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Monthly Archives: July 2012

I heard the door open and turned my back to it.  The cold draft from the hall swept through the room and I nestled even deeper into the covers.  I was annoyed at being disturbed from my slumber and eager to get back to the timeless oblivion of sleep. 

Her footsteps were light and quiet, but they irritated me all the more.  I wanted her to leave me alone.  But I knew she wouldn’t.  She never did. 

“Get out.” I said.

“No.  I am not going anywhere.”

I didn’t answer.  Mainly because I knew she was telling the truth – she would sit here and wait indefinitely, damn her – but also because I hoped she’d not disturbed me so much that I couldn’t go back into that dream world and lose myself again.  

No such luck.  She came over to the bed and sat down carefully on the edge. 

God damn her.  She was going to pull me out of this nothingness and back into life. 

All the sudden I was furious. Anger surged through me though I tried to ignore it and stay in my cocoon.  But I could hear her breathe and the sound of it infuriated me.

Why can’t she just leave me alone and mind her own business? I thought.  I feel better now than I did.  What is it about her that messes everything up? Why won’t she just LET ME BE???

Of course, I knew the answer.  It was her job.  She could no more leave me alone than I could stop breathing.  She would wait and wait and wait.  And when she could not wait anymore, she would do it anyway. 

I concentrated on my breathing trying to stave off my anger – and extend my hibernation.  And then I felt her hand stroke my hair.

DON’T TOUCH ME

Yet, even as I snarled at her, I knew I wanted to grab her and hold her tight.

She stood up and backed away carefully, her hands in the air as if I’d pulled a gun on her. I really did not know why I put her through this whole rigmarole.  We’d done this before… many times.  But this was a process and it had to be followed. She understood that better than I. 

All I felt was raw emotion and pain. The other had worked me over good. I did not know how long I had been hibernating this time.  There was really no way to know.  Time does not exist in this part of the mind. 

“Why don’t you leave me alone, you meddling BITCH??”

And with that the dam of internalized venom over flowed and spewed out of me in a turbulent, vitriolic vomit.

I struggled to my feet as rage kidnapped all my senses.  I could feel it pouring in hot tears from my eyes, hear it ringing in my ears, taste its bitterness and smell the stink of sweat and fear radiating off me. Yet I seemed blinded, or at least unable to comprehend the little I could see, as I stumbled around the room.

I fell into the desk and wiped all my beautiful research onto the floor and stomped it. 

I cursed myself and, eventually, God for my existence.

All the while she watched.  Tears ran down her face, but no sound escaped her lips.  She allowed me the release unmolested and without judgment.

And then, after the rage had hollowed me out and left me trembling, I fell to my knees and began my confession.

Only then did she come to me.  She knelt next to me and stroked my hair.  I grabbed her around the waist and held on with everything that was in me as the sins and guilt tumbled from my lips into her lap. 

She had heard it all before, I knew.  But this was a process.  One I had to go through over and over and over, apparently. 

When I was done, she rose in front of me, seeming to drift out of my grasp effortlessly, and pulled me up with her.  She led me over to the couch, sat me down and produced a basin and cloth from nowhere.  As she bathed my face, neck, shoulders and hands, the last remnants of rage, pain and sorrow eased and then left me.  My head that had been pounding stilled; my throat, sore from curses, healed; and my eyes, burning and swelling with hot pain, cooled and abated. 

“Now.  That is over.” She said.  “Better?” And I smiled.

I looked over and saw my desk had been restored.  My research carefully stacked again, just as I had left it before, I was sure.  The entire area was clean and ready for me – as if by magic.

“Why?” I asked.  She simply shrugged in response. 

There really was no need for her to tell me. I knew everything she knew. 

Just as I needed the other’s torment, I needed her healing.  Maybe one day I would reach a point where the other did not come.  Maybe one day I would not need either of them.  But for now I did. 

The other is gone – at least for now.  Only you can decide if and when she comes back.  Maybe she won’t.  I do not know.  What I do know is that you have to come out now.  You cannot hide in there forever waiting for time to take the reigns out of your hands. Then it will be too late and you will bear the blame for it.  And from what I have seen and heard from you, you don’t need any more guilt.  You have enough as it is, don’t you think?”

She kissed my cheek and all of the guilt, fear, blame and doubt blinked out of me.  All of the sudden, I did not know how I felt. 

I just was – and it was wonderful.

She went to the door but turned to me as she opened it. 

“I have told you this before.  I am telling you now.  And I will tell you again if you need me to – you are forgiven.”

