I always took pride in having nerves of steel. Combine that with my iron will, and you have a woman dressed to kill.
I’ve never had time to panic or fear. When the pressure’s on, you have to buck; take the problem and fucking deal.
There are no breaks, no second chances. Life only gives us so many options. So we buckle our boots, do our dances, and find a way to make our own answers.
I’ve seen some who crack under the pressure. They just weren’t built to take the heat. Luckily, I’m blessed to say, this isn’t how God chose to make me.
I’ve been put in impossible situations, backed into corners with no way out. I’ve heard the doubt of any survival, sometimes escaping my own mouth.
But I’ve always found a way, I always find a way. It’s just ingrained into my DNA. Even on the days I wanted to give up, I learned each time, I’m not built that way.
At times I’ll admit, I’ve grown angry. Tired of my own drive to survive. Annoyed with my persistence in the hardship, I just wanted a normal life. Cause being “the strong one” gets old sometimes, and while these are “good problems” to have, “taking the high road” gets harder each time.
These things I’ve endured? They build up and seem impossible. Being “strong” does NOT automatically mean indestructible. What good is surviving if it renders you untouchable?
I’m hard to get close to and damaged at best. I wear my heart, behind this bulletproof vest. My body’s a battlefield, my mind is a mess. I’ve got one foot on your throat, and one in the past. How do you heal, from so many memories like this?
My nerves of steel only go so deep. I’ve learned to package the pain, tightly and neat. I look fine on the surface, but don’t look underneath. I’m a little more damaged than even I can see. And the damage creeps out on my razor like tongue, and suddenly my words are used as a weapon. Something will happen, I’ll flash back to the past, and all of a sudden I’m reacting to that. I’m trying to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
I’ve grown so much, and healed even more, but there’s still some demons waging their wars. So I chip away a little each time, all in the intention to get better at life. I don’t want to be a walking flash back, making people pay for pain they didn’t cause. I refuse to be that person; even if, long ago I was.
These strengths I possess have helped me survive; however, I’ve learned they come at a price. The more you endure, the more you “survive”? The more scars you wear for the rest of your life. So can nerves of steel help in that fight? Cause the hardest of battles are fought on the inside.
I’ve always wondered, who I would be, if none of these things, ever happened to me….
by Ashley Hebner
© All Rights Reserved 2016
Feature image courtesy of http://www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/helenka/collection/original-art/1411402/artwork/soulful/6847255