I'm so sorry.
I spent so many hours hating you, tugging at shirt and sucking in stomach. I made plan after plan to whip you into shape, to make you conform, to try to wipe away the rolls that only I could see....and then the ones that everyone could see.
I berated you for being wrong. Always wrong. I said you were wrong no matter what you did. I was mad at you for not being as strong as everyone else, then for going berserk and being too strong, tearing my colon apart with your silent war.
I sat in the doctor's office, telling you I was sorry for taking for granted when you worked well but in the next breath I narrowed my eyes at you, mad again that you have turned on me - as if I wasn't the first one to do so.
I yelled at you, crying in the bathroom, blood and mucus.
I repented, I will take care of you, I will love you, treat you well.
then two days later when you didn't bend to my will, I turned on you again. All of this alternating, coy sweet talk about how much I care then sharp words, harsh looks. Just like the stories of my sweet beautiful grandmother standing at the sink washing dishes, slapping her own belly, hating. She didn't think her girls saw, but they did. And her body recorded those hits, I'm sure.
You, sweet one, have recorded every punch and slap and swipe, too, even if they came only from words and looks and sighs.
and every plan I have had to heal or lose weight or be more beautiful or fit the mold that I have always wanted to fit was only a lie. They were never a New Covenant. There was no rainbow, no sign of a peace treaty. They were just more abuse. More whipping.
But I want to change that, dear one.
When I bleed now, goosebumps covering my arms, my body shivering, my middle cramping, I feel for you. I used to feel sorry for myself, but now it is you, dear one, who I cry for. Oh God, I whimper, You poor thing. You have taken so much. You have waited so long to be loved, not for what you could be, but for what you are. For the job you have done, for the growing of new cells over and over, the pumping out mucus to protect yourself. All that work, all that damage, all that pain. I'm sorry.
I want to make peace. I want to give up the self improvement plans. I want to say you are ok, just now, just like this, even with the colitis, even with the pain. You don't have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles, as Mary Oliver said. You don't. You are home. You have arrived.
Pull up a chair, put up your feet. Let me get you some tea and we can talk. Tell me about how it is, I will listen. This time I will listen for real and it won't be a false listening that is really searching between the lines, looking for a prescription to FIX you. I will listen just because you deserve to be heard. Just because I love you. Just because.