Tag Archives: Repression

Journal – The Girl with no Fear

 

Here’s a funny thing about myself. I always have majorly overblown confidence about a thing until I’m halfway into it.

“I’m not afraid of people. I love talking to people! I can face down a crowd.” Then I blithely stand up to tell a story about a coworker at a small friendly retirement party. I am shocked when, halfway through, my hands are shaking hard. I have to breathe and calm down but my punchline falters a bit. Am I afraid of public speaking? Looking back to when I did theatre in college, it was the same: one hundred percent confidence followed by shakes on stage.

“I like rock climbing! I like nature! I’m gonna sign up for this little class and learn the knots and then I can hang (get it?) with my rock-climbing big brother and sister.” I take the class, start climbing the first little practice tower, and hit critical mass. I am shaking so hard I don’t trust myself to climb any higher. My hands have locked down on the rock climbing nubbins. “I forgot I’m afraid of heights!” I call back to my bemused classmates from a whopping ten feet high.

I got to meet a new friend on videochat recently. No fear there. Slept like a baby. Excited, happy puppy enthusiasm. “Yay, a new person to love!!” We talked, and she was awesome, and the conversation was easy, and everything was fine as long as I didn’t get distracted by my own reflected strangerface and lose track of the conversation.

After I hung up, I started making some oatmeal. As I stirred the pot I thought, “Where is that quiet screaming coming from? It’s getting louder. Oh, right! My own head.” After some puzzling I figured out that it was latent anxious adrenaline rush from meeting her. DID SHE LIKE ME WAS I STUPID DID I HURT HER FEELINGS???

 

Anyway, I thought it was just a funny character trait, but now that I’ve written it down, I see it’s my old friend Emotional Repression popping up. Hello again. Let’s never talk.

I have definitely gotten better, but digging my emotional core free is a slow, slow process. Sometimes Repression pops up and bites me in the ass, just like old times. It bites less than before, but it still bites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – On Overcoming Fears

 

When I was a kid

I was afraid of the dark.

I used to make myself walk down the hallways in the dead of night

With the lights off

Just to prove … I don’t remember what

Maybe it was pride.

Maybe I despised my own cowardice.

So I just looked at the light switch

Then stared down the demons in the dark.

 

I hadn’t gone to the dentist in eight years

A lost filling finally drove me to the waiting room

Where I sat, my stomach knotty with fear.

After that I kept up with my dentist visits

Through crowns and drills and fillings lost and gained

And stainless steel needles the size of Montana

Culminating in my most recent visit

A small filling restored with,

By my own request,

No numbing agent.

I found it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

Now when I go, I marvel

At my lack of fear.

 

I never allowed myself the luxury of feelings

Afraid that they would hurt others.

This has been the worst fear to overcome.

I have progressed from exploring my emotions,

To writing them out,

To showing them to the world

My family

And hardest of all, my dad.

Because I loved him the most

I hid the most from him.

Protecting him from my unhappiness

Afraid he would blame himself

Or worry about me.

Today he called me

Asked if I was feeling okay

He’d read my bleak poem

And worried.

I reassured him, the poem was old.

When I hung up the phone

I wondered

At my stability in the face

Of what had just happened.

Dad had seen one of my darkest pieces.

And he had worried.

But things are different now.

I can be honest with him.

His humanity doesn’t break me.

My own humanity doesn’t break me.

The self-loathing spiral

Never came.

 

Now I have to keep posting

As if I didn’t know he was keeping up on the blog.

Or rather, I know that he is,

But I am able to be honest now.

Sometimes I want to die

Sometimes I want to stab something

But mostly I love my life

And although I still cherish my family,

I no longer idolize them,

Or feel the need to protect them.

 

I have always considered myself uncommonly lucky

In family and friends.

Today I can feel lucky

And not feel guilty too.

I can feel grief and pain

Just as easily as I can feel love.

 

But most of all,

I can feel.

 

And I feel grateful.

And I feel free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Bleakness

 

When there’s something you can’t hold

When what you are is not allowed

When the people you know best aren’t real

While the real people don’t know you at all

When your soul has gone off

Like a brown avocado

And the only thing in this world that feels right

Is the knife in your hand

Breaking the rules

Unleashing hell

Blade scrapes bone.

By another’s death

You acknowledge your own existence

You are alive

For a moment.

But what is left to fill

The countless minutes between stabbings

Except bleakness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

We Affect Each Other

 

We affect each other

push and pull on each other’s emotions

if we drown we drag people down with us

if we fly others draft in our wake.

 

vent your frustrations into somebody’s ear

watch their smile disappear

or

laugh until they can’t help laughing too

love until they are loving you

 

It gets bigger.

Sometimes you are part of something beyond yourself

sometimes you are angry for no reason

and the people on the street match your mood

sometimes you overhear conversations

or see a trend on social media

which inexplicably echo your private feelings.

 

Is it the moon?

Herd instinct?

Illusion?

 

When I didn’t have feelings

I watched it happen

distantly curious.

Now that I’ve found my heart

I am swayed with the populace

flowing where they flow.

Ardently curious

and still no answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

You take my hand in yours

 

You take my hand in yours

But I’m too cold to feel it.

When I was younger

You were what I always wanted

This moment

The culmination of my childhood dreams.

But life takes bites

With every swim past.

This hand, that eye, this leg

This heart

All lost

All replaced

With perfectly functioning

Automatics.

Now I have you.

You who were once so precious to me

But I can’t

For all that I am

Remember why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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