Twice yesterday, i went to take a step that i couldn’t take… my ankle simply does not bend the way it once did. It’s been broken in too many spots and while it is healed… it will never be quite the same.
What struck me as so profound about those two moments when i nearly fell, when i let out a yelp… was not the pain or near tumble. What was more palpable was the fear. The fear that comes when we have experienced a pain or suffered damage and we know what it feels like and we fear feeling it again.
A form of mild PTSD of sorts, i suppose, though i’ve no desire to trivialize PTSD.
In those moments, i was gripped by fear… fear of a remembered pain… fear of a scar reopening to become a wound once more.
i think of this today… in the quiet laziness when we both have the day off. i sit to meditate and choose to write for now instead. i need to process a bit… outside in. Bear with me.
i hear the shower start upstairs, and i smile to think of her so close and so naked… and then frown because i think of the number of times when i pull back or move sideways… from people, and even from her. i cringe at the thought of how often i react during real or imagined emotional moments (i suppose all emotional moments are imagined, aren’t they?)
And the reason why i react instinctively? Because i’ve been here before and so has she. So have we all who have ever been hurt or abandoned or damaged in any way. We fear… we avoid… or worse yet? We sometimes even preemptively strike.
The triggers are tiny – imperceptible at times. i recall a class i attended last week where we examined some of those triggering things. They feel so real… so very real… in those moments.
The moments are fleeting, but left unchecked? They tumble together into something bigger and badder than they ever need be. At least, i think so.
And so, i try as best i can to ferret them out in real time. To ask questions. To be willing to listen and willing to share.
Mostly, i struggle to remain vulnerable when my primitive brain screams “protect yourself!” because the things that go bump in my nights these days? Are just tiny furry critters if i flip on the light.
For me, then… and for her… and for all of us… to remember…
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there’s much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we know we could