Tag Archives: Pain

Memories

Yesterday, Toni at Kanzen Sakura commented thanking me for writing two haibuns. I replied that I’d only written one. Apparently that’s because the second one was still in the works. So I’m posting this second haibun now for Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub.

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Working on my memoir, giving in to the compulsion to communicate my story to whoever might need to read it, I decided I would have more success in actually getting the words on the page if I hand wrote. There is something about typing that makes me feel like it has to be perfect the first time, but handwriting builds in an automatic rewrite when I later type it up. So I rummage through my cloth basket of blank journals for just the right one. [This takes some time because there are probably 20 or more journals in that basket, evidence of another compulsion]. I find a 150-page spiral bound notebook with only 10 pages used up and decide that’s perfect. I peruse what’s been written and come across these words, written 18 ½ years ago:

It takes courage to write. Courage is not the same as fearlessness. Rather, courage is writing in spite of fear.

Just been reading “The Courage to Write” by Ralph Keyes. It got me thinking about writing a book about the effect being raped at the age of 14, while still a virgin, had on my life—the teen years, college, marriage, sex, life, thoughts, depression [although genetics had something to do with this as well].

I must be crazy. I can’t write such a book. Or rather I can, in that I’m sure I have enough material and could actually write it, but would I ever be willing to let anyone read it?

Crazy indeed. Yet here I am, almost two decades later, still compelled to write that book. Only now the story is complete. There is more than just the pain and suffering of trauma to tell; there is also the story of healing and redemption. Now there is courage.

Memories fester
Hidden on journal pages
Die and are reborn

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My Pain Number Today

For Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub we’re writing about communication. I decided to write about the frustration of communicating in a particular circumstance.

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People who have never experienced chronic pain don’t seem to understand why sometimes I just can’t do certain things. I know I look fine from the outside. I know I hide it pretty well most of the time. But it’s exhausting to try to live as if I had no pain. It’s difficult to know how to communicate the struggle. If I told you I was in pain every time I was in pain, you’d think I was a whiner or a broken record. So I don’t tell you, unless it’s really bad.

“What’s your pain number today?” I hate this question. I never know how to answer it. Ever. And how does what’s a 6 to me (based on 10 being the worst pain I’ve ever experienced) really communicate to a doctor how much pain I’m in? I want to answer, “Whatever number will cause you to do something to make it go away!” Because although today’s pain may not be the worst I’ve ever experienced, it’s bad enough that it brought me into this terrible, sterile, time-wasting environment in the hopes that you could help me.

“Describe your pain. Is it burning, stabbing, aching, sharp, or dull?” “Umm, yes. Can you make it go away now?”

Jesus knows my pain
Will wipe away ev’ry tear
When the Son shines bright

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Sevenling: My Façade

My façade hides
pain in my body,
in my heart, in my soul

I smile broadly,
laugh out loud,
resort to sarcastic wit

. . . but sometimes I cry

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The Meeting the Bar prompt at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday was to write a Sevenling. Since I wanted to write a Tritina yesterday I decided to save this Sevenling for today’s daily NaPoWriMo post.

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I Never Said Goodbye

January is the cruelest month
despite it’s shimmer of hope
It’s when cancer took you
I was twenty-three
Hadn’t yet made amends
for the pain I caused you
Still drowning in my own
Your death only added
to the shame
of not measuring up

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This quadrille is doing double duty today. It includes the dVerse Poets Pub word prompt from Victoria and offers my thoughts on the cruelest month for the NaPoWriMo prompt.

