Yes, it is true. I like it when you hurt me. I like feeling the raw emotions of anguish, the sharp pain of shock and the fact I know I am still alive.
To put it easy, I like it when you hurt me, when you refuse to make eye contact as I walk by, when you whisper under your breath, when you cut me off in traffic, get my order wrong and intentionally go out of your way to offend another. I like it, because I know if you can hurt me, I still care. You see, it doesnt matter what the emotion is, happy, sad, mad, depressed, lonely or dedicated they all mean the same thing to me, that I am able to feel and have compassion. There was a time not long ago, I detached from the world, I shut off my emotions and each day still I struggle with the detachment. When I am focused or when the world just becomes too much for me to handle, I just zone out everything, not just the one thing that was hurtful. I zoned it all out, that was my safe haven. That was what saved my life each day I sat vigil next to my husband's hospital bed because to me, the only thing that mattered was him. After he died, my body grew numb, my mind went on auto pilot and I just lived each day for him, since I had already lost him physically, I couldnt bear the emotion of losing him mentally.
Each day I woke up and I lived for him, I was able to open my eyes, stand on my two feet and live the life he no longer had. My survivors guilt and torment of what could have, should have or didnt happen in the last 11 months of his life haunted me. How could I fix what was broken, that was when I realized I was the one thing that was broken. I had carried on a love and legacy that could never be matched and I couldnt imagine letting it go. The mere thought of losing him again suddenly brought tears to my eyes as I ran through memories in my head. Memories of our first date, memories of our second date, our first kiss and the first time he made love to me and looked in my eyes and said "I love you." The one thing every woman dreams about as a little girl, growing up and marrying her knight in shining armor and knowing that he loves you so much he is willing to die for you. Not just a figure of speech, but literally take a bullet, suffer and even in his last breath says I love you and die for you. That was the day he hurt me, not on purpose or as an act of discontent, it was what he was created for.
I wish I could sit here and tell you what the feelings were like after Jamie died, but to me now, it seems like a dream. All I really remember was covering him with his 1st Infrantry blanket as he told me to do after he was gone, in fact, all I knew what to do was what he told me. He told me to live for him, to care for his soldiers and to love again. But how do you love again after you have had that kind of hurt? He hurt me! All those years of being afraid of commitment, refusing to date then the one man who doesnt give up on me and plays guitar outside by bedroom window, asks me to marry him over and over, dies a month after our first wedding anniversary. How do you ever love that way again? To this day, I have done what he told me to do and I live for him, I did what he couldn't do each day and I to this day care for his soldiers, his fellow service members and the veterans who paved the way for my husbands a millions of service members today.
To put it short and sweet once more, I like it when you hurt me not because I truly like it, its because I know I am still alive and able to do something he is not and that is hurt.. he can't hurt anymore.
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.