against all odds

This was one of those days, where for the sake of the soul, I had to go driving around.  You know when you come down with the stomach flu, and you feel sick, but you know you’d feel better if only you could throw up and get it all out of you?  That’s how i feel.  It’s a sadness stuck inside somewhere.  There’s something that needs to get out of me.

Following my period i usually bounce back for two solid weeks of inner peace.  For whatever reason, it hasn’t happened this time…yet.  Sorrow lingers.  Tears feel trapped.  My head has the strange feeling of heat without fever, and this time it isn’t the pain of an ache, it’s the flood of a memory, the scar of an injury, the unforgettable burn of a loss.

With every live baby I birthed, I experienced severe pain in the first two months of breastfeeding.  The doctor said if you’re doing it right, it shouldn’t hurt.  My nipples were cracked and raw from the fissures.  The latch of their mouths sent shock waves of pain through my torso, down and out through the deepest and most sensitive parts of me.

The special cream in the purple tube didn’t help.  The plastic breast shields would scratch against my skin.  The nursing tanks from Target were sticking to my breasts, which meant the only way to feed the baby again was to bite down and sing really loud as I pulled the shirt apart from the dried blood.  I supplemented with formula to give my breasts a break.

My body told me to leave my modesty open to air. I was living in my husband’s flannel button down shirt.  It was softer on my broken skin and wasn’t tight against my stretched out body.  I had to keep my breasts untouched.   I cried and wished the wounds would heal. On a desperate afternoon, in the sanctity of nap time, I left the house and went outside.

I had read somewhere that the sun has healing powers.  I believed.  I lowered myself to the concrete patio, covered my back and sides with an afghan, and turned my back against the wind.  The school was right there, but between us stood a white picket fence, the hedge of protection between me and the seers.  The sun shined there where it needed to be.

My peace returned.

And healing came.



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