There may be aspects of this post that could be triggering for some people.

Fear. It is what I wake up to in the mornings and what I go to bed with at night. It is underlying my every interaction. Fear is the devastating thing that eats at my body as I lie in the night unable to sleep because once again the nightmares have risen through my sleep reminding me of the hell that I have lived through and that still haunts my brain. 

I wake in the morning and there is that one moment maybe two, when my mind is at peace. That transitionary moment when the world is still in that other heavenly and peaceful place, the place you are in before all the realities and unrealities of your brain cascade into the reality in which you exist.

I feel my heart beat in my chest. I remember when it beat so hard and so fast that It wasn’t really beating at all. When all it was doing was vibrating and my body and brain felt the slow dissolution of their existence. I remember the feeling of knocking on the doors of Heaven and asking to be let in only to be told that now was not my time. Remember the feeling of the electricity coursing through my body as they jolted my heart back into the rhythm and rate that it needs to be in to exist and function as it should. I remember the colors of the electricity as it raced from my chest up to my brain. I remember the peaceful breath I took when all the things that were supposed to be working were suddenly getting all the things that they needed from my heart. 

Now I remember the fear more than the relief. I think of the fear every time something doesn’t feel as normal as I think it should. I think of the pain and the fear now, when at the time there was only a feeling of numbness, and in some ways, peace. But I don’t think of those things. I only think about and concentrate on the feelings of fear. When I go to the doctor so they can check my heart I do so with a fear that they will find something wrong and I will be forced to stay in the hospital where all their treatments remind me of the tortures that I endured as a child. 

The oxygen mask that they place on my face brings up the fear and deep terror of dying that I felt when my father placed the cloth over my face and began to pour water on it and telling me how I had not been good enough about something, or that I had gained weight, and that was a horrible enough offense for me to deserve this treatment. 

The CAT scan though it is only a small donut, triggers in me a deep and abiding fear, almost terror, of being shut up in a small box because I was not what I should be, whatever that should be might have been. I am terrified when they touch my feet for any reason. All the pain of the beatings to the soles of my feet comes back to me. That pain is not something that ever leaves me. I cannot walk without shoes to cushion my feet from the floor. 

I don’t like them to touch me. Too many strangers touched me in ways that were painful after having paid my father his price. Too many strangers around me create all the fears and the pain. I don’t like them watching me, watching my body and all of the problems that I suffer as a result of trying to hide from the pain. 

I don’t like how they tell me, without knowing me. that my body is too large, that I need to be smaller. Don’t they know that to be smaller means that it is easier for the monsters to see me and to desire that which they called beautiful. I have made it as unappealing as I could without realization that that was what I was doing. Because to be invisible and ridiculed for my size is far better than to be beaten and violated because of my beauty. 

I wake every day fearing that which the day brings. I want to write. I want to write stories of light and joy, of romance and love, of intrigue and plot. Instead I find myself drawn down a dark path of internal pain and suffering. I want the character to be struggling with the problem at hand, and before I know it they are awash in my own deep pain and shame. How can I free them? How can I free myself from the darkness that always tries to come out. 

It always wants to come out and be seen. To be recognized as valid and not something that needs to be denied and shoved under the blanket somewhere. All that I have endured is hidden from the world. Because to put it out into the world means that it is real and not imagined. Because no matter how much I want to say that these things happened, and that this is what I have lived through, I do not want to admit that it happened and that I have lived through it. Which is worse, to know that you were never loved as a child only desired for the sexual gratification that your child’s body could give, or that somehow you were just never good enough and therefore all this is your fault? I was taught both. I believed one more than the other because I could not bear to think that I was not loved in some way regardless of the guise they put it under; that in all the beauty and childhood joys of life they found me unworthy of love. And that as an adult I still find myself unworthy of love. 

The fear consumes me and eats at my soul. Destroying my health and my body in equal measures. When all is said and done where will I be? How can I find the love and the joy that I need, that I see in the faces of others around me? It has all come to a tipping point and I am unsure which way it will tip.

2 thoughts on “Fear

  1. Leslie, you are on the right path. It may be long, winding, and at times an extremely difficult upward climb, but you are moving in a positive direction.
    Fiction is another great way to explore, but sometimes, it also offers too many places to hide. A writer can discount their own emotions and say that the feelings displayed in a work are those of the character. However, in essays, you can not do that. You have to own your thoughts and fears.
    So keep on writing and working. Enjoy the easy, simple moments so that you can work hard during the difficult ones. However fleeting, the moments of relief are what give us the strength to carry on.

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