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Heart Scar

Fourteen years ago today, I lay in a hospital bed, bleeding to death slowly, slipping away from this existence into the depts of untold darkness. In an effort to maintain my life force, doctors and nurses searched frantically in vain for a blood vessel. Needles pierced my skin over and over to no avail. Slowly, slowly, I was slipping away.  I'd lost too much blood. I was in shock. I fell into a deep unconsciousness, feeding into dreams of deceased family members and the years of my existence up to that point in time. I saw it all flashing before my eyes. I'd had a troubled life, but I had a good life too. 

I died that day, in more ways than one. 

Finally, the nurses gave up on finding a vein in my arm or legs. They tried the backs of my hands and feet. But I had lost far too much blood. My veins were collapsing. There was nowhere else to turn. They pulled out the major tools then, and without batting an eyelash, they pierced my chest between the ribs, bore through cartilage and forced a tube into my heart. I had already died at that point, but the blood being rushed directly into my body and warmed only inches from my heart before being forced through that ventriculating muscle saved my life. It also changed me as a human being. A part of my soul escaped as that plastic tubing did all it could to resurrect my life. 

To this day I carry a tiny scar over my heart, both physically and emotionally. I keep it guarded at all costs. I felt pain that day unlike any pain I'd ever known in my life. I never wanted to know Death by name again. I never wanted to see the face of the Reaper take the form of my Grandfather within my dreams again. I never wanted to loose my life again. And yet a piece of me died that day. A piece I'll never get back for as long as I live. 

It happened fourteen years ago today. 


Written June 10, 2008

I have been bugging Management for weeks now, telling them that I want a name tag. Finally last night I went to yet another supervisor and told them I wanted a name tag. The Supervisor, Chris, said they didn't have anyone in the office to order one for me.  However, they had one name tag in the back office.  The store has NEVER had an employee named Chelsea, so I opted to adopt the name for the interim. 

Only one customer yesterday called me Chelsea. He asked me what my name was, and since I have issues with telling a lie, I just pointed to the name tag. Afterward I felt so silly that I went and told Chris what had happened. My nickname is now Chelsea at work, and it's getting around quite fast.  Already I answer to the name.

Perhaps this is a good choice for a Pen Name. Now I just need a last name to go with Chelsea.


I don't often get mail.  In today's era of social media and technological advances, who does?

I sat across the table from Bill at lunch today, feeling increasingly paranoid that people were staring at me for no apparent reason.  I've become familiar with the term "introvert" lately, as I have finally come to terms with the fact that it's a very clear way to define the personality traits that have overcome me in the last few years.  I hide from the world, locked away for sometimes days on end, avoiding strangers and enjoying the company of my cats.  Sitting there in a restaurant, feeling the eyes of strangers on me - I became unusually self conscious. 

There was a time I delighted in the attention of strangers.  I loved walking into a crowded room and feeling like everyone there was watching my every move.  Those days are long gone, but why? That may be something only a psychologist can answer for now.  I've changed. Deep within my core, I've changed.  Years ago, I feared being alone.  Today, I relish in it.

Human interaction is rare for me now.  For the past month, I've worked a total of 4 days, and not having to put myself on the proverbial stage in an aircraft has been an eye-opening experience as to who I truly am these days.  I never before gave myself the time to slow down and find out.  I'm great with people, and I love making people laugh when I'm around them.  But being alone?  That's something you can't teach or learn.  I didn't "learn" how to be alone.  Rather, I discovered it; or more accurately, it discovered me. 

When I returned to my home after lunch, the sense of peace settled in over me like a blanket.  I checked my mail, brought it all inside and closed the door.

There, among the junk I usually get, I discovered a pastel envelope that felt like it contained a card.  My birthday is still several months away, so I couldn't imagine what it could be!  When I opened it, I had a bit of a surprise.

There was not only a sweet card, but also a gift card, from my 5th grade teacher, who recently had a photography competition on Facebook.  I had apparently won the competition based on my submissions, and this was a congratulatory message. 

After feeling so overwhelmed today at lunch, coming home to find this reminded me that it's perfectly OK to be in introvert.  I'm still learning how to deal with it, since it's still so new to me, but that's OK too.  I'm not alone.  Neither are you.