August 9th - Week 16
There it is again, this feeling. This time is going to overwhelm me.
My heart was beating as if I had just run a marathon. But I was sitting in a chair, motionless for the past 5 minutes. The feeling approached gradually, anxiety in my stomach as if I was slowly approaching the top of a roller coaster. Then all at once, it had encompassed everything. I knew I had a choice. Surrender to it, give up control, jump into the abyss. Or fight it. Grab a piece of reality and hold on to it. Although I wanted to surrender, I was still too afraid. I looked at my partners and they weren’t with me in this feeling.
I need them, I can’t do this on my own.
I fought the feeling. Repeating in my head over and over “I’m so scared. I’m so scared.” The words served to tie me to reality. All I could manage to do was walk over to my brother, and grab his hand, and repeat aloud “I’m so scared.” He was worried about me, he understood what I was going through, but he wasn’t there with me. I glanced over towards my Dad for the first time since the feeling emerged. Immediately as I caught his gaze I knew he was with me, the look in his eyes was unmistakable. He was feeling what I was feeling. We held each other gaze in silence for what felt like hours, but in reality, was probably just a few minutes. The few words we spoke went like this;
“Are you feeling this?”
“Have you ever felt it this intense?”
The words we thought but kept to ourselves were more telling of what we were feeling.
“Are we going to be ok?”
“Are we losing our minds?”
As the feeling began to subside I looked down at my hands, they felt so strange, almost fake. I questioned if I was still the same person I was 10 minutes ago, or if something had drastically changed. I felt different, that was for sure. Over the next 3 hours, we talked about that feeling. As I talked about it, I began to realize that this overwhelming fear had a valid basis.
Fear that I was putting my life out to the public to be criticized. Fearing everything I had ever done in my past, fearing that I didn’t even really know what I had done in my past. Most of my life is repressed, cut off from conscious awareness. And some parts that I do remember I wish I could forget, times I acted inhumanly and evil. I spent years of my life in the depths of depression, not because of some neuroanatomical defects but because I chose to. I chose to punish myself. I believed I was not worthy of love. I have done evil things in the past therefore I must be evil. An evil person doesn’t deserve love, doesn’t deserve anything good.
I could have gone to my grave with these things buried in my unconscious. But I am choosing to uncover these things. Having faith that they will help me be a better person. Reliving these terrible memories, in order to learn from them, and hopefully forgive myself.
The biggest fear of all. That one day I will wake up and remember something so horrible, even I can’t forgive myself.