Internal pain…

I remember stepping on a rusty nail when I was a kid and the neighbor guy carried me home with the nail still in my foot. I was only about 6 or 7 but I can still remember the agony of the nail and seeing it stuck in my foot seemed to make it even worse.

Truth be told, I surmise that childbirth was by far the worst physical pain I’ve ever experienced. Each time I said I didn’t want to do it again, and yet I managed to give birth to 3 beautiful children. There’s something to be said about immediately forgetting the pain of childbirth once that tiny baby is nestled snug in your arms.

Physical pain is one thing, but I never knew how painful we could hurt on the inside.

When my dad left I was about 5 years old and over the years I missed him terribly. Since I wasn’t allowed to voice my feelings out loud, I just stuffed them down somewhere deep inside. I didn’t realize until decades later how the emotional scarring that was left behind, paralyzed me on the inside. I have often compared that inner pain much like a numbing agent that gets injected into the skin right before a shot. It’s the initial sting and then everything goes numb. Then when the numbness starts to wear off, the skin gets all weird and tingly. That’s kind of like an awakening to the awareness of the internal pain that gnaws at the soul for years. Sometimes the internal pain we live with just seems ‘normal’ because how would we know otherwise that it’s ‘not normal’, especially if we have nothing to compare it to. And if we have learned to live with that internal ‘guarding,’ then we have built up some strong coping mechanisms or survival skills. The problem with ‘stuffing’ really means we are avoiding the inevitable. And according to the laws of physics, everything that gets pressurized will eventually blow.

Somewhere along the way we have learned that it’s ok to have internal pain. When we address our internal suffering, the processing can make all the difference in our healing. Early on in our marital counseling, I had a counselor tell me that he wouldn’t want to be around when my internal pressure cooker goes off. And little did I know, he was right.

In my early 40’s, through some very unfortunate events and personal bad decisions of mine, this internal pain that I thought was just ‘me’ really wasn’t, and sure enough I exploded like a volcano. All hell broke loose internally for me and I lost it. As some might say, I went off the deep end. It was a long hard road for all of us involved. There was a happy ending to the story. My husband and I reconciled and in 2008 were re-married.

Fast forward 14 years later, my husband lost a long hard battle of lymphoma and he recently died. All the pain that I thought was the worst pain I had ever experienced both physically and emotionally hasn’t even come close to the internal pain that I’m experiencing right now. I liken it to a ripping apart of our hearts through separation in death from my sweet heart, my best friend in the whole world.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

A friend recently said something simple but very wise, “Wounds, healing and transformation seem to make up a majority of our lives.” And another friend said this, “The issues of the past will not only conflict with our present but, left untended will taint our future.”

I’m healing my heart through journaling. Thank you for being part of this journey with me and reading my words while both journaling and counseling are helping to mend my heart.

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I was a hospice nurse and transitioning into procuring plants. I no longer care for the sick. I’m now taking care of me. Learning to live amongst the living.

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Annette Cardoza

Annette Cardoza

I was a hospice nurse and transitioning into procuring plants. I no longer care for the sick. I’m now taking care of me. Learning to live amongst the living.