March 26, 2010


Everyone has her threshold for pain.  I like to think I don't have one, that I can endure anything life puts me through.  Sometimes, I even trick myself into believing it.  I look back and see that I endured spinal surgery and five unmedicated labors & deliveries.  I endured countless emotional and psychological traumas over the years, and yet, I'm not dependent, invalid, or in jail.  Surviving strengthens a person, but it can also skew her perspective of her own mortality.  That's dangerous.  Kind of like the risks associated with a "no-pain disorder," only in the head.  Or, if you prefer an adage or admonishment, "Pride goeth before the fall."

All of this "I-can-endure-anything" is a bunch of malarkey.  Smoke and mirrors executed by an acute (and disproportionate) sense of responsibility and capability.  "I endure, because I have to, so I will."  Mind over matter.

Dad, I'm so, so sorry, but there are times when I just CAN'T suck it up.  When I get the wind knocked out of me, I can't breathe.  I've got to stop for a minute and recover.  I can't keep going.  I don't WANT to keep going.  I just want some relief.

Sparring.  Being pushed to the absolute limit of my endurance, for the match.
And childbirth.  Pushing myself to the end of myself, for the preservation of purity.

Ironic that it's easier for me to endure the body's greatest natural transformation, yet the challenges of the affected mind bring me to my knees, begging for mercy.

I can't endure.  I can't, I can't, I can't.

Does anyone know what it's like to be unable to sit in your own skeleton, in your own skin, and simply tolerate existing?  Can you imagine a world with no silence?  Can you imagine that little red devil sitting on your shoulder, yapping in your ear hour after hour about all the crappy things you've done, all the crappy things you're doing, and all the crappy things you will do in the future, no matter how hard you strive in the opposite direction?

It's worse than being chained to your fate.  Hypothetically speaking, Fate would be certain, unalterable, and real.  In this case, "Fate" is a concept that has absolutely no basis in reality at all.  As a matter of fact, it's a sick fantasy of a person's most grotesque failures come to pass, complete with the self-abuse, self-punishment, and self-loathing that goes along with it.


But I know the reason for all this nonsense is my body's realignment to support this little child inside, various systems are burdened and overburdened, and my poor brain can't hit her stride.  Perfectly good explanation.  I'm aware I'm for the majority irrational.  I'm acutely aware the voices are phantoms, and the real behaviors that result are inappropriate and extreme.  No one is bad.  No one is hopeless.  No one hates me or should hate me.

But knowing does not take the pain away.  Knowing does not make it a bit easier.  Knowing and experience and responsibility can not give me what I need to get through this.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that what we can tolerate changes as we age. Things that once bothered us don't, and the same is true with the opposite.

    I think sometimes we endure because of what it would do to others if we didn't. We don't want to be the source of pain, even if sometimes it's unavoidable.

    "Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy baby!"--Boxcar Bertha

    ---Dan Weston