Thursday, March 10, 2016
When the event occurs in my shrink's office, there are rarely words. Often there aren't even thoughts that I try and fail to put words to. There's just a -need-. Not a need for a certain thing — or not a thing I am aware of — just that I need something, something I don't have, perhaps something that doesn't exist in the first place. After the session, I try to write it down, explain what I remember of what happened, what I felt. Often the best I can do is recall other times I felt the same thing. Or other times I -think- I felt the same thing because my actions were the same, or because the image of that other time was in my head in the office, or comes to mind now. I like facts, hate hypotheticals, and it's frustrating, but it's the best I can manage.
Last night, after the session, I tried to explain why I had needed to stand. Because the chair was… not right, somehow. I needed to be somewhere else. Really, what I needed was to run, to go out the office door and out the front door and then… well, I don't know. And I knew, barely, at the time, that it wouldn't do any good, that I would go out the office door and it wouldn't be right, and out the front door and it wouldn't be right, and down the street, and another street, and to the river, and across the bridge. I needed to be somewhere that didn't exist, and I was barely able to hold that certainty, and so I didn't run. But I still had to stand, because my feet needed to be moving, shifting my weight from one to the other and back again, sometimes backing up a few inches, or stepping to the left. I had to do that, because it was close enough to running that I could keep myself from running, and I knew if I sat in the chair, my body would suddenly bolt without being remotely in my control, and I wouldn't want to run but I would run anyway, and I would never stop.
It wasn't an urge that started in the office, not because of something we were talking about; in fact, we hadn't really started talking about anything yet this session. It had been there all week, most of the previous week: the incessant need to be somewhere else. At work, during my mid-shift break, I would stand by the chair in the break room and not want to sit down. My feet ached, my knee ached, and eventually it was necessary, but it wasn't where I wanted to be, and it was nearly intolerable. I shut the urge off, several times a day, because in public, there are consequences for doing "crazy" things.
I tried to explain in what I wrote after the session, and my shrink replied in part, "It sounds terrifying…" The word stopped me as I read it, made me want to shake my head, because I didn't remember terror. I had made -noises- like I was terrified, but the only name for what I remembered feeling was not-rightness. No-place-ness. Burning, itching, infuriation that there's no place that's right, not right, -how- is it not right, what's not right? It's not safe. There is no place that's safe. It doesn't exist. I run toward something that looks right, or try to crawl inside, and — it's not there anymore. If I go to a place that seems safe, it stops being safe when I get there.
Because I carry within me the opposite of safety.
Safety is a fundamental particle in the mental universe. It's a quark or an electron, a building block that everything else, everything larger that has any importance, contains. Everyone absolutely has to have it. I have to have it. But I am its anti-particle. Either I am that ant-safety myself, or I contain it within me, I don't know. But either way, I feel as if I am mainly composed of anti-safety. Which means I can never touch safety. I can't exist in the same place. It's dangerous to even try, because when I reach out and touch it — and I always, incessantly, knowing better, reach out toward it — I annihilate both the safety and part of me. If anyone is close by, the shock wave could rip them apart. At the very least, it propels them away from me at breath-taking speed. Or maybe propels me away from -them-. And what if the safety isn't the place, but the person themselves? Will I obliterate them?
My core is hollow. That's how it feels. I sometimes peer over the edge, and occasionally fall in, and there's never a bottom; I always have to dig my fingernails into the wall and drag myself out, because otherwise I will fall and fall and never stop. That seems impossible. There has to be a bottom. But if the bottom is safety, and I am the opposite, then when I hit it, I destroy it, and keep falling until the next bottom, over and over, and each time I also leave a small crater in myself, crater after crater, until it feels like what's left of me is just tatters that will scatter in the wind.
It's just a metaphor. I get too attached to metaphor, and I feel like I shouldn't do that, that it's indulgent. It isn't real. But it -is- language; it's words, a story, a narrative, something my mind can clutch when there is nothing else that makes sense. It isn't real, but perhaps it's close enough to truth for now. It's not safety itself, but perhaps it's at least a buffer, something that neither matter nor anti-matter will destroy, that will allow me to exist in the same room as the safety I crave, will even allow me to reach, to press my fingers against the smooth glass of the metaphor without having to worrying about who or what I might obliterate.