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I’m struggling to fully heal from some hurt. What’s making it worse is that one particular person knows I’m flailing and her response has been to pull away from me. She’s leery, I guess, afraid I need too much from her. She’s fixated on the past and what I needed at the onset of my pain—because at this point, I’ve sworn all I really need from her is some grace.

And she won’t give it to me.

At most, she’ll occasionally dole out vapory dregs of acceptance that barely register, hardly count.

What the heck is her problem with me? I’ve only ever always been there for her. I show up, time and again. Never have I not. And now that I don’t need a thing from her except an intangible allowance of space and time in which to fully repair my shattered heart, she’s not willing to grant me that.

The prickliest part of the harm she’s doing me is I watch her give it freely—that grace—to nearly everyone else she comes in contact with. But she’s withholding it from me. And I’m having trouble moving forward without it.

I’m tired to my marrow. Listless and weary too. I can’t find solid footing though it’s just me that’s still shaking, no longer the ground.

Trauma. It’s not singular in brand or linear in scope, nor is it a one-size-fits-all proposition. Anguish doesn’t follow a uniform timeline in regard to recovery and there’s no app for it, either. Upheaval’s aftershocks, unpredictable in frequency and longevity, can be every bit as destabilizing as the initial incidence of destruction. Each tremor I feel has the capacity to leave me reeling and often does.

Physically, I can feel my energy and stamina whoosh out of me like air escaping a punctured balloon. Mentally, I’m suddenly plucked from present day and relocated back to ground zero, or so near it I can smell its odious odors and hear its disturbing sounds all over again. Even still, after all this time.

Just lately, I’ve realized it’s her holding me back from the forward progress I know I’m capable of. And while I’ve been gifted with grace by each and every person who’s come to know my story, save 2.5 internet trolls and 1.5 poser friends who matter not, the only person I really and truly need grace from is her. Yes, she’s that big of a deal. She holds that much power over me. Without her backing me, I cannot proceed any further. She alone dictates my stagnation or my acceleration.

I need her to meet me where I am, even if she doesn’t like it there. I need her to stop insisting it’s high time I am whole again and done with this long ordeal. I need her to assess each day as it comes and declare the day simply is what it is, whatever that may be, without attaching negative connotation to it or shrinking back from it in exasperation. If today is doom and gloom, I need her to say, “So be it.” No matter that I’ve done doom and gloom already, plenty, so should be past it. If the day brings uncertainty and despair, I need her to simply nod her head and say, without fear in her eyes, “Yep, they’re back; likely just for a bit though,” so that I can say it, too.

I look to her, you see. I need her to survey all that each new day brings or doesn’t bring, even still, after all this time, and declare each day good enough and not at all a harbinger of harrowing times ahead.

I need her to both believe and remind me healing slowly does not mean healing wrong, or worse, never fully.

I need her to blanket me with her largest, heaviest offering of grace, not with what’s leftover after she’s given of it to others.

I need her to lead with patience when she interacts with me because while I’m being honored with understanding by so many, without discounting a single one of them and all their efforts, I really only need it from her.

This she—the only person unwilling or unable, incapable or ill-equipped to offer me the space I need to keep healing at the pace I’m able to—is me.

She is me and I’m left shaking my head in hurt wonder at how I’ve let myself down in this whole debacle. Good God, Jodie, you alone know what you’ve been through, you alone have a grasp of the Herculean effort to heal you’ve been summoning up from the tips of your toes. You, my love, deserve the whole of all the grace you have to give and if you insist on waiting for something to make you feel free to let your floodgates of grace flow all over yourself, you might be waiting forever. And you just don’t have that kind of time.

Recognizing the need to give myself grace for failing to give myself grace is a confounding conundrum of an endeavor, one that threatens to wear me out. All the way out. But it also supplies a new hope, for continued progress on the healing continuum.

Because I know I can do this for myself, this grace thing. I know I can because I already do it for others. I know I can because when I finally come to know better, I do better. That’s my pattern. And I bet I can say the same for you.

Everything good, that we give so freely to everyone but ourselves, give yourself the permission to rechannel some of it, loves. To direct some of it your way.

I’ll be there laboring at the levee right along with you.

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Jodie Utter

Jodie Utter is a freelance writer & creator of the blog, Utter Imperfection. She calls the Pacific Northwest home and shares it with her husband and two children. As an awkward dancer who’s tired of making dinner and can’t stay awake past nine, she flings her life wide open and tells her stories to connect pain to pain and struggle to struggle in hopes others will feel less alone inside their own stories and more at home in their hearts, minds, and relationships. You can connect with her on her blog, Utter Imperfection and on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

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