Thursday, January 19, 2017

Water under the Bridge

January 19th.

You took me to your bridge two days ago so we could talk, and it's a nice bridge. We sat down by it and watched the strobing lights of cars passing by. You were laying along the branch and looking up through the clouds to the stars. I was looking over you to the water and the glitter across the surface.

We talked about many things. We talked about what we feared, what we dream, what we feel inside, what we hope for. You kept asking me what I was thinking, and this time I have more room to say what I am thinking.

My head was not in the right place all day. The morning was rough, and it was explosive, and it was unexpected, but it was important for me to go through. I have to understand that somewhere inside me are programs that run under very specific conditions. They turn on when I feel threatened by someone I love, when I cannot defend myself. They expect the pain I am feeling emotionally to become physical, and in the absence of the physical pain, something has to supply it. That something is usually me now, and not the bully, the abuser, or the malcontent.

I hurt myself not because I think I deserve it. I hurt myself because deep down I want it. I want the predictability, the expectation, the assurance that comes from the habit. Very early were these programs laid inside me, and it's taken so long to find them, learn them, understand them, and it will take some time to deprogram them.

Well, that's not quite the right language. Soothe them. Mature them. Speak to them as an adult to help them understand that we're not children hiding underneath the bed or crying alone on the roof or up the tree or by the creek. We're adults and older and more diverse with who we are, and more capable of helping ourselves no longer need the pain and the bruises to dissipate the emotional trauma.

I cried alone by the lake, on a dried up shore at the beach across the river. I ran over an ant hill over and over when I left. I wanted to run over those little colored flags the work crews leave around. I wanted to run over some nice, unnecessary lawns the wealthy people have around here. I wasn't sure what to do. I wanted to give up, go away, impale a screwdriver into my temple. I wanted to jab a pair of scissors into one of my eyes. I watched sand gnats hop by the little waves on the clay. Small rocks underneath the little waves clear out a space in the mud around them, while the rest of the softened clay and debris form their own waves beneath the water. There were no boats out on the lake. The surface was flat, and the waves of air blowing over them were like tickles for my eyes. Long chains of snot hