Let the Words In

June 3, 2012 § Leave a comment


I’m good at harboring pain. Managing it. Putting it to work or telling it to take a break. I know my pain. Inside and out. I have control over it. I’m the boss. I set the rules. That’s what makes it bearable.

And just what makes the Other Pain unbearable. The kind that sneaks up on you in the dark. The new Pain. The fresh bruise. Like a sudden paper cut. Or getting hit by a bus. Nothing to prevent, no precautions to take, no warning. Just, boom.

I’m not so good at this Other Pain.

When the Other Pain happens, my body is momentarily stunned. I am not the kind to run screaming or break down into heaves of sobs. Instead there’s that funny buzzing in my ears, the sound of Silence coming alive. I can feel the beat of my heart and the roughness of the skin on my knuckles and the natural wetness of my eyeballs, even without tears. I become aware of my existence, and then I detach. The Other Pain breaks down the door of my soul and I quietly pack up and move away.

It’s the way I’ve dealt with Other Pain since I was a little girl. It’s a method, a plan of action. An ingrained neural pathway.

Then other defenses start kicking in. The if-you-pretend-it-didn’t-happen-and-carry-on-normally-it-didn’t-happen thing. That’s a favorite of mine.

Tonight though, my defenses were at a loss. They were strewn across the battlefield of my mind like fallen soldiers. Brave in the name of duty. There was confusion, disarray. Other Pain was winning. Not boasting or bragging about it, but most definitely winning. What do we do? What do we do? You lose, I think. That’s what you do. You surrender. You hold up a little white flag and give it a wave and say, we fought real hard, boys and girls. We gave it our all.

It’s in these moments I remember that no matter how careful I am, or how many cracks in the sidewalk I gracefully glide over, or how efficiently I store and manage and nurture that Pain I Know Well, I sometimes, sometimes have to truly feel. Admit that someone has made me feel. Admit there’s no turning back from the feeling, no denying it didn’t happen.

I force myself to read the words and let them in. Let them bury into my soul and rest for the night. Maybe several nights. Reread. Let my head fall into my hands.

It hurt me.

I miss him. 


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