Thorns and Healing – by Melissa Kane
Have you ever got a thorn stuck in your finger? The deep invisible ones are the most aggravating. My first instinct is to dig it out. Even then, there can be a tiny speck left unseen. Eventually, a sore spot forms and reddens, a painful reminder that the thorn is still there. You keep rubbing your fingers over the spot knowing what’s inside. All you can do is to wait for your body to push it up and out. Soon a puss pocket forms. Then one day, the infection will erupt, expelling the foreign body.
Maybe our bodies heal all wounds the same, even emotional trauma. It lies beneath the surface, hurting and unseen. Some of us try digging it out with therapy or working through it with vigorous exercise. Other times we do our best to numb it with substances and medication. But even medical professionals can’t reach the specks of trauma left deep inside. They leave sore spots on our tender souls. All we can do is wait for the eruption, if it ever happens.
Recently, I read a story about the lifelong physical, biological, and behavioral problems that sexual abuse victims suffer. The study confirms what many victims have known all their lives: it’s never really over. At least it’s confirmation, validation, proof. But the human body is an amazing thing. It automatically regenerates itself. We can try to speed up the process by changing where we live, what we do for a living, what we look like or even our names. But, ultimately, we just have to wait for our bodies to form a ‘puss pocket’ around the hurt. One day, the infection will erupt, expelling the trauma.
Some never get an eruption. Some of us systematically avoid it in a futile attempt to erase it from our existence. I’ve heard counselors repeat how things can only hurt you if you let them. But, that’s not true. Pain hurts. Trauma hurts. It’s part of being human. We can’t change that no matter how strong our sense of self is.
Time is the only remedy for easing those hurts. I so wish there was a faster method or a magic formula. A recipe to follow with careful measurements and instructions that would reset my body back to whole & happy. Yet those difficulties make us who we are. They shape us. They give us other gifts. Writing is my gift. Would I have developed this need to express thoughts on the page without the trauma? Perhaps not.