I was walking last night and it occurred to me that once you're broken, you don't ever stop being that broken thing. You can hide, you can change, and parts of you can heal, but it will always be you that was broken.
I'm going through a few days where I want to sleep all the time. I feel like, when I brought my kids into the world, I carved out a capacity in myself to sleep and sleep and sleep. When I'm given the chance, I'll sleep for eighteen hours at a time. Not that I'm ever given that chance...
Louise had a check up this morning and one of our cars is in the shop. We all woke up early and packed into the car to take daddy to work. Then I bought a coffee, except I'm lying. I bought tea. I only ever drink tea. We went to the doctor's office and then walked around the mall to kill time. We even ate lunch at the food court. We stopped at the grocery store and took Scouty to school. During all of this, I felt electric and alive with anxiety. Days and days and days of this. We never stop moving. All I want to do is sleep.
So, it's one o'clock in the afternoon and I'm snuggled in bed under my comforter. The baby is sleeping. I can't fall asleep now because I'll never wake up. I'll sleep right past the time for picking up Scouty. I'll sleep through wasting time until Kurt gets off of work. I'll be sleep when it's time to pick him up. I'll sleep through dinner and keep sleeping through the night. I won't be able to be a person, if I give in, now.
Lots of things have broken me.
I'll never stop being a kid with my parents and my God and so much loneliness.
I'll never stop being a teenager with too much meanness in my heart.
I'll always be the girl who was a junky, the girl who let a man walk all over her.
I'll always be the same person who opened my apartment door to a blond nineteen year old, come to confess her sins.
I'll always be the person who watched my love turned blue.
Becoming a parent breaks you, too. It snaps who you are in half and bleeds you dry. It makes you find all the pieces of you that you hacked at and left along the roadside. It forces you to gather all of those YOUS and put them together in a shape that is capable of power and beauty. Becoming a parent breaks you because you needed to be broken. You can put yourself back together, but you'll never stop being 4am panic attacks and a tiny life in your arms that you don't trust yourself to deserve.
You don't trust yourself because you've been torn into a million pieces, all throughout your life. You've built a self-thing with your youth. You taped it up around the edges and wore it on your face and called it by your name. This self-thing believed like you believed, it did the things you did, but it wasn't you. It wasn't all of the YOU put together. It was something that denied kissing boys behind the church. It was something pretending to be something other than the kid in too-tight corduroys who won a trophy from Smoky the Bear for drawing a picture.
Then, you had a baby, and the thing you claimed to be crumbled. The thing you thought you loved, the self-thing that propelled you forward and consumed all your thoughts was suddenly only dirt and oil and clay.
The real you was in pieces. The real you was broken. Now it was time to pick everything up and start putting it back together. You'll never be the same as when you were eleven and your dad snapped your bra strap and all the heat in the world rushed into your face to die, but that was still you. You are still her. You've changed, but you can never make it so that you're not her, so that those things didn't happen to you.
Today's post is a link up with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary's Just Write. If you want to join in, write something about the details of your day and link up! Be sure to read a few other pieces and get to know some great new writers in the process.