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As a child, I dreamt that I waited for him in a dry field under a lowering sky, naked. He came to me and gently, softly assured me as he bore a scalpel into my arms, legs, and chest. I stood rooted with arms out, simultaneously comforted by his words and horrified by the wrongness and pain. I trusted with eyes closed while ribbons of loose hair, tears and blood circled my body in a whirring gale, and he left me deep and bleeding.

I was once given a birthday card a with the picture of a young girl on the front, arms out, facing the sun on the ocean. The giver wrote that she saw this unblemished girl and thought of me with my arms out and legs parted, ready to embrace the horizon and draw it into myself like a glorious spirit. 

I am no longer the frozen, naïve and bleeding daughter of my youth. I am not, nor can I ever be, the flawless and courageous girl standing firmly on the beach. I am trapped between victimization and a longing for vulnerability, and so my life has become myself, wrapped tightly closed with my hands clutching my sides and my fingers brushing my scars. 

But with time I am uncurling, haltingly. And although my scars splinter with the movement, I feel my myself warmed and dried by brilliant rays. I feel the horizon embracing me. In these healing moments, I believe I will someday stand fearlessly. I will face my father in defiance, I will face restorative love openly with my brave scars a radiant white in the sunlight.

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