Today is one of those days that words fail me. My heart is stuck somewhere between grieving the wounds of my past–having been sucked back into a very dysfunctional place with my family of origin–yet knowing that every single second of life is a gift, that message confirmed in Dan’s death during the award banquet on Friday evening.
I know I’m healthier, because I can recognize the dysfunction now and see that I don’t have to accept the guilt trips and the insults hurled my way. I can simply say, “that does not accurately describe me, thank you very much.” I know all of this rationally. I am proud of the person I have become.
But my heart hasn’t caught up to my brain yet. It absorbs the accusations and tells the very cells that want growth and change, that it ‘s not worth it, because my very cells are damaged, destroyed not worth anything of value. My heart is afraid to request a hearing, so it acknowledges every allegation as the truth.
My heart still hurts just as much as it did in junior high.
Ironically today’s reading (in the lectionary that many Christians follow) about the hemorrhaging woman who touched Jesus’ robe and was healed is the passage I use to describe the first moment of hope I experienced when I began to emerge from my suicidal 18 months: when I saw the 10-foot statue of Jesus in the administrations building of the Johns Hopkins campus five minutes before my psychiatric evaluation. I stood at that statue, wanting to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe just like the woman in Mark’s gospel that we read about today.
She was a wounded woman. Had spent her fortune on doctors. Had been bleeding for 12 years. But her faith saved her. Her bleeding stopped, and she was made whole.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop bleeding. My DNA seems to attract heartbreak.
But if I just keep touching the robe, day after day with as much faith as I have at the moment, maybe, just maybe, my heart will soon hear the messages of my brain and begin to shield my heart so that I won’t have to ask Jesus to help it from stop bleeding … it will have been kept whole despite assaults that could lacerate or scrape.
To read more Beyond Blue, go to http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.