I had literally fried my back. I was maybe seven years old and had never experienced so much pain in my life. The beautiful summer sun had turned on me, scorching my flesh to the point I could barely move my shoulders. My skin was tight, stretched beyond its limit; I was sure I would simply break open if I moved too quickly.
That night I slept on my stomach, Bactine sprayed as a salve.
A couple days later and I appeared normal. The brunt of the burn was gone, but under my shirt, it still hurt.
I couldn't stop existing. I needed to eat. I needed to drink. There was TV to watch and siblings to tease. Although I was in pain, I also wanted to participate. I didn't want to be left out.
And so I tried to play. And it would work for a while - until someone accidently slapped me on my back, or the dog jumped on me, or I bumped into a wall - and I'd be shocked by the intense pain that coursed through my body. It was as if, for just a second, I managed to forget I was hurt, only to be cruelly reminded without warning.
I looked fine on the outside, but under my clothes, my skin hurt.
I look fine on the outside, but under my skin, my soul hurts.
|Photo Credit: Chuck Beautiful|