Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Scream, Shout, Let it Out

I was having drinks, sitting in someone’s quiet living room, in a circle of laid back, care free conversation with friends. The room was light and airy close to the ocean, but I wasn't quite sure. A safer place could not be imagined nor could a more comfortable way to spend, what seemed like a lovely afternoon.

Eventually the tone shifted and a nagging, pressing feeling emerged and refused to be shook off. The mood of everyone present was unnervingly altered from casual and light to secretive and knowing. Worried glances exchanged from face to face communicating something I wasn’t meant to see or information no one wanted to share.

Gradual, vague recognition crept up and a realization set in. He was here. A seeming impossibility but it made sense - he knew these people. His family was here. After all this time, silence and separation the possibility propelled my stomach into my throat and then plunged it back into place leaving a painful lump of anticipation temporarily disabling speech. The comprehension that he could, at any minute, enter the room and become a part of my line of vision set my eyes darting about, searching for some kind of warning sign or herald that would somehow assuage an unanticipated appearance.

Panic then set in. Utter terror at the thought that in this safest of places, he could suddenly be thrust into my reality unannounced and uninvited. Disjointed thoughts about everything I had left unsaid and the rage I had yet to unleash face-to-face whirled around the growing confusion of my mind.

Alarms worthy of of a DCFD station clamored in my ears as the room spun before my eyes. The previously airy space seemed to be loosing oxygen with every passing second. I couldn't understand why someone, anyone wouldn't smash one of these wall sized windows before we all lost consciousness. I had to sit down.
I fixated on the beach below, staring intently on the point at which the surf rhythmically and calmly met the shore. Taking all the effort I had to stay grounded and present before the panic overtook me completely. It was too late. I could sense him walking into the room behind me. Even though I could barely see through the distortion of the moving room, there was no mistaking him even beyond the chaos pounding behind my eyes and blurring my vision.

It wasn’t rational. I didn’t think. Fight or flight they call it? I had been fleeing this moment and these feelings and this fear for so long that the fight, the savage, overwhelming fight was the only response my swirling brain could conjure. Even so, my body seemed at once too small to contain it. The tidal wave of grief, passion and rage crashed upon me a thousand times more fiercely than I could have imagined washing away all cohesion or sense. Nothing but an echo of screams, incomprehensible noise, filled the space.

Unaware of words, unaware of thoughts, unaware of anything but the explosion of exhausting emotion and a newly discovered capacity for rage erupting from within.
Hurling every remnant of sanity, feeling and self control at him one decibel at a time. Yet, he stood there placid. He seemed infuriatingly unphased at to the emotional explosion of atomic proportions to which he was seemingly immune and I longed to return to the flight strategy of before.

As I sobbed myself awake and realized that I had been screaming to the darkness of my apartment only and that this encounter had not, in fact, been real. The rage, exhaustion, and grief, however, truly did exist in an organic, almost tangible way.

It wasn't the first such dream I had had that had managed to break through the numbing effects of the tranquilizers, the Ambien and the Merlot all meant to keep my subconscious at bay. It was, however, the last such nightmare.

Nine months ago, I realized that you can only dam up a river so long before that dam collapses and the river swallows you whole. Since then I’ve let the water out, released the pressure, taken more than several deep breaths, put on my big girl panties, dug deeper, realized more and faced my fears. All but one.

Frankly, it is for that reason I feel I’m strong enough after two and a half years for Friday night. Because Friday night, I know I will
not be dreaming when I see HIM standing in the room.

post signature

No comments: