Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks…

It seems that even when I was pushing my memories down, living life like the multitude of hideous abuses which occurred in my childhood were not a part of my reality, that there were so many things that resonated with me so deeply, but made me feel so incredibly strange as to why they would.

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It’s things like this give me those “Oh, yeah, that’s why I felt like that about that!” moments that seem to happen so very often in my life now. Partly they make me feel deeply sad as they are extra ‘proof’ that I am not just making this all up (because as guilty as it would make me feel, denial feels an easier place sometimes). But sometimes they make me feel calmer in knowing that I always knew and that these memories that have been flooding me this last year, or more, are not completely new and made up. Like some of my jigsaw pieces coming together.

A few months ago I was watching Forrest Gump for maybe the billionth time of my life when I realised why I always had such a feeling of connection and understanding with the character Jenny. The scene in the image above always made me feel deeply sad, every single time I watched it. Not just in the way other scenes in this film or other films make me feel sad, more like I was sad for myself and my life. And this always made me, well, confused I think.

I can’t remember the first time I watched this film. I was probably quite young. But I do remember that for the longest time, from being a child, I have needed to run into tall grass and hide. I don’t think I ever found any, but the need has been there. The last time I was watching the film when this all dawned on me, it was like every feeling I had experienced previously whilst I watched it clicked into place. From this scene to watching her throw rocks at his house to her battles with her life throughout the film; even as a child and/or a teenager I ‘knew’ this girl and my connection to it all just made so much sense.

Last night the phrase “make me a bird so I can fly far, far away” repeated around my mind. I even tried to post about it then but looking for this image on the internet felt too painful on top of everything else I was then feeling, on top of all of the memories I was trying to hide from and was feeling deeply sad about. But right now, as I was thinking about all of this and some of my recent memories, all I could think of doing was finding this scene:

Drowning

I feel like I’m drowning in every reality I exist in.

The memories are killing me. They are flooding my soul with waves of sadness and grief and despair. And fear. Oh the fear.

But there’s nothing to cling onto. Everything I have clung to before now feels like it has turned to liquid. Like it has melted down or dissolved, leaving me nothing to reach for, no floating devise to assist me.

Words. I write words. I express. I release. But what do they mean? Do they leave my body just to give space for more. And more of what? More words, or just more emotion that finds me and leaves me even more unable to breathe than I was before my dive into the well of my woes? Leaving me drowning in a sea of expression that I have no understanding of why or what for or where it begins or ends or becomes.

To understand might be to hold on. But there is no sense in the nonsense and my whole existence feels nonsensical and evermore transient by the second. Slipping through my fingers like each drop of rain that ripples through the water I am drowning in.

And breath. There is no refreshing breath to be taken. I gasp as I sink further and further down, breathing in the toxic waters of resistance.

I expect to float back to the surface. I expect to rise, to learn to swim through the current or be swept up on the shore of the warm sand. And soon. Because I cannot fathom how I can keep myself alive in this tsunami of my soul. But my expectations are unfounded, unreasonable, out of reach, a mere dream in which I wake to the sounds of the waterfall pushing me down, down, and further down.

To what end? What meaning is there to be found in this ocean of terror and pain and, worse, lonely darkness where the waters merge with the sky as I squint to view my desolate surroundings? Why do I spit out my words and drink in my nightmare as I drift and drown?

There are no answers, no rhyme or reason or respite in this submersion of sorrow.

I feel like I am drowning. I am drowning.

A Story of Avoidance – Pushing Down a Memory

I’m lying there, ready to sleep, or so I thought anyways. The sun is starting to come up already, maybe 5am? I digress, that’s probably not important to the story.

So I close my eyes, for some reason feeling a little different about my ability to sleep than usual. I fully believe it possible, even though it is rarely so. My head starts drifting. I probably think I am drifting into sleep, into a dream. But I am not. This is not a dream. I am fully awake. Were I not drifting off somewhere I could quite easily have opened my eyes and carried on with my night of frustrated awakeness, distracting myself with words and music and poetry, and mindless romantic comedies where she always finds her happily ever after.

No, this is no dream. I know where this place is, how it feels to go there, I can picture it now as clear as the clearest picture perfect blue ocean. But this is not perfect, it is not beautiful. This is a horror vision. You there and me. And oh, oh I cannot speak it and I do not want to think of it any longer, not long enough to give it words.

My body becomes frozen at the viewing. I literally cannot move parts of my body though my mind is trying to make it move – it’s the only way I think I might be able to get out of this terrorising scene, to physically move the parts of my body that I see being used so destructively. But I cannot. I am stuck, like sleep paralysis, only I am not asleep, nor have I been asleep.

Before long, well who knows how long, I come back into awareness. Battered, bruised, but nothing to show for it, not on the outside anyway. I’m tired. Oh so tired. I see a childhood teddy, a beloved childhood teddy poking out of the cupboard and I go to get her. I hold her tightly as I tuck myself back under the covers.

The sun is up now. Fully. But I cannot bear to face the day. And I am tired, still as tired as I was. No, more so now. There’s no chance of sleep. Not right away. But I shut my eyes. There’s nothing else I can face but the dark surface of my inner eyelids. And I spend the next twelve hours, longer, just starring at them.

Finally I’m ready to move, to get up and face the life I need to be active in. The life where I have to be a fully grown adult and make steps to keep myself functioning and seeming like I have my shit together.

So I forget your image, I push it as far to the corners of my mind as I possibly can because I have no time for it now. I have no time, or energy, to spend on you. And in all honesty it feels too painful to recall now.

I continue on. Maybe 50 hours pass, maybe a little longer. But there you are again. Here. Now. Reminding me that I saw these images, I had that moment, I can push and push and push it all down as much as I like but until I deal with it, even just a little bit, it is going to keep returning, each time with that bit more bite and that bit more vengeance than the time before.

But I can’t. Not now. I cannot picture you again. Not for a second longer. So off your image goes, off your memory goes, back down to the recesses of my mind so I can continue on as the fully functioning adult I am pretending to be until the next time you decide to remind me that we have unfinished business. It won’t be long. You’re hammering on the door as we speak. But for right now I am resolved to keeping you out, to forcing you to break it down if you are so insistent on getting in as I am sure as I am that night follows day and day follows night that I will not be opening it for you now, I will not be welcoming you into my vision. Not today. Not right now.

Yes I am avoiding. Yes it is a pretence of the greatest proportions because what I saw is earth-shattering. And yes I know it helps nothing in the long run. But it is my choice. And right now I choose push you and your dark images away, even if only for a short while until you take my choice away and flood me with all of the emotion this memory carries.

Come Home {a poem}

You can come home now.

Don’t hide under the weight of your blanket of deceit,

Come home

To rest in the comfort of your truth.

Take that journey back to your heart.

Come home.

Come home to me.

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Image © Mariann Martland 2014