If You’ve Ever Been Hurt By A Man… (A Benediction).

If you’ve ever been hurt….

…or angry… that your heart was not handled with loving-hands.

If inside you is a jagged tear where someone else inserted their hopes, their demands, their punishing looks and pulled until it hurt and left a hole.

If pain is the state of stillness, and quiet is loneliness.

Then you’ve bled the tears of ages of lovelorn fear. Of Queens betrayed by Kings. Of hopeful-eyed daughters belittled by daddies.

And it has convinced you you are damaged.

It has convinced you that you must carry this wound forever — a permanent scar on your being.

But this is wrong.

It feels wrong, in your deepest core.

You are not meant for this. This ill-fitting pain. Pain come from another. Pain about another.

In the confusion of it all you mistook their pain for yous.

You began to call it yours.

To nurture it.

Repeat it as a fireside tale to frighten and amaze your tribe.

You evince tears of sympathy, the closest you have come to feeling cared for and cared about.

And yet this blanket of pain in which you’ve swaddled yourself suffocates you.

It murders the joy from you heart and your eyes.

It convinces you to mistrust.

It hardens your heart. Narrows your suspicious eyes.

Because it mistook another’s pain as your own. And it wants no more pain.

Yet we clasp it still closer to our chest with each re-telling, in our mouths or our minds, of the story that enslaved us, damaged us, hurt us, made us unsafe.

The story which put us in chains.

And so we playact through life, seeming strong, taking control, creating certainty, all-the-while trying to soothe the fear and pain deep within.

We tell our story to ourselves so many times we believe it is real.

And we live in fear of the pain that was, but isn’t today.

And we act insane to avoid it.

And so attract it.

Sometimes…. just sometimes… we wake up. For a moment there is the thought, “What am I doing?”

“I have to let this go”

And then our eyes close again and we dive back into the pain, the fear and the protecting ourselves from joy and love in case it gores us. In case it massacres us.

And we fall back asleep into the story of someone else’s pain. A fearful Mother blustering with anger that must be about our failings. An emotionally frozen father whose inability to feel and express convinced us there was no love for us. All the people after whom we cast in our play, the re-telling of our tale of woe and misery and rage and rejection — you shall play MOther, and you shall play Father — or perhaps we never told them their parts. We just accused them for performing their roles too well. The roles they were unaware of.

Others’ pain. Stolen for our story.

We tell it all day.

We tell our lives away.

We know the ending to this story and it hurts.

We do not know another story.

We do not know there could even be another story, not for us.

But we suspect it.

Our deepest knowing can feel it.

A story without other’s pain masquerading as our own.

A story of being enough.

A story of giving the fear back to those who really had it.

Another story.

Could there be…?

Another me…?

And who, I ask, is She…?

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