My own hand, with pen in place, bushwhacks through my psyche - Terry Tempest Williams
The other day, my anxiety showed. Sitting in my office, I felt it creeping up, up, up through my ribcage and out my nose in bursts of borrowed air. My cheeks felt hot and looking in the mirror I saw a burdened complexity - eyes haunted with questions, nose turned up with the scent of fear, chest rising and falling in quick spasms.
Thirty minutes before, I walked through the kitchen to refill my water and laughed at my husband as he slapped the back of my shorts. Standing in the bathroom, that moment seemed unreachable.
All it took for the shift was a question to fall through the barriers of my mind. A trigger if you will. I felt dizzy, as if I were an outsider looking in on my life.
I pushed the tips of my fingers against my eyelids and fought the tears. I didn't want to cry.
I still don't.
Sometimes, I'm amazed at my heart's tenacity. Sometimes, she prods deep and never lets go and works to get to the next level - sweating and grunting and thriving alongside my soul.
Sometimes, I feel her crouched in the corner, timid as all get out because of something we saw or heard or felt.
Those are the moments I feel her the most - pulsing against pain decades deep.
Sometimes, I want to forget.
I want to shut it down - all of it - and go about my life.
Sometimes, I wonder if it's only me.
But I know statistics and I know Brene Brown and I know silence breeds silence....
...so what of the silence I hear from those who should be screaming the loudest?
In Rwanda, they say a person's silence can be heard as a lion's roar - Terry Tempest Williams
I was 28 before I could scratch the word fuck in my journal and not feel intense shame in writing out how I felt. I'd never felt so free. I sat there, tears streaming down my face, writing the words down that my heart screamed from her corner -
i just want someone to fucking fight for me.
I needed it. I needed to remember there were people who stood up for me, people who spoke out on my behalf, people who fought for me consistently. And even more important, I needed to hear the sigh of One who knows. I needed to feel Him hold me close and whisper in my ear that He understood. Needed him to tuck his finger under my chin and pull my face toward those moments where He fought for me every.single.time.
A few months ago, I ate dinner with some friends and I told them the story and we all laughed about it.
"How cute," one of them said, patting my hand.
The other one pursed her lips, nodding. "Yeah. Our Elora's growing up before our eyes."
I bit into a piece of ice and glanced at her, thinking to myself you're ten years younger than me....
Sometimes, I feel as if I'm my heart's harshest censor.
What is the gesture of a woman's hand covering her mouth? What is the gesture of a woman's hand covering her mouth with her eyes wide open? - Terry Tempest Williams
Sometimes, I'm so tired of the fear that keeps me quiet.
I rely on facial expressions to speak for me :: chin pushed out, eyebrow raised, my lower lip sucked inward - the tells of my own censorship. I feel Him moving inside me - feel Him pushing me to just speak it already - to name the thing and bring it out into the light. I sense His frustration, the righteous indignation of a quiet hurt gone sour with age and infection.
Williams' says that for a woman, to find her voice requires a betrayal. I know this. I feel this. I see this.
My hand quakes at the keys and I breathe in fast, the anxiety peeking his head around the corner - waiting. Watching.
Sometimes, I wonder if they'll ever understand the intricacies of living as an enigma.
Sometimes hiding; sometimes worrying; always censoring.
I push my hair out of my eyes and glance toward the blue button on the top of the screen.
Sometimes, hitting publish is the rarest form of courage.