On the turning away

Been pondering my turning away from life lately.

Anyone can see that my depression has made me turn away from the world. Lately I have learned to catch myself in the act of doing it and can feel the very specific emotional reaction that I am calling my own “turning away”.

Have I done the rubber ducks thing yet? It’s like rubber ducks.

Rubber ducks floating in the water like in some kind of carnival game. And when I try to contempklate expanding my little world, those little duckies turn to the wall and silently cry and that means I can’t do it.

Lately, this image in my mind has come with a single word : “No. ”

No, I won’t do it.. I won’t look. Leave me alone. No, no, no. I hear it in a childlike voice. But it’s not said in a tone of defiance or even anger or fear.

It’s closer to a tone of despair. Not the wailing and the gnashing of the teeth kind. The voice of someone who has literrly given up and can do nothing but wait for the bad thing to go away.

And it’s quite clear to me where this voice comes from : the sexual assault I endured when I was but three or four years old.

That’s what made me turn away from the world for good. When it was happening, I did what millions of other sexual assault survivors did and took my mind away. I de-focused my inner vision until everything was a blur and denied reality as hard as I could.

No. this isn’t happening. No, this isn’t real. No, no. no. I’m going to go far, far away by going deep, deep inside myself. I am going to retreat into a little box inside myself, even though I have to make myself very small to do so, and all that empty space I leave behind will be filled with hard cold ice to protect me from the horrors of reality.

And from that point on, I have been in that little box, looking out at the world from deep inside myself, a tiny child trying to operate a large body and deal with the realities of life while deeply insulated from reality.

No wonder I am so awkward.

And here I sit at 44 years of age, 45 in a couple of months, and I am still in that little box. Still keeping the world at bay, still dealing with life through thick layers of protective ice, still fundamentally rejecting reality unless it comes to me in the sort of safe, media-based way I can handle.

And that means I have been mostly dead inside for a very long time. Most of my life, in fact. Nothing can live in such icy conditions. I am profoundly number, and I keep myself that way because I am so afraid of what happens when I come to life and have to deal with the memories of being raped when I was a preschooler.

That is, in effect, the answer to why I can’t do some things even though my vision issues are not an issue at all. [1] The real answer is “because that would involve dealing with more reality than I can safely handle without waking the demon sleeping in my soul and waiting to annihilate me. ”

I feel quite cold inside as I write this. That’s fine. I have come to accept this kind of inner chill is a good thing, a sign that I am pushing someof that god damned ice out of myself and onto the page or my therapist’s ears.

Like a glacier calving, I birth my ice and let the bergs drift south and melt. I have no idea how many of them I have in me. PResumably one hell of a lot. And so I don’t know how long the process is going to take.

But I don’t care. Doing it makes me feel better, in the long run. And I can look to the past and see just how much lighter I am now than I was before. That confirms that this is, indeed, a thing worth doing.

And it’s not like I have anything better to do.

And I know that underneath all that ice and snow and deeply dead dirt, I am still alive. I love, I grow, I gather strength, I improve, and with every day and every blog entry or therapy session, I get closer to healing my damaged soul and being able to havbe that long delayed springtime of the soul, where the waters flow free and the flood comkes and goes and when it is all over, the land will awaken and life will start again.

I can clearly feel how assiduously I have kept reality at an entire Shiva’s worth of arms lengths away and relied on my thick wall of numbness to keep the world at bay.

It’s like when reality comes calling, I slip away and let my ice shield take the hit instead. Which might sound good, but when you realize that this means I never actually deal with any problems, you begin to see what a bad thing it is.

I’d be far better off if I just met my problems head-on and solved them right away. But I am just not the kind of person. Not yet.

There’s still too much “no” in me. A lot of me still wants to hide away from everything. To disappear completely so I don’t have to deal with anything any more. SOmetimes even my tiny life as I am living it now seems like too much to handle and all I want to do is go away and never come back.

Those are thee bad days. The dqays when even getting out of bed to play Skyrim seems like too much work.

But I press on through my half-chilled days, looking for that door… into spring.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. And how much of my eyesight problems are actually psychological, I wonder?

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