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Learning to Trust

Jul 30

Posted by: ACHA
7/30/2013 10:48 AM  RssIcon

By Melissa Nelson

Trust your body she tells me
I never have before
Be friends with your body she insists
I don’t know how
Trust your body
Trust the fallible flesh that is mine
Trust the liquid flowing from my heart that so easily displays my bruises
Trust your body
Trust what I know is untrustworthy
Trust what has failed me time and time again since the moment I took my first breath and my lips seeped blue
Trust your body
Ignore the past
Forget what’s happened
Trust what you know to not be true
Trust the skin that covers the metal bulging bump
Trust the bone that has been wired together
Trust the heart with plumbing manipulated
Trust the rhythm of my heart that is always off-beat
Trust your body she tells me
My face wet and salty
I try to express what only I know
My body is untrustworthy
Trust the angel wing scars on my shoulder blades
Trust the crooked spine that will one day turn me into a witch
Trust your body
But how?
I don’t know what it’s like to trust the flesh and bone and muscle which I call mine and pretend to wear proudly
I trust my legs
Until I walk up hill and my muscles are depleted of energy
I trust my feet
Until I feel a rubber band pulling my toes to my heel
I trust my hips
Until they begin popping
I trust my abs
Until the doctor opens me up and tells me they are weak
I trust my chest
Until the panic raises and consumes my every thought
I trust my neck
Until my shoulders pull it down screaming
I trust my shoulders
Until they being to ache
I trust my back
Until it begins to tighten and feel stiff
I trust my arms
Until they can’t lift, can’t sustain, can’t support my weight
I trust my fingers
Until they begin to turns shades of purple and splotchy red
I trust my eyes
I can see clearly through them
I trust my nose
Trees are my favorite
I trust my smile
Until it covers up the truth of the lies that I tell myself and let others see
I am strong
I am athletic
I am quick
I am agile
When the smile disappears and the truth comes out
I am weak
Too weak to participate in team sports
I am slow, I can only go for so long
I am good at not falling
This body of mine is untrustworthy
How do I trust what I know is not true?
How do I love that which has never loved me?
How do I go on pretending when I know the truth?
I do not trust my body
My body is not my friend

Melissa Nelson is a spunky elementary school teacher born with tricuspid atresia who has a pacemaker. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and being as active as half a heart allows her by swimming, running, biking, golfing and trying out tai chi.

Copyright ©2013 ACHA

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Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

3 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Learning to Trust

I love this. Thank you for sharing this is how I feel sometimes.Betrayed by the very thing I should love the most

By Jae-anne Lane-Bruza on   7/31/2013 8:15 AM
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Re: Learning to Trust

H i Melissa,
I love your poem. Very inspiring and honest.

Thanks for sharing. You have poetic talent :)


Kathy T

By Kathy on   8/5/2013 8:34 AM
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Re: Learning to Trust

Hey Melissa i just wanted to say that's a wonderful Penn and I'm glad i found someone else with condition like mine i too was burn with tricuspid atresia and i too have a pacemaker.. Have a great day live life to fullest never be afraid

By Heather Fouts on   8/20/2013 10:33 AM

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