I cannot hold on to old humiliations. I cannot let them seep into present-day interactions with friends, colleagues or my spouse.
When I write these thoughts and feelings, they startle me with their power. They frighten me by their power. I cower and writhe under scrutiny from their power.
Sunday evening, I fell prey to that might. My defences were down. Stress and defeat had tired me out. Suddenly, I was hit by an onslaught of subconscious memories. The sting of a fresh welt. A creaking bed. Stepfather grating my nerves raw. Laughing. My cheeks flushing hotly over an issue of class. Strange men having sex with me, while I flip a coin on death and life, hovering high in a corner, where wall met ceiling.
I cannot hold on to the critical voice with the tongue of a scalpel. In it lies a deadly intention to beat me down, bone-by-bone, and mash my guts into a bloody scene.
I cannot hold on to or partake in the resulting soup, or the excited gossip upon word of my death.
I cannot hold on to other people’s pain or my own. It lives deeply within me in a sacred space, a secluded cove, where I sit sometimes on the shore. To honour it, I am aware as I breathe. I allow love and the deep respect I feel to envelop me. I send healing thoughts and good energy to all those friends I love and cherish.
I cannot keep anything I have or will witness today, tomorrow, or next week. Simply put, my body cannot hold it. In all aspects of my physical and emotional being, I must let it move through me and wash over me.
I cannot hold on to stewing in it and allowing it to drag me backwards and down.
I can hold on to crying and making room for implosion, the depressive inward crumple, that keeps and kept me safe during crucial hours the other night.
I can hold on to keeping my hands busy writing, especially when they are itching and aching to do self-harm.
I can hold on to fighting these old habits, that are visceral and so magnetic during an emotional crisis.
I cannot hold on to neglecting myself, becoming lax with self-care. I know this but sometimes forget. I get so caught up in my busy-ness that I hear a low whirring sound in my head, a clamouring for attention that will only shut up when I collapse and get sick.
I can hold on to the nebulous scrap of self-restraint I found within me. I can fuel and nurture my body so I have enough energy to find that backup generator and fight against my panic and fear.
I can hold on to the written word and its continuous flow. Those syllables birth sentences that inhibit or free, but what matters most is the act of outpouring. Held captive by writing, I stayed safe into daybreak, when exhaustion halted all self-berating, cold.
I can hold on to knowing that I always try my best. I really do and often over think issues while trying to do so.
I can hold on to my belief that God knows every speck of light and love that embodies my person.
I can hold on to the hope that help will come. It will become easier to show the person I am through my eyes and actions, especially in a crisis when all words falter and I want to self-harm.