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Buried Memories

Just below the surface
Not buried all that deep
Are memories once forgotten
Now remembered so I weep

Though I know they’re past
Each painful memory
Leaves my poor soul downcast
Engulfed in reverie

My only source of hope
Is knowing God’s compassion
With His love I can cope
Remembering His passion

He knows the pain I’ve endured
That surfaces out of the blue
Grace and comfort He’s assured
And abundant life anew

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Faith Enough

Take #1

I have faith enough to believe that God can heal
But do I have enough to trust if He does not

I believe enough to know that faith is real
But do I know enough to test what I am taught

I trust enough to feel the Spirit’s seal
But do I perceive enough His deepest thought

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Take #2

I have faith enough
to believe that God can heal
But do I have enough
to trust if He does not

What if this sickness
forever does endure
Will I succumb to hopelessness
or claim a promise sure

I trust that God can take away
every single ounce of pain
But do I trust His answer
as His provident domain

Without this lingering wound
where would my compassion be
I must have faith enough to trust
what only God can see

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Sharing for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night. Two poems with the same first stanza but different line breaks and a slightly different focus. Also sharing at A Dash of Sunny‘s Prompt Night, which I just discovered yesterday.

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Oblivious

The drunkard grins
from ear to ear

Oblivious to the pain
he inflicts on those
who love him

Numb to the pain
buried six feet under
his cold cold heart

Bartender, bring me a double
That and a grin will
drown all his troubles

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I decided to write a second Quadrille with the word “grin” for dVerse Poets Pub.

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Cerulean Sky

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift. ~ Mary Oliver

When you’re 14, they call it puppy love. What does a 14-year-old know of love—anyway, I thought it was love at the time. He said he loved me, too. I never imagined he would hurt me so deeply. I never imagined such violence was even possible, that a human being could be so selfish and cruel. The darkness he gave me that day almost consumed me, threatened to kill me. Ironic, considering the day itself was sunny and bright, though bone-chilling cold.

Looking back decades later I see the blessing, how the pain and loss drew me closer to God as my only refuge. The other path my life may have taken—had there been no pain, no loss of innocence—is one in which I may have never fully understood my need for a Savior. When all is well, what does one need saving from? But I did need to be saved from that box full of darkness—I desperately needed rescuing so I could live this wonderful, light-filled life I’ve been given.

Cerulean sky
Cold wind blowing in darkness
Holds no power now

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This week dVerse Poets Pub offered up several quotes to choose from for Haibun Monday #7. The Mary Oliver quote spoke to me, so here’s my haibun for the week.

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She Always Called Me Sweetie

The little room was suffocating
I sat there with my sister Suz, my brother-in-law Dick,
and the shell of my sister Peggy
I wouldn’t have known it was Peggy in the bed
if Suz hadn’t also been there
I hadn’t seen Dick in 28 years; he’d changed,
looked like Grizzly Adams after a month in the woods alone

And Peggy? She didn’t look like anyone I knew
The last time I’d seen her she didn’t look too bad
And she had been hopeful, ready to fight and win again

But she wasn’t going to win this time
She would breathe her last in that tiny, sterile room

I’m not a fan of hospitals or of cancer
Twice when I was young my mom went into the hospital with cancer
She’d survived but her hospital rooms were no more pleasant than this one

As I listened to the beeping of the machines
Feeling the oppressive pall in the room
My mind drifted to memories of my dear sister
Of how she always called me Sweetie

Oh how I wanted Peggy to open her eyes right then and say,
It’s okay, Sweetie
But it wasn’t okay
She wasn’t going to wake up and reassure me
I’d never again hear her voice

As darkness descended outside the window,
It crept into the room as an impending doom
And we waited, quieter now

The quiet in the room became noticeably quieter as Peggy stopped breathing
At that moment I prayed that God knew her heart
I prayed that if she had not been a believer, as Dick said,
That Jesus would have come to her in her sleep, in her dreams, and called her soul home

I prayed that I would hear her voice again someday in Heaven

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I’ve already posted my Lenten poem for today, but the dVerse Poets Pub prompt for today was to write about a room or a memory involving a room, and I immediately thought of a chapter I had previously written about my sister’s death. I decided to take that chapter and reduce it to focus on the room. I was going to save it to post and link tomorrow, but I changed my mind once it was done.

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Healing

What have I learned from my pain
Have I endured without any gain
From the trauma and the guilt
The wall of fear that I built

I do know it has taught me compassion
Such as I see when I ponder His Passion
Blessed to know I’m not alone
Because my Savior left His throne

Without the suffering I have seen
I might think my soul too clean
To need from the Lamb who was slain
Perfect healing for all my pain

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