Tuesday, March 5, 2013
I had my annual rendezvous with you yesterday. You arrived almost like clockwork, except I hadn't seen you coming. Yesterday.
And except instead of bloodletting, it was more like tearletting. The kind where hot gushes of tears just surge and flow, like the eminent calm-but-steady spill of an overfilled sink, because the conversation on the phone tapped a deep, dark hurt--one that I have been trying to bury and get past for much too long.
It always surfaces--The Past. No matter how much you try to put it behind you. Because it is simply a part of you. Unless you acquire amnesia.
Sometimes I wish I had amnesia.
When you're so emotionally overwrought, you don't think straight, and you don't make much sense when you're trying to make a point. Between bouts of deep breathing, eyes drying, and nose wiping (my damn nose just has to join my eyes for some slobbery fun), words that come out of my mouth vacillate somewhere between carefully-calculated, going-through-the-motions, and strangely deranged. That all-too-familiar feeling of teetering on the rope between Sanity and Crazy suffocates me, and the moment suddenly arrives where either I dive or walk away. I dive. I crash. I shut down. And just when you think you're good, and all the tearletting is over, one split-second thought of some Past Memory instantly takes you right back to the mental stabbing pain and it starts all over again.
And the wet tissue papers mound in a pile.
And my eyes burns with the crappy feeling that I've felt every time this tearletting happens. They swell, hurt, sting, and scream, like they have for the last thirty years. My head is stuffed full with sadness and pain, at levels that feel always more than the last time. Each time this happens.
When it's all over--last words uttered, off button pressed, and period placed after the final sentence--I feel the plug pulled from under me. That one that prevents the overflowing sink from incurring more damage. I feel everything drain from underneath me. All my energy, essence, my me, and the integrity with which I uphold my being. Simply, I empty. I void. I deflate.
I spend the rest of the day swimming upstream in River Anxiety, trying to get back to my own reality. I lose momentum and direction when I replay the conversation in my mind, brewing over the absurdities of it all. Wanting a do-over, but not really.
Then I feel a hug. Then some more hugs. And then I see smiles that rescue me. They guide me back to the clearing.
Finally, I carefully put it back into its Box, dig a deep hole, and bury it again. I want to stand tall above it and keep it down for as along as I can, because I am happiest as my Standing Self. I know it will find its way back out again, and come another year or so, all this will replay itself, again, just like it has, since Forever Ago.
The Past will always find me. It is always a part of me.
Everyone has such a box. Don't think for one second that even the happiest of people are without one. Perhaps they are better at keeping theirs buried; perhaps they are able to dig deeper; or perhaps they have yet to surface. But they're there. And the next time you recognize someone's crouch, digging tools, and Box, you just might pull out your tools and crouch beside that person. Because compassion goes a long way.
So Dear Bloodletting, some people think that you are an outlet for pent-up emotions and therefore a beneficial process. But not I. When you finally realize--like I have--that the only thing keeping you from being Happy is The Past, you'd also want to move on. But we all know that Life is not a bed of roses, and that you will continue to take place, again and again.
Because my Past is a part of me. There's no escape from it. And that Past will inevitably be a part of my Future, too.
But not today. I'm Standing Tall today.