A Smoldering Ember is all that Remains

I have been struggling.

Specifically, I’m struggling with my mental health.

I thought I had it all under control.

I thought I was “on the road to healing”.

I thought that I had overcome my darkest demons.

But, the truth seems to be glaringly different from what I “thought”.

I find it disappointingly ironic how I experience things so differently from what I think they are supposed to be like. It kind of reminds me that life isn’t at all like the movies. Not even remotely.

I was always a romantic, dreamy-eyed young girl. I would sit for hours in my room reading books, listening to music, and writing poetry. Oh, to be that sweet, innocent young woman again. The one who dreamed unreservedly. The one who believed that life had so much good to give her. The one who day dreamed about far off adventures that awaited her and believed in the goodness of the human heart. That real love existed and fairy tales were based on true stories.

I would love to hug her tightly to my breast to just breathe in all of her hope and light and weightlessness. To breathe in her childish innocence and sweetness. I can see it in my minds’ eye as I write this. My arms are around her as we sit on a chintz comforter in a pink room with a bed of softness and pillows and comfort and warmth all around us. I can feel the warm tears roll down my weathered cheek and onto the child’s soft, nest-like hair. The virgin hair that hasn’t been dyed, or coiffed to make her look more mature or sophisticated. A childish purity remains in tact and that brings hot, fresh tears afresh.

I weep not for her now, but for who she will become.

I weep for her undoing. Her breaking. Her shattering.

I weep for the pain she will endure.

I lament the violent death of her dreams.

I weep for her abandoned spirit.

I weep for her trampled desires.

I mourn the loss of her lightness.

Her light will be too bright for some. It will reveal the darkness that lurks in the corners of this dangerous world. Her light will attract a wolf dressed as a sheep.

Her light will slowly dim over the years until there is but a glowing ember remaining.

A shell of woman is all she will have left; a stranger that she can’t recognize will stare back at her in the mirror. Eyes vacant of life. A body that goes through the motions of life without really living. A corpse among the living of this world. A fraud.

I mourn for the loss of what could have been and for what has been.

I loved that little girl. I think I would have loved to have been her friend.

I wish I could tell her that her gentle spirit will be of great value to her, but in reality, I should warn her to guard her heart more closely. To put up the walls sooner. To shelter in place. To hug her light closer, tighter. Tell her not to share it with everyone. Not everyone can handle her gentle spirit. They will rip it out of her and stomp on it.

But in the same breath, I realize that that little girl lives on inside this old, frail, shell of a woman. The smoldering ember lives on in me. I have yet to fan it into flame.

8 thoughts on “A Smoldering Ember is all that Remains

  1. Kathleen my heart breaks for you.
    If we could all turn back time but we can’t !
    I truly believe your flame will ignite and when it does it burst .
    You have many people around you who love you .
    I think you are an amazing writer and should think of setting it on fire 🔥
    Xoxox
    Tammy T

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  2. Beautiful! I see that little girl in the woman you have become. The ember is still there! It is flickering! In your smile, the joy of a laugh, the love of your children shining in your eyes! It flickering in the desire to move forward! To learn, grow and heal!
    I will fan it in my prayers for you to know how much you are loved ! Loved by your family, but mostly by your heavenly Father! ❤

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    1. Thank you so much for these wonderful words of encouragement! They mean the world to me! ❤ Thank you for being the example of faith that you have been for me, Aunt Jenny! Your warrior faith gives me hope that my walk can be a light for my children. XOXO

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  3. I knew the little girl once, it’s clear in your writing that the “shell” is as lovely as she was. It’s just in a new way. Dashed dreams and hopes don’t disqualify us (though only God knows why not!). I don’t know if I should say fortunately or unfortunately? That seems to be a prerequisite for so many who were enrobed in mantles of righteous honour….. and frankly they didn’t necessarily sound that great except for something here and there; their in betweens were dismal. Yet some how it made room for each of us to fit.
    You sound far more lovely now than the years in hiding when others knew something wasn’t right but not to the extent or how to say anything. This uncomfortably freeing rawness is refreshing.
    Thanks for being you, exactly as you are.

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