By in Animals

Bandaids Don't Help

Over the years, I have found ways to try to protect myself from pain and vulnerability in relationship to others.

Mostly, I have distanced myself (real or figuratively-speaking) or have found something else to justify my decisions to end the relationship. Sometimes, I simply do something to try to cover up the wounds life dishes out, as if using a bandage so that others will not be able to see the wounded me.

I realize that I am not alone in doing this. The "walking wounded" inhabit the earth.

When we "cover up" who we are and refuse others the opportunity to see us in our authenticity, the wounds are never allowed to heal. But when we allow those wounds to "air out," the scars become a natural bandage.

There are certainly times when some of the people who we have included in our lives will not want to look at us as the whole person. They will find the wounds and scars too grotesque for them to be able to see the beauty that lies underneath.

When these people turn from us, walk away, and leave us feeling exposed for kill, our natural reaction might be to cover-up again. Perhaps, we do so because we feel shamed for not fitting within the image or expectation that someone else sets up for us.

There comes a time when we must stand and no longer be ashamed of who we are. We must shed ourselves of the bandages. Be who we are in all our glory. Accept ourselves as the whole, rather than parts we hide or show based on our fears and whether we are "good enough" in someone else's eyes.

All of us have our wounds and scars. Yours are no worse than what others have. Remember that there will always be someone who cannot (or will not) see the beautiful you underneath them.

Keep loving yourself and do not cover up, because the bandages don't help.

* * * * * * * * * * * *



Not a version of you
That you think
I need you to be.

You are free
To be you
With me.


Are highly

Loosen them.

Your wounds.
Let me see.

You saw mine.
You did not
Turn away.

You will find
That you are
Not alone.


* * * * * * * * * * * *

Copyright © 2013 Coral Levang

“Bandaids Don’t Help” (the poem) was written by the author and originally posted online 08/30/2010 at Yahoo! Voices [formerly Associated Content]. Article was submitted in July 2013 at Bubblews, but removed by the author, before resubmission here at Persona Paper.

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Image Credit » by ClkerFreeVectorImages

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MegL wrote on November 28, 2015, 2:23 PM

Yes, I went on a course one time where they called it a log jam and likened the freeing up to a log jam being freed and letting loose a sudden torrent of logs and water. That was a VERY hard course to attend. I think I learnt a lot from it but it was painful. It took me a long time to accept it and to "recover". Generally people don't understand about the log jam (or the bandaid) until they find out about it and at that point, it is too late to stop the learning!

CoralLevang wrote on November 28, 2015, 3:06 PM

I can imagine the difficulties. The pain.
I am grateful to have learned parts of this earlier than later. I have been more prepared in life when it would have been more difficult.

markgraham wrote on November 28, 2015, 4:02 PM

Very philosophical.

Jansweeps wrote on November 28, 2015, 10:40 PM

Well written.

DWDavisRSL wrote on November 28, 2015, 11:42 PM

I once was in love with a girl who broke my heart so completely that I never thought it would heal. Bandaids, in the form of unfulfilling relationships did nothing to stop the bleeding of my heart. Then I met K, and in no time at all, the wound scarred over. I knew I was healed when the girl who'd broken my heart called me after she learned that K and I were engaged and asked me what I would do if she showed up at my door the next day. I told her I'd invite her to the wedding. She laughed and said, "Good. Now I know you're over me. I wish you and K the best."

That was the last I heard from her and it's been nearly 28 years.

CoralLevang wrote on November 29, 2015, 12:27 AM

You say that a lot about things I write. *laughs* I'm not sure if that is good or bad...or just is. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on November 29, 2015, 12:27 AM

Thank you, Jansweeps !

CoralLevang wrote on November 29, 2015, 12:28 AM

DWDavisRSL I think you got the better woman. Based on what she said to you, I don't care much for this other woman. Congrats on the 28 years. emoticon :smile:

markgraham wrote on November 29, 2015, 10:20 AM

You just have that thing that makes people think about various areas in that way.

AuraGael wrote on November 29, 2015, 2:47 PM

I can relate deeply to this as well. I love this: "There comes a time when we must stand and no longer be ashamed of who we are." And it's so true. I know for me, the trapped feeling of hiding who I am so others will like me or at the very least not give me a hard time, has gotten old. We create the bars in our minds. But they are hard to get rid of when they are ingrained for one reason or another.

CoralLevang wrote on November 29, 2015, 3:28 PM

AuraGael Oh, how well I know this to be true. But no one else can rid us of them. It is a journey we have to take for ourselves, though not always by ourselves. I wrote something once about that journey, which I will have to see if I can find and submit parts of it here. It was part of a letter I wrote to everyone that I knew when I found out about my diagnosis, and told I was going to likely die in 6 mo to a year.

AuraGael wrote on November 29, 2015, 3:35 PM

Whoa! How awful. How long ago was this did you get the diagnosis. I can't even imagine how devastating.
You know, I was going to correct something a little that I wrote about the bars in the mind. As adults I think we keep them there, but originally I don't think we are responsible for them. At least in cases of abuse in any form. I know mine are there for that reason, but as you said, the only one who can remove them now is me. I have an issue with isolating, so yeah, I need to let more people in and have a tough time because of trust issues.

CoralLevang wrote on November 29, 2015, 3:47 PM

I appreciate this comment. Although I may agree with you partially....

I think that others are not responsible for putting the bars in concrete...I think that the experiences we have with the people we do, give us the resources/materials. They lay at our feet. That is what we have been given to work with. And we do not always know how to see them any differently than barricades, because that is what we typically see those used for.

But I have known people, who are damaged like I might be or you might be, and instead of looking at the materials laying at the feet and thinking "bars," "cells," "barricades," or "Keep out!" .... they see the materials and think "bridges," " tunnel connections," and other things that can span the chasms that emotional damage can create.

I think that some people do that no matter what. Others of us struggle differently, but we are given often the same materials /tools with which to work. Of course, we do not always know how to use the tools. In my case, I have used the biggest freakin' hammer to try to take care of some things that a fine, precision-based screwdriver might have handled more effectively. emoticon :winking: LOL

AuraGael wrote on November 29, 2015, 3:55 PM

Haha yeah, that last part...I get it. And I agree with what you're saying. It was occurring to me while reading it really is in the perception. It is true that kids who lived in the same household, suffering the same types of abuse, can be effected very differently.

I think I will work harder on seeing bridges and tunnel connections...Thanks for that.

RuthCox wrote on December 2, 2015, 3:06 PM

Not only do I agree with every word of your poetic prose but also I want you to know that the line "Genuine." jumped out at me, for it quietly shouted that you are such and shows you know what you are speaking of. I have a tough time removing the bandages at times but am getting better at doing so.

CoralLevang wrote on December 3, 2015, 12:12 AM

RuthCox I so appreciate these words. Genuine, they are, indeed. It is when we are willing to remove the bandages and allow ourselves to show that raw vulnerability that we receive so much. Is it risky? Yes, it is, sometimes. And we may get hurt...again. But we must be willing to keep doing it, more wisely the next time. It means we must search for members of our "tribe."

I loved your use of "quietly shouted." emoticon :smile: I actually laughed. My mother would have told you that there is nothing quiet about me. Thanks for showing me that some see me (or my words) and a quiet strength.... emoticon :smile: Maybe this is what it's like to be a grownup. Thank you.