They say that a good exercise in helping mend a broken heart is to write down all the things, moments and times. The words that cut you that “I’m sorry” couldn’t wash away.. all the things that the other person did or said that wounded you. The words you carry under your skin like ink of a deeply and poorly done tattoo. 

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now because it is all part of the process of cleansing, healing and trying to move forward. I couldn’t bring myself to do it until this morning. I was up early as my girl slept in, with my coffee, music and roar of the planes landing at the airport nearby. I wrote and it just kept coming and coming and coming… tears streaming down my face, a pounding in my chest that moved in a circumference from sadness, to anger, to disappointment, and loop.

I had to stop myself after I reached the second side of the 3rd page.

“I had no idea, Ivonne” seems to be the general response I receive from those who have been willing to listen to me with kindness and compassion. And then you step outside of it, take a further step back and the image becomes even more clear. Kind of like those jumbled up 3-D mall “paintings” from the 90’s that I could never see no matter how hard I tried. The paintings I never saw, but this I did…

Sure there were many moments of greatness and happiness. No doubt. But when something consistently chops at the base of your tree, even when done over a long amount of time and in small increments, there comes a time that tree eventually falls over. And my god, did it. The crack of a sequoia falling over in a forest of silence. So much silence. So much bottled up truth on my part. I held in so much. Fear masked as strength. Pain masked as resilience. Shame covered with excuses. Unrecognized trauma that surfaced as depression and anxiety. Crisis management masked as survival. Emotional abuse packaged as respect and compassion. No wonder I broke as hard as I did.

Years and years of my pain, held in truths, fears, anguish, silence. I saw it all on paper, bullet listed without waxing poetic ink and in my handwriting. And there it was, staring back at me. Sadly, it was there for a very long time. Longer than it ever should have, I just didn’t see it.

So when you say to me, “I had no idea”… you know?

Neither did I.





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