They Don’t Go Away
You found me, huddled in the filth behind a dumpster in an alley, sitting in my own blood, waiting to die. You wrapped my shivering form in a blanket, carried me to your car, and put me in the backseat. I sat there, unable to move, waiting for you to start screaming and yelling, following your words with blows.
It never came.
I remember you picking me up, carrying me into the huge building where even the scent of antiseptics couldn't mask the smell of death. I was placed on a stretcher, and you held my hand while nurses pushed me down various hallways.
You were there when I succumbed to the medication, and you were there when I surfaced, needles pricking my skin in a million places. You spoke so soft, it was hard to hear over the beeping and humming of machines.
"It'll be okay."
Months slid away. I had surgery to put my jaw back where it belonged, a cast on my leg and one on my arm... Medication for pain, infections, parasites... A visit to the psychologist who didn't really understand what I'd been through.
You were there the entire time, promising, "You'll get better."
You only see the wounds inflicted on my body, my shell. These are the ones you treat, never dreaming that underneath this lacerated skin, my scars weave a tapestry of pain.
The tapestry that makes up the fiber of who I am.
You can hold me, rock me to sleep, smooth my hair back when I wake up from nightmares, you can give me medication. You can send me to the psychologist, you can give me a diary to write my feelings down in.
But in the end, the only thing that you can be is patient, and know that some scars are permament.