Troubling Tattooed Memories

Pain is a ghost. Haunting, harrowing, and confounding. It lives in our memories, places we’ve made mistakes, and of course at the grave. When we cannot accept the circumstances, it waits for us, surfacing from the abyss of the past, taking us by surprise. Pain is an unremitting ache, a fierce longing for something that will never, or we may never be able to change. Even so, if we choose to accept the pain, it will forever linger on our minds, subtly tugging at our hearts, causing a rebellion of spontaneous and unwanted tears to leap forward from behind colorful, circular glass walls…Walls that unveil our souls, our deepest secrets, and our silenced cries to be understood.

That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.

Internal wars are the worst. The bloody emotional battle between the head and heart, the difference between experiencing pleasure versus experiencing sincerity. What does that even mean? Think  about truth – honesty. What does that mean to you? It should mean something, hopefully. When you are battling against yourself, you are battling against more than just, well, you. You challenge your inner demons, the voices that persuade you to “live without regrets or fear of hurting someone else, much less yourself.”  It tests your view of self-worth and value, especially when it comes to your vulnerability. You battle with your morals, your personal boundaries, and yet you find yourself entwined with a fallen angel. So beautiful and believable, but you, being so young and naive, do not realize that you are one kiss-of-death away from perpetual memories of this monumental rebellion of character. Such a brief moment of impulsiveness and fearlessness…it lasts but all of a moment, whereas the recollections remain for a lifetime. Never to be evaded or eradicated from the depths of your mind. It becomes a permanent subconscious nightmare.

Secrets, like pain, are revealed in the darkness, but concealed in the light. Come nightfall, when our minds, bodies, and souls are exhausted, we are in our most vulnerable state. Even though we may yearn to be nocturnal, it is pain that provokes us. We are so eager to fall away, but there is no escaping it. The twilight eventually blankets us, beckoning us to drift among its infinite seams, and at last, we collapse from weariness under its influence.

We let go, allowing our minds to wander as we float in the middle of an ocean. The salt water stings our eyes. Little tiny drops roll down flushed cheeks to the corners of the mouth and we can’t help but taste the sweet bitterness of our past.

I understand pain… While I may never experience it in all of its ungodly forms, I know where it hides, and consequently how it affects and changes our thoughts, the ability to trust, and the courage to love with a broken heart.

“If only they could listen with their hearts and not their minds, maybe then they would understand that often times it’s the emotions not spoken that are longing to be heard.”


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