Those few words were uttered and I felt the cold grip of fear slide around my stomach. I’m used to this now – the reaction I feel when I hear specific phrases. All associated with some sort of awful memory. So when I heard them again my ears started buzzing and I went numb.
I made light of the conversation when relaying it to friends later. Misunderstanding. Bad communication. Literally nothing to be afraid of or nervous about or unsettled by.
Yet I couldn’t shake her. She was hovering behind me whispering.
this isn’t safe. you know what’s coming. shut down. don’t offer them anything. withdraw. hide. build your walls taller and taller. get out.
I ignored her best I could. I shut her out and told her I wasn’t dealing with her. But I could feel my heart retreating further and further away. The illusion of safety behind castle walls felt more than appealing. A dusty heart that barely beats sold me a promise of never being hurt or disappointed or rejected or let down. A wild passionate heart living out of it’s vulnerability is open to all sorts of evils and hurts. How easy to surrender to the prison cell.
I wrestled all night long – I withdrew from everyone. Even people I know are safe suddenly became the enemy. They validated what I believed all along – that nothing and no one is safe. So I sat down on my chouch, pulled out my notebook, and wrote the words I hate admitting.
Not agreeing to feel but not denying the allure of numbness. I was scattered all over the pages, trying to figure out what scenario caused which trigger and where this one could be classified. If I could just find it maybe I could figure it out. The minutes dragged on as my hand wrote what my heart was pouring out.
And finally I stumbled into it. I slammed my toe against the solid brick wall and narrowly missed a full body collision. When I started writing the words of that story and offering them to Papa I audibly began to weep. I never gave that story the recognition it deserved. I always brushed it off as “kids will be kids” but while that is more than true, it taught me a lesson. That moment taught me that the things I feel will never be safe with someone. No one is trustworthy. And if they know they will ridicule me.
I told Papa that He could have that devastated little girl. That she could run into His arms with her sadness and confusion and hurt and anger and humiliation. I told Him I wanted Him to take her and hold her. To fill her up with all of who He is and block out the cruel lessons tender hearts sometimes learn.
Though the words continued, the tears stopped flowing. My heart settled into the pain the situation resurfaced. I realized this wasn’t an overnight fix or something that I’ll have a grip on easily. I laid down in my bed knowing that the morning brought a new battle.
When I woke up and made those two long steps to my chouch again, I decided I needed to remind myself of the truth Papa has given me. The words I know to be true of me before I reminded myself of what I know to be true of Him. I started writing the phrases as they floated before my eyes.
One kept repeating:
Your heart is safe
Your heart is safe
Your heart is safe
After reading through my scripture I finished getting ready and headed to work. Imagine my surprise when I logged into my work facebook account and saw a post from one of our authors (who is secretly one of my favorites) posting these very words: Your heart is safe.
I’m pretty sure I spit out my coffee.
I had forgotten that beautiful declaration she wrote in her new book Beauty and the Bitch. Now, I’ve never once used my space here to sell one of our books but my friends this one is a rare gem. I can’t tell you how moved I am by these words and her story.
I went back to the manuscript and scoured for that section. I realized my bitch had been the one whispering, shouting, mocking, controlling my actions and thoughts and words. She was there. She showed up to my house, let herself in, and plopped down at my dinner table. She’s used to letting herself in and she knows it takes me awhile to kick her out, if I ever really do.
So when I called my best friend hours later I explained the situation and story and triggers. And with a lump in my throat I told her my bitch was no longer allowed at the table. She doesn’t get to show up in my conversations, she doesn’t get a place setting, she doesn’t have an opinion, and she doesn’t get to decide when my heart is safe.
Because as Jan so wonderfully reminds us, beauty trumps bitch.
Goodbye bitch. You are no longer allowed to trespass on the beauty of my heart and my story. Farewell. You won’t be missed. Because my heart is safe.