Thursday, November 8, 2012

Someone Stronger

She was still afraid of the dark. And other fears reserved for kids.

She was still a bit uneasy at shadows and creaky sounds and empty rooms and ticking clocks. She didn't watch certain films. Too close. Too much. Sometimes in the bleakness of an empty apartment and too-familiar calm, she'd imagine that one movie or that one news report a few weeks back or that awful reality that the world is unsafe and unpredictable and unfair and downright terrifying sometimes.

Alone at night, she'd remember. She'd think back to another dark time in another dark place far from home where safety was compromised and fear ruled. Where she felt isolated and alone and vulnerable (but only the awful kind of vulnerable). It was that thing that she wished had never happened. But it happened. And she'd remember. And the thickness would linger over her body like an itchy, weighted blanket that she didn't want to wear, but didn't know how to escape. She felt completely smothered in the dark.

So she sat. And thought. And washed dishes. And talked herself out of ridiculous fears and questioning the sounds above and around and beside. She distracted herself with upbeat music and cleaning and the task at hand. Anything to avoid feeling anxious. Feeling twenty years-old again. Feeling scared.

Her soul knew better (but wisdom won't shout. It's the sages and the old spirits who often whisper, until we're quiet enough to hear). And once she was calm and quiet enough to hear her own breathing, this is what she heard:

And again.
And again.
And a third time still: "Don't believe everything you think."

She found an odd amount of solace in knowing that--while her mind was her own--she'd experienced enough to know that her own thoughts and actions surprised her sometimes. That even she could never completely control her inner world. Could anyone? And it did make sense that maybe, just maybe, she could be safe even when her mind told her to cower under the blanket of fear and never come out again.

She decided that--if only for tonight--she'd be someone else. Someone fearless. Someone unscathed. Someone confident. Someone stronger. Simpler. And free.

For tonight.


Mrsklbrown said...

I resonate with this very much. Thank you for writing this.