I don’t need to understand

April 3, 2011

Christopher sits in front of me. He is angry, angry at how I’ve been, at how I talked, at how I behaved. He talks and talks and talks. An endless litany of words that push me, poke me, assault me. My mouth pressed together into a thin, angry line, my body rigid. I stare at him, unblinking, hardening with his every word. I am not angry, I am hardening my body into an armor. He doesn’t talk now and I stare at him. I will have to say something soon, he waits for me to say something. But I can’t. I am so rigid, hidden so far behind my defenses now that all I can think to say are sarcastic, angry things. Words that will push him away, that will stop his words, that will let me escape. I don’t want to say those words, I see what they are, I see what they are for, I see that they are not real. I can’t say anything that is real. I try, I look for it, I try to reach myself under the thick, hard skin, but I can’t speak it. I try and the armor tightens, It’s getting harder to breath, harder to sit still. I try to speak and the pressure strengthens. I fight against it now, against the urge to fight back, to bite, to kick, to scream, to push … I don’t want to fight. I press my lips harder together and say nothing. I can hardly stand it now. The armor is suffocating me. I need to get away but I can’t without fighting, without giving in to it, without doing what it wants me to do. I don’t want to do it, I want to stay present no matter what happens. Stay present even if only a little, even if all I can do is sit still and stare. But the pressure becomes unbearable and I hide my face behind my hands. I can’t stare anymore, I can’t look. My head is spinning, reeling in a drunken confusion. Christopher speaks, asks me if I could look at him but I shake my head, I can’t, I can’t look, I can’t stand it … he says something more but I can’t understand him now… there is a noise, a swirling, dizzying motion in my head and then suddenly something lifts, something leaves suddenly, flies away and is gone … I open my eyes – the armor, the pressure, is gone. I can be here now, I can look at him, I can talk to him. “I’m sorry” I say I don’t know what it was. I can see, looking back, how it affected me, how it changed me, but it’s gone now. Where I try to look, to see – there is nothing. It’s gone. I had an impression of my childhood, of the trauma, the national polish trauma, that I inherited at birth.It must have been something from that time, but I don’t need to know what it was, I don’t need to analyze it, I don’t need to understand. It was there, it was trying to control me, I would not be controlled, and it left. Now it’s gone, gone as though it’s never been.

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