Glacial misgivings

Delete that line. Delete that line. Command a new paragraph... and wait.

Tentatively draw words out of fingers, then delete them all. Delete, delete, delete.

Blepharospasms. Unsettled digestive system. Persistent genital arousal. Tic, tic, shake.

I'm afraid to commit to the thoughts by putting them on screen, on paper, out loud.

If there are no witnesses in this age of obsession with self-documentation, did the thoughts ever exist? We can pretend they didn't, but that leads to further physical manifestations.

I can breathe in, in, in but I'm afraid to exhale. I'm afraid to let it out. I'm afraid to be seen. I'm afraid to not be seen. I'm afraid to not admit the truth, but I'm more afraid to live it.

I'm losing my edge to the kids who are coming up from behind. My neck no longer allows me to look over my shoulder but I can feel their heated approach as I fade out into the cold expanse; my presence was once glacial but now shrinks more every day.

Remember that little phrase, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?" How often I had that hammered into my head. My dislocated joints are a menace, to be sure, but it's the words of my interior dialogue that have slowly gnawed away at my existence until my (self) defenses (against myself) have depleted. I may be stronger than I've ever been but I feel more vulnerable than ever.

Over the years, I've had maybe a dozen therapists. Only now, with a therapist who specializes in shame, am I reaching into the forbidden trespasses which trespass against me. So many religions keep the most holy parts the most hidden. In my paternal religion, Judaism, the holiest of the holy cannot be spoken. Not only is it forbidden, but it's largely unknown.

I'm doing my best to be a heretic. I'm doing my best to not just know, but speak. But I keep wanting to delete that line. Delete that line. New paragraph. New me.

I was twelve when I cut the words I Hate Myself and I Want to Die into the flesh of my thigh. I stopped wanting to die eight years ago, when my then-husband failed to take me to an emergency room as I was overdosing on (red wine) and sleeping pills. The cheap sex and sad films started when I was fourteen, but I never found the arms I wanted to hold me. I looked in all the wrong beds and all the worse bars.

The secret to living is you have to save yourself. I'm still trying. If I ever manage, I'll let you know.