And with a slight wisp, she was gone.

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I sat at the desk with all my research around me.  My fingers itched and my mind raced.

I had carved out a bit of time and was looking to use it to my best advantage. I wanted to do something I could be proud of.  Mentally I checked in with all the outside forces that could pull me away from my task.  Everything was in order – or as much in order as was necessary  – and I took a deep breath. 

I was safe. I was happy. I had made it.

The bed behind me beckoned a bit, trying to coerce me back to its warm obliviousness, but I was only slightly tempted and refocused myself. 

I didn’t have a clue where to begin, but I was about to find out where the beginning was. It was right here.  This is how it started.  And I smiled, inspired by that knowledge.

My moment of excited contentment was as brief as it was satisfying.

A stirring in the corner caught my attention at the very last second.  My stomach clenched and dropped immediately. 

“Dammit! I had been so very close this time,” was the only thought I had time for before I heard the laugh I already knew was coming. It was cruel and heartless… and familiar.

“Hmmmmm… Just what exactly do you think you are doing?” she asked.

I didn’t answer.  I was not allowed to speak.

She stood up in the corner.  She was much taller and stronger than me.  She was much more beautiful, as well… but in a leering, jeering way.  I had a hard time looking up at her.  She was terrifying. She spoke only truth, but her eyes flashed with sinister intent.  She knew her job and she was good at it. 

“Remember!” she said.

Oh, I did. I never forgot. Not really. I had just been doing a decent job of ignoring it all lately. 

“Getting a bit big for those britches, aren’t we? Starting to believe some of those lies you tell others? Starting to think you have something worthwhile to say?? Forgetting is what you are doing.  We both know I am always right and no one else matters. Here, darling, let’s remember exactly who and what you are, shall we?”

Her contempt was palpable – and, oh, so bitter to taste.  I felt I would choke on it.

My faced burned with humiliation and embarrassment. I bowed my head, but pleading and explaining would be useless… not that I wouldn’t try before it was over, though.  I sank to the floor in a puddle of self-loathing.

She smiled a beautiful, horrible smile and, at her bidding, the memories play out in front of me, each more painful than the last. 

She was at my side forcing my attention… taunting and crooning… her voice almost sweet: 

That is what you are really like (screaming and drama)… That is what your true character is (lying and cheating)…. That is just how smart you are (failing and losing).” She said, following along with the ghostlike images playing before me.  “This is why you cannot forget (mother).  This is how well you manage (daughter). You cannot ever hide it (the ER). You stink of it (the men).  I am always watching (the psych ward).  I will always be here to remind you (countless therapists). There is no escape (the jail cell).”

I suppose she believes she is doing me a favor by keeping me in check. And if you could see the failures, sins and wrongs she shows, you may very well agree with her.  Certainly I do by the time she is done.  She gives proof to validate every doubt and fear I have ever had. 

And, as always, she reminds me that only she knows me.  And if there ever were anyone else who really knew me they would see me the same way she does – pathetic, stupid, manipulative, unworthy. There is nothing I can do about it.  There is no running from it and no redemption is possible.  She will always be there to judge and punish. 

Ah, she is enjoying herself now and there is no stopping her.

Any feeble attempts to defend myself or protest her harshness are immediately slapped down.  There is no defense.  Haven’t I learned anything from her?  It doesn’t matter what others have done or if they have done worse.  My crimes are not to be weighed against anything outside or against anyone else’s.  Others are not her concern.  No repentance matters and no absolution will be given.  Atonement is impossible and she revels in my damnation.

Once she is sure I am stripped down and firmly back in my place, she loses some of her edge.  A bit of spite is replaced by pity. She almost seems to care about me. A part of me thinks this is worse, but most of me doesn’t give a damn anymore. 

Just let it be done and over. I look longingly at the bed in the corner, my earlier excitement and contentment utterly forgotten.  I will do as she says and forget my ambitions. I knew I would as soon as I heard the slightest sound from her.  They were silly anyway and easily abandoned again. 

Finally, after what seems like forever, I am allowed to take what she gives me and crawl into the bed.  I am too tired to cry.  I am too empty to feel.

Her work complete, she whispers a final warning and promise, strokes my hair and retires out of my consciousness as I happily sink into glorious oblivion.

Her grin fades like the Cheshire cat’s, but even in my unsettled sleep I know she is there waiting… and I shiver. She will be back.  It is the one thing I am sure of.; it is the one thing I know…then, blissfully, there is nothing else.