After a weekend that was half-fretful, because Father’s Day is a huge trigger for me, which I spent distracting myself at a friend’s with board game marathons, I guess this suspended state of affairs couldn’t last.
So I’m sitting in the middle of the pavilion on the island, comfy seat actually, and I’m alone, save for Twitter, doing nothing much. Up until now I’d been either in the presence of a friend or suitably distracted (driving, blogging, trying to decide on the next book, even walking; the menial pursuits that absorb a brain).
I should never have let my hands idle while sitting in a big, empty space. Not even for a moment—a moment is all that it took, between a musing tweet and the big empty to rush in.
My mind, like many minds, actually, is an associative trap. I think I associate the big emptiness of waiting with waiting for my father to come home from work, or waiting for him to have his next big explosion. Waiting is itself a trigger. I had never realized that before. It explains so much; why being alone somewhere empty triggers me. Why I need people all around me; because they are a sort of protection, my father could only hurt me a little bit when we were in public—well, up until he decided he didn’t care, which was another thing altogether.
When I get triggered, this anxiety swallows my mind, and it’s a fight to get out of its possession. I am fighting it right now by writing. Even something as insipid as this blog post. I am so tired, so exhausted. So scared. Inside of me I beg things to just stop.
One way I used to occupy myself was with sleeping pills. Then eventually with Xanax, although you can only take so much of it. Christmas in the past I would mainline Xanax for all the days leading up to it, going through a month’s supply in two days and screaming like a maniac for more, to deaden the grasp of the thing in my head.
Very possibly the worst part of it all is that I have to face the music that this frightened, traumatized part of me, full of terror and regret and sadness, is something I must spill onto the page in order to make my writing worth anything. I write characters with traumatic pasts, but I ignore those pasts in the hopes that I can write chases and capers, light-hearted and fun, but what I need to understand is that, well, I can have my light-heartedness (after all, you may not know me, but I can be quite light-hearted at times) but there was always a debt levied by the past, and that debt needs paying.
The manner in which I dispose and fight my trauma could, in fact, traumatize me. Writing can be a trigger.
I feel like I can’t stop writing right now, because if I do the big empty will come back. I’m still fighting the terror as I write this, and it will not end just because this post stops, and I am ever running ahead of it, too aware it is behind me, and that if I stop running….
The fear is blinding me.