Monday, May 26, 2008

Fighting denial

This week started unremarkably but with an ending I couldn't have predicted.

The cloud of denial is a foggy one. You can spend a year, a decade, all your life in one and only find your way out when you see the clear, blue sky. If you find your way out at all.

I've always be the one who got picked on. It's a detail I'd like to forget but someone keeps reminding me that I've got a heart like a vacuum. Not only do I allow each and every person into it but darned if the sucker forgives and forgets again and again.

It's the "again and again" that nailed me this time.

"Abuse" is a strong word. It's a nasty word. But there's no mystery why "abuse" and "denial" are often so closely linked. "Verbal abuse" crosses an even thinner, grayer line.

My year has been tainted subliminally with depression, migraines, lack of motivation to do enjoying activities (training, horseback riding) and sheer exhaustion. And trying to tell myself that it's all going to be alright and soon it will stop. Or that it wasn't meant the way that I heard it. Or questioning whether I heard it at all. Or just letting it blow right over.

It was relief with the torch was passed, however briefly, to another who was weaker and more susceptible than I was. I became cowardly and relieved at the same time. But I knew it would be brief. I knew as soon as the weaker animal was driven off, it would be back to me again.

I hoped, really hoped, it wouldn't be this way. But even I could face that I was in denial about that. Because I was wrong. And I was right. The metronome reverted like a magnet attracted to its polar opposite and there I was in the spotlight once more and life became more like it's supposed to be.

But, surrounded in surrealism and coughed up like vomit, came the product almost 365 days in the making. I barely remember what I said but I remember how I felt when I said what I said.

One second I was walking to my locker to get my things and the next second I was outside. One hand holding my supervisor's and one hiding the right half of my face so no one could see what the color of pent-up misery looks like.

I would think, that having my heart laid bare so many times, the word "abuse" would just roll off my tongue. But it doesn't. It doesn't even get thought about or acknowledged as a possibility. Even when everything I read (or skim over, because surely it doesn't pertain to me) and feel and battle like an oncoming storm. Even when I know, with my help, that someone can change. Even when I can't explain why I want to curl into a ball and sleep forever or why I feel like something unfathomable is pacing back and forth, back and forth just awaiting regurgitation.

Even when I feel an unspeakable relief when everything is out in the open and I am nothing but a sweaty, shaky, sobbing person holding my boss' hand - the word abuse is still hard to say.

And it's still hard to say "I'm right" and so easy to say "I'm wrong." I feel very vulnerable. It would be easy to believe that I can't take a joke or I'm too sensitive.

That is, if there weren't so many arms around my shoulders, kisses on my cheeks, warms hands on my back and hugs that hold on, take my weight, let me just hang and bury my face on a chest. So many questions about how I'm feeling or requests of how my day is going. And when the tears come out like aftershocks, how fingers wipe them away and tell me it will all be alright.

It's those things that make me see the downhill or the light at the end of the tunnel or whatever euphemism is used to describe these things. All I know is it's there.

And for the moment I can see the payoff of my open-door heart.

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