Friday, August 6, 2010

Where I Am

Personal history is both brief and infinite.  Each moment a butterfly effect.

Today I am in Program recovery though I don't go to enough meetings, nor consistently enough.  Somewhere along the path of trauma, desperation for hope gave way to a folded-in numbness.  To get oneself to a meeting does seem to require a felt sense of need.  That will to survive that kicks in whereby we drag ourselves across the desert with parched lips to find that drink of cool water instead of just laying down to wait for death.  

I am in the latter category.  Mind paralysis.  Limbo.  Waiting for death but perhaps secretly somewhere deep and buried within, the wish for water to come to me.  I have dragged myself across that desert one too many times only to find there was no water.  

Spending years trying to save a child, the extended torture of watching their self-destruction and feeling powerless to stop it, it leaves a primal tear in the will to live.  Nearly the whole woman is designed and wired to carry out the care of her off-spring and in failing to do successfully, what is there left?  

That concept may rankle some women (maybe men too, who knows).  We are, after all, an evolved species aren't we?  With as much desire for independence and purpose and personal creation as to make babies?  Don't women who choose to not have children find fulfillment?  I don't know that I want to wrestle with the argument of life's purpose.  What I know and believe is that what we are biologically wired for is inherent with tension in opposition to personal happiness. In other words, our happiness is often in opposition to the function of the species. We start out life being driven by our primal needs -- needs that are not meant to ultimately serve the individual, but rather the survival of the species.  We continue to be driven by them into adolescence and adulthood, largely at an unconscious level.  

Eventually, for some, not being satisfied with the results, if we're lucky we find ways to transcend the wiring.  

Sorry for the clumsy lesson in anthropology/biology.  Where was I? 

Oh yes, lying in the desert somewhere.

I don't think I'm literally waiting to die, that's just a metaphor.  But in some ways that's also the truth.  I've been helpless to reverse my automatic response to trauma after trauma, which is a gradual shutting down and shutting out.  The allowance of thought, any thought, can too easily lead to anxious thoughts.  

It's not that there isn't plenty of life out there beyond these dunes.  And since this is a metaphor and not real life, I do actually do some stuff.  I'm writing this blog, I take photographs, on a good day I might go for a swim, and I drag myself despite myself to social events if I've been expressly invited.

It's just that with this hole in my heart the size of Texas, the primal tear in the fabric of my purpose, I haven't yet figured out how to derive joy from other things.  Everything has gone flat - like I was dropped through a worm-hole and landed in a 2-dimensional cardboard universe.  Few things cause the scenery to flesh-out.

I figure my only way back is by learning how to grieve with grace.   Or possibly medication.

One of those.


  1. You *are* writing this blog. And we are reading it, gratefully, sometimes smiling, sometimes wincing, as you carry us with words into your story.

    Truly, sometimes we seek God through prayer and medication. I've been on enough different pills, I should know. There's no shame in it, and sometimes amazing relief...and the ability/energy to start rebuilding our lives after betrayal and trauma.

  2. It will be another several weeks before I can realistically align the planets to see someone about medication, and heaven knows how much longer before I can make peace with some form of HP.

    For now, the writing helps.