I wrote an entire book about the man who broke my heart. Then I went and married him. This is my wedding song. The whole thing didn’t happen just as easy as that. Social media succinctly describes the situation as, “It’s Complicated”. The ultimate line is that over the course of five years and the most extreme of highs and lows, we made a choice to be together. In the weeks leading up to my marriage I found myself crying… A LOT. This was out of character. Even my fiancee, my Intended, was taken aback. We would be out on the road and I’d burst into tears for no apparent reason. He’d ask, “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?” I’d reply in a shaky voice, “It’s … OUR WEDDING!”
Not necessarily the response a fella wants to hear from his prospective bride, eh? I undertook some serious soul searching about my emotional upheaval and its implications. Then I realized I was being made vulnerable again, for the second time in my life, and not necessarily according to my own will. Over the course of twenty years I’ve been building up this armor, a hard cover, to protect myself. I’m not sorry for it – it helped me survive up to this point. But the time had come to shed its weight and welcome a new freedom. With that comes new vulnerability. I can’t help but think of the lines from that Psychedelic Funk song, Maggot Brain:
“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time
For y’all have knocked her up
I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe
I was not offended
For I knew I had to rise above it all
Or drown in my own sh*t”
Twenty years ago I had dreams not far from the dreams I have today. I lived in another world, a dream world, fashioned by books and fantastic stories. The only major difference between the Faith of age 16 and the Faith of age 40 is the callouses that formed over a few decades of weathering this world. So now I’m becoming soft again. Change. That’s all. It Comes.
The essay I’m sending you today comes from a young woman who is about the same age I was the first time I experienced heartbreak. We tend to minimize their experience. We forget that they’re going through emotional turmoil, equally as heavy as our own. The difference is they don’t yet have on their armor. They’re exposed and willing to bear the grief and joy that love brings. If that is so, then why can’t we? Ladies & Gentlemen, please consider the tender and vulnerable work of Adair County writer Chevelle Deason. She couldn’t have known it at the time she submitted this essay, but she gave us a wedding gift. Thank you, Ms. Deason:
Scars & Heartbreak
By Chevelle Deason
First loves are always so magical. They’re supposed to be, at least. Sweet moments with your partner. Hand holding. Cheesy flirts. But what happens when all your first love does is make you sad? What happens when all they manage to do is make you sob and make you want to disappear?
Two mentally ill people cannot make a stable relationship, just like two wrongs cannot equal a right. You can’t add two negatives and expect a positive. It doesn’t work out like that. An insensitive, blunt person does not mix well with an overly sensitive, soft person. One always says or does the wrong thing. One always puts more effort into the relationship than the other. One always loves harder. One always has more passion.
Maybe one knows how to lie better than the other.
In a relationship like that no one is innocent. You regret spending so much time in a horrible relationship like that. You regret your own trust and naivete. You regret giving in to manipulation. You lie awake late at night filled with anger and hurt. You can’t get it through your head that they didn’t deserve you. They didn’t deserve the love and effort you poured into the relationship, toxic or not. You regret allowing yourself to be traumatized to the point that you’re terrified to enter another relationship. You’re scared your new partner will turn out the same way.
You regret everything. You regret existence. You regret meeting, seeing, thinking of their existence. You burn with hatred, directed at the one who hurt you, but mostly directed at yourself. You’re filled with so many negative emotions that you forget…
You’re a boss.
You’re a queen.
You forget that, yeah, even though you may have had a level of fault in the failed relationship, you emerged a better person. You learned self-worth. You learned you deserve better. You learned that it’s okay to say no. You learned self-care. You learned, you grew and you healed. You’re getting better and you found someone deserving of you and all you have to give. They deserve your smile, your love, your kind words and gentle touches.
You learned to love yourself.
You learned that you deserve love. You deserve to be treated kindly. You deserve to be happy. Yes, you. The person reading this. No matter what you’re going through, no matter your level of pain … I believe in you. I believe you can make it through. You’re strong, despite everything. Despite the scars and the heartbreak. Despite all that … it’s still you.
That means we can still have hope. That means we are still willing to fight for love.