Healing the heart

Wounds to the heart and mind are an all too normal consequence of being alive. Mostly they do not show, and far less time and attention is given to fixing them. If you aren’t too broken to work, the odds are no support will be available. All too often, what the heart-wounded get are basically just pain killers; anti-depressants, to blot it out and keep you going. Sometimes time off from the distress can be a great help, but it isn’t reliable.

Wounds to the heart and mind can be made slowly, over years. You don’t see them happening necessarily, but each day a little bit more can be sandpapered off you. Too small an injury to be worth protesting. Just a slap. Just an unkind word. Years of small wounds can take a tremendous toll.

I don’t really inhabit my own body. I don’t feel my own pain unless I make a point of paying attention to it. I do not notice my own skin, again unless I bother to concentrate. That’s not about skin damage, but heart-wounding that made me retreat from the surfaces of myself in order to cope. I learned not to feel anything at all. It spared me from being both hurt, and manipulated, and that was helpful. Now it means that most of the time I am rock and ice, and very few people who touch me actually register with me as any kind of sensual experience. That sucks. It’s not who I want to be any more.

These are things I have only noticed in the last few weeks, a kind of waking up to how closed and dead I have been. I get sudden, brief flashes of being aware of all my skin. There’s so much of it, and all of it is capable of feeling, all the time. Temperature, texture, pressure, comfort, discomfort… a whole universe of possibility to explore.

This waking up in not an accident, nor is it of anyone else’s making. It comes after years of my working to rebuild myself, and it has been triggered in earnest by choices I’ve made lately, pushing out of my comfort zone. I cannot, however, do this on my own. Now begins the interesting process of figuring out who might be able to help me take a few baby steps forward. Who do I trust, to quite literally hold my hand while I try to figure out how to climb back into this skin? How do I have those conversations?

I’m starting.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

8 responses to “Healing the heart

  • Eilish Niamh

    The question is not who to trust. The question is how to trust yourself to know who to trust. Trust first yourself, the rest will follow. It is your right to be whole. It is your right to be safe. You are a beautiful light in the world, and there are those who have no light of their own: they live in the dark, and they think, falsely, that by taking your light they will shine. They have no right to that light, but you do– it is yours, and it has not left you. Trust yourself. Love that little girl, that woman, at whateve age, shot down by too many arrows of lies and false beliefs. Give her a safe place to land, the lover and parent she never had. Start with you. You deserve it, you are worthy. Start by being open to the most important person you will ever know in your life, yourself. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Growing takes time. And have hope, for you will shine. You will come home to yourself. I’ve been there and out the other side. It will happen. More hugs.

    • Nimue Brown

      many, many thanks for this, I am deeply touched, to the point of being a bit teary. I think you’re right about the trusting me part of all this. It underpins everything else, and is a huge thing to be missing.

  • kitakaalex

    I learn not to feel anything at all. . . I call them issues of the heart that gradually pile up over a period of time. . . Surely learning not to feel any at all can at times be healing and spares alot

    • Nimue Brown

      It can be a survival tactic, but having done a lot of it over a lot of years, it can take you to a very empty and dead sort of place. I’d only do it for the very short term, these days. Long enough to get to a safe space where I can let it go.

  • Aurora J Stone

    I have been emerging from a time of numbness, of not being able to feel as deeply as I know I can, have done in the past — or not feeling anything much at all. I have been on this emerging journey for over a year and it has not been a pleasant journey, but where I have come to now I can look back at the path and see it was one I have had to take. The hard part is when the ability to feel surfaces and has no channel to flow into. It seems to spread out and become very diffuse, like water spreading over day land. And, maybe that’s the point — that it does just that — it over spreads all aspects of my life and being and nourishes them, equally.

    I have also had to relearn how to trust me, first of all. Trust what I Know. Trust what I perceive as important. Trust that I am able to present myself to the outside world with authenticity and honour.

    May you continue to have the patience, courage and the tenderness towards yourself that will lead you to those who can with whom you can have the necessary conversations and who can hold your hand as you find your way. Many blessings.

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