The Magnitude of Waves
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation
with the bricks others have thrown at him”
– David Brinkley
My life in the last few years has become one of seclusion. Not total seclusion at this particular time but if that became a necessity again it would be a very easy transition. My brain already chaotic with chatter and confusion makes the simplest of tasks, in public and private, incredibly difficult. Isolation is something that I struggle with as it is a comfort zone for me and my quirkiness.
We as a human species require some form of human interaction. This also explains why so many inmates that are placed in segregation for periods of time begin to decompensate and seem to start to atrophy mentally almost immediately. And although having only limited resources within a controlled prison environment inmates will become creatively destructive just to pass the time in order to fight an internal collapse. And there are others who become creative in a way to establish their own form of “hustle” in order to survive in these institutions.
I’ve been asked several times by different people, “What do you do in there all day?” I have, in a sense, simplified (which is sometimes debatable) my life by leaning on the things I enjoy such as: listening and singing copious amounts of music; watching documentaries and reality shows; spend hours of researching different topics; reading scholarly journal articles; working on the inevitable therapeutic assignments; and writing so that my story and truth can finally be told. I also spend a lot of time locked away in a sometimes dangerous playground….the one between my ears. I, like other inmates of society, have a lot of time to think about my past, present and uncertain future for hours on end. I also get to know more every day about the inner workings of internal “teammates.”
In the wake of therapeutic activities guided by “coach” and the recent agreement of a very reluctant teen to be more compassionate with other members others are finally being heard. The issues of not being heard by others both internally and externally seems to be the general consensus throughout my system for many years. While these “parts” of me feel separate they are still all a part of me. Does this mean that I also have not been willing to listen to my parts who are still suffering? Am I also negating my own thoughts and feelings that were convincingly told to me that they were wrong no matter what? Maybe this is, in fact, a harsh reality that has been brought into the “tough love” of realization.
After lessons recently learned in therapy, I have been trying to listen intently to how each alter is doing in all facets of existence. I always knew that the crippling waves of just about any feelings were connected to these warriors. Deciphering who they belong to has been challenging to say the least. The very loud and vocal ones are not that difficult to distinguish certain connections. The ones who have been silenced seldom divulge the truth for fear of retaliation internally and externally then and now.
When it came her turn to speak this young bride with a steady stream of tears and visible anxiety begins to reveal her feelings not HIS. And soon the pressure could not be withheld and the levees were breached. The level of grief and torment I realized I never knew existed within her. Grieving was incredibly dangerous to acknowledge around him. The insults, ridicule and humiliation for her true feelings had to be buried to survive. But that’s all they were…buried not eradicated. Years of sitting in an ever expanding vat of deadly emotion being forced into submission was now boiling like hot lava. Waves of heavy, depressive emotion crawl into my guts and soul like the waves from the ocean from a very angry Hurricane Katrina. They make their way onto the land ripping precious items back out to the sea despite internal resistance. And like the destruction of these powerful forces of nature after the waves subside, you never see specifically the precious items of “self” that are missing. All you see is the destruction that of the once vile ways that humans can treat others and leave them for dead.
I look over to the still rebellious but somewhat compliant teen just to notice her reaction. Her scowls, growling and ever growing distaste for the situation was evident. I look at her with some slight form of confidence and fear to say, “Coach gave you direction for what you need to do. And now I WILL tell and not keep it secret.” I look back at the young bride and the first time with true compassion I tell her, “It’s time that you’re finally heard. Coach is anxiously awaiting your story. Use your voice. Don’t fear her. Help is here.” She being one with eating and body image issues I thought I would again try to lighten the mood. I tell her, “Don’t fear the tears because you’re losing water weight when you cry.” The destruction has been left but the rebuilding has started.