So, how do we accomplish that?

First of all, we have to stop picking at it.  Continuing to pick at the wound (in this case, obsessively dwelling on the wrongs that were committed to you) will only keep the injury in your forebrain.  It becomes impossible to let it heal.

Secondly, we must acknowledge the fact that it is natural to think about it.  It is human nature for us to analyze what happened to cause the “injury.”  It is NOT natural to continue to rehash it.  What’s done is done. At some point in time we have to realize that the injury occurred and we can not go back in time and make it not have happened.  Release it.  Tell yourself there is nothing you can do to make it NOT to have happened.  That keeps the injury from making the scar even DEEPER. Learn from what happened.  I know I am much more cautious stepping off the curb after my fall!  I am going to be even more cautious about opening up my heart.

Thirdly, we have to allow the wound to heal.  We have to give it TIME.  We become tired of feeling lonely.  We begin to CRAVE human companionship.  We convince ourselves that the wounds are all healed and LOOK!  the scars aren’t as bad as I thought!  So, HEY!  Here’s a thought!  Let’s move into a NEW relationship!  So, we rip off the band-aid and say “Let’s go!”  However, frequently all that manages to do is to open the wound back up.  This causes you to flip back into clean up mode.   The wound wasn’t fully healed.

I think the biggest thing though, is that we can’t be scared of being scarred in the next situation.  Oh, sure,  it may happen.  The next situation may not turn out the way you wanted.  You may have another misstep and land smack on your knee.  But on the other hand, you also might successfully step off the curb.

Scars – both physical and emotional – are going to happen.  It’s all a part of life.  But with time, and the right kind of “medicine,” we can make them smaller – and if we are lucky, we can even make them inperceptable to the human eye.