Stone

In my house having feelings left you with wounds; endlessly festering.  I soon learned to close myself off. I turned to stone.

Ice cold with rounded edges.

Hard as rock.

Impermeable.

My mother used to hug me and tell me she loved me. I left my arms hanging by my sides, only grunting in response.

I hated being touched. Lovingly, playfully, or otherwise, anything more than a handshake left me uncomfortable and stiff.

There is no way to feel love without also leaving yourself open and vulnerable to pain.

The potential of pain was too great growing up for that to be an option.

And so I lived. Void of emotion. Numb.

A decade later, happily married, a mother, a sister, a daughter, I am free of the evil that once poisoned our every breath. My walls have been lovingly taken down, brick-by-brick, leaving me exposed. I revel in love, bathe in the warmth of kindness, give and receive affection as though it were free, and embrace the good and the bad which surrounds me.

Unfortunately, while your insides may transform, your exterior stays unchanged.

And so I remain, a stone on the outside to all of my loved ones, but a delicate flower trapped inside.

Every pebble, each drop of rain, and slight gust of wind threatens to rip me apart.

But I choose to feel.

To love.

To endure.

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