I bumped into new friends who listened in new ways to my stories. They helped me listen in new ways too. With newly found contexts, barriers began to fall, and I was better able to explore some of the previously less accessible areas in my mind.
It was increasingly clear to me that my scattered scars - and there were many - had accumulated in the same way a gradual drip in a cave eventually results in something far too great to ignore, and those scars now demanded attention.
It also became clear that in combination these scars had taken a toll greater than I once thought. I saw it reflected everywhere. A dislike of any photographic image but especially those of my neglected left, routine questioning of my wholeness, repeated requests for affirmation, a surrendered sense of symmetry, and even my frequent avoidance of needed help or accommodation were all evidence of wounds having yet to heal.
I'd like to think I got it - that with renewed determination, with fresh perspective, and with newly welcomed help, the damage could be repaired, and the scars could finally begin to fade.
Have they? I don't know, but after a period where I thought so, I am now less certain. Ask me again next year. Life is such a work in progress.