There’s a particular psychic pain that comes over me that’s so familiar that it feels like part of my DNA. I know, cognitively, that this cannot be so. But when something triggers it, I feel as if I am nothing but emotional pain. It’s not enough to crumble me, I’ve learned over the years to keep moving, keep functioning, through it. But it stops me internally in ways that I find hard to describe.
It’s like a blockade, I suppose. I’m moving in a certain direction and something triggers the pain and then on the outside it looks like I’m moving forward, but inside I’m just trying to find my way around this huge stone wall that has a personality as much as a presence.
The worst part of the pain is that along with feeling blockaded from forward motion, I also feel mocked. I hear a constant stream of some internal voice telling me that I brought this on myself, and that I could easily leave it behind if I would leave behind X or Y or Z element of my life. Usually the trigger arises from that element of my life, and the voice says if I’d let go of that element of my life, the blockade would be gone.
It’s a seductive promise. It says, give up this, and you’ll get lasting inner peace. But the rules change without warning; and underneath, the triggers keep tripping, and the voice keeps mocking, and the wall keeps blockading.
So I resist. I won’t give up that thing that held the trigger that tripped today. I may give it up at some point – but I won’t give it up to mockery, to blockading stone walls, to pain. I won’t give up something that I’m not done with, just because my inner demons won’t shut the fuck up.
Right now it’s a draw. I won’t give up what I won’t give up; and the blockade continues, the mocking voice taunts, and the trigger has become a different kind of weapon. It’s a whip that won’t stop mauling.
But I won’t give up. I don’t surrender to bullies. Not even when they are inside of me.
This sounds so dire. If you saw me, spoke to me, interacted with me, right now as I’m typing, you wouldn’t notice anything amiss. And that’s not entirely because I’m a good actor, from years of practice with this inner foe. It’s partly because I know, somewhere deep down inside, that the answer isn’t in the mocking, the blockading, or the hair-trigger response to small things that take me to a very bad place. The answer is in this. It is in looking at the wall and naming it. The answer is in calling the mocking, taunting, seductive, lying voice what it is. The answer is in saying that the trigger is a trigger, and I’m walking through a very old emotional mine field.
I’m fortunate. I live in the world of the emotional, rather than the real, minefield. When I walk across my inner landscape, though, I know from experience that parts of me get obliterated. And at some point you can’t regrow once more what the stress of that inner battle destroyed. At some point the healing, the recovery, the return to wholeness, contains wounds and scars.
But tonight I know that it isn’t real, that stone wall. I know that it isn’t telling the truth, that voice. And I know that those triggers placed around my psyche waiting for me to trip over them so they can jab me when I fall on my face – those triggers are old, old, old. The more ragged and deeper the pain, the older the trigger. And the older the trigger, the less words matter. It’s all about finding that indescribable inner sanctuary and going there and shutting out all the rest.
If you’re inside my head and you’re telling me I can’t move forward, you’re wrong. If you’re inside my head and you’re mocking me, judging me, taunting me, you’re wrong. If you’re inside my head and you’ve decided that I don’t deserve to feel whole inside my body, you’re wrong.
Sanctuary – here I come.