I woke up this morning and came down the stairs. Same ole, same ole. Get the coffee brewing, load the dishwasher and get the kitchen in order for the morning. It’s my morning routine for almost ever. I made my way to the living room and opened the front door to take the dogs out and that’s when I saw it. Carpet shreds were all over the floor. I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee yet here I was, standing in my living room needing SOMETHING to make sense out of all that I saw. A lump formed quickly in the pit of my stomach and I no longer needed to make sense, I knew. The dog had dug a small little hole in the carpet right at the edge of where the hard wood from the dining room connects with the carpet from the living at some point in the middle of the night. I looked at her as she looked at me.
This was not how I wanted to start my day.
This has happened before. Same dog. Same carpet, different tiny edge and that time I blamed it on the kids for their lack of caring for her while we were away but here I was, caring for her and still.
I could not cover this up with a rug. I tried. Believe me I tried. “Maybe no one will notice.” This is my thinking because if my husband sees yet another small area of our carpet missing, our new carpet, our installed-less-than-a-year-ago carpet, he will dislike dogs even more so than he does now. Then I think to myself that maybe no one will notice, maybe I am the only one that walks with their head down in their home looking for dirt or socks and shoes or pieces of frayed and dug up carpet. Maybe.
Then the idea hits me. I will try hot gluing my carpet back together. Yes, that may work. I will plug in the hot glue gun and lay on my stomach just so and piece by piece I will put my carpet back together again. I resolve that this is what I’ll do and I say not a word. My family wakes up and one by one they come downstairs and I was right, no one but me looks down. No one cares quite like I do.
This is what I tell myself.
And so I begin. Piece by piece my carpet is put back together, made whole, and I wonder how long this will last. Maybe if we step delicately around it, it will stick. I realize this is what I do. I fix. I mend and I patch. I step delicately. I get scared that someone is going to see the empty places, that even having empty and barren patches is bad. It’s not right. No one else around me seems to be secretly struggling yet here I am, on my stomach fixing wondering why Jesus hasn’t yet fixed me.
I am still broken and I feel it.
“Jesus take this hot glue gun and make my frays stick so my edges are straight again.”
I realize that most if not all the struggle is within myself. There are large parts of my life that have been boxed up and put away in some room of my house. Boxed up out of shame. Boxed up out of guilt. Boxed up because unboxing would most likely make others feel bad or would implicate them negatively in some way. But that is me, always thinking about how me being me would make others feel and how can I protect them from my truth and all of sudden, that thought makes me feel so sad and I feel as naked as the carpet patch I am trying so hard to repair.
I realize that it’s just not certain areas of my life that are boxed up but that I am. I wrote about abuse last week on my FB wall and encouraged men and woman to SCREAM, to speak up if they are being abused in any way and it was the first time I’ve given myself permission to speak publicly because I’ve denied it for so long except to a small circle of family and friends. I had no idea what suffering through 23 years of abuse and another 21 years of silence would do and how it would erode away my very identity and cloak me in layers of lies that are not so easily dispelled but here I am, still afraid but no longer silent.
I need to make friends with my enemy and I know it. If I do not, my enemy is going to drown me and I feel it. The water is far past the point of lapping around my feet.