I dislike the word unspeakable. I have been unspeakably defiled, abused, mistreated, demoralized, fucked up. But it must be spoken. I must speak of that which is unspeakable. I can’t think of another way to exorcize my demonage. I must find words for that which has no possible descriptors. Or at least try. Suffering with the unspeakable takes away my power. I need my power. I need to have some power. For possibly the first time in my life. I was strong to have borne the damages, to have survived, but I am not being strong now. I will be strong to overcome. When I overcome.
I never feel safe. Not even when I am home alone. Perhaps even less so then. I feel like I am at high alert. That danger is imminent. Life or death stuff. I mean, really, when I was a small, small, tiny child, I did die, in a very real way. Buried alive. And I didn’t have the tools then. Nor do I now. I feel like I have to cobble together some sort of strategic weaponry to protect myself. To fight back. To dig myself from this grave of fear, supreme anxiety, these heightened senses. Maybe I need an additional sense. A sixth. Or a hatchet. Or coping skills. No, not coping skills. I can and do cope. I muddle through. I white-knuckle my way through every minute of every day.
I don’t know how to get out. And I can’t stay in. I was doing well for a while after therapy. But, I swear, there is something about this time of year that always worsens everything.
There are times when I do feel safe, I think. When I am with Rob, when he is home or we are out doing stuff. Maybe because I am the protector. I am the provider, of comfort, of strength, of know-how. I am his guide. I get that I could become those things for myself. I believe that is possible. Probably, others of us are in fact in charge of their own lives. They seem to be. Out there in the world, accomplishing, contributing, thriving. Not living inside the grave of terror.
My son. He laughs through 75% of his days. He finds the joy, he feels the joy. It has never occurred to him that he isn’t entirely worthy of joy. He goes after joy. He grabs the joy, for himself. He deserves it, he wants it, he gets it. I admire him so much. He is never afraid. He is he.
And I am I. And I don’t have even the beginnings of an idea of what the fuck that means. I was never able to develop as me. I have no memory of some former glory. Of a time I was grateful for who I am. It’s not enough that I am funny. That on a good day I can string together some decent sentences or create photo art. That I make people laugh, lighten their loads, wear cute outfits. I can name a hundred good things about me, but I do not internally feel any of them. Epidermal goodness.
How is it I have lived 43 years as an unperson? I suppose that can’t be helped now. The other night, as I was giving in to that fitful sleep, I directed my thinking from the past doesn’t matter; what matters is now and from now on. But that didn’t feel right. I realized: what matters is now. Now. Only now. How do I separate who I am because of my past from just plain old who I am right now? Because, who am I right now? I can sort out and identify those parts- the funny, the cute, the genius, the nurturing mom, so on, so forth. But I cannot make a whole from the sum of my parts. How do I do that?
If I could just know, know to my bones, know in my flesh, my innards, my brain, my heart, my toes. If I could just fucking know I am worthy. That I am safe. I just want to be worthy enough to feel safe. I want to experience minutes at a time where my heart isn’t racing, where I am not poised to defend my life. I want to sleep without the dreams. Wake without the flashbacks. Wipe it all off. The grave dirt. The fear rubble. The terror particulates.
All I really know is that this must not be unspeakable. And however I go about the knowing of me, I must allow the goodness to permeate my human outer coating. I want to feel what I know. And say it. And just fucking say it.