Tugging at the Edges

By Anonymous

I don’t want to talk about it, but I can’t stop.

This broken heart is ugly.

This shattered heart is embarrassing.

This wounded thing inside me is shameful and I don’t want anyone to see it, but I can’t stop.

“It’ll hurt less if I talk about it,” I assure myself.

It’s like picking a scab that’s on its way to healing. It feels better when I leave it to its own devices, but my fingers begin to feel restless. It’s like they’re driven by a desire to watch my blood well up around the edges.

“It’s done,” I tell myself. “Leave it alone. There’s nothing there,” and somehow, I find my mind playing at the edges, testing to see how far I can dive in before the hurt registers in my mind. So I nibble at the edges. The pain is sharp, but quick. I take a steadying breath. I tug at the edges a little harder. When I’ve gone too far, I’m way beyond my threshold for pain. I’m suddenly nauseous, so I stop. I breathe deeply, trying to steady myself against the sudden onslaught. The waves in my mind that are as wild and unpredictable as the ocean. I breathe slowly, mechanically, because my heart is racing and I’m out of breath. It’s as though the weight of this broken heart is slowly, inexorably pressing the air out of me.

I don’t want to talk about it, but these words come unbidden. They bubble up traitorously and the shame that I try desperately to hide is bared for them to see.

I don’t want to talk about it, but I can’t stop.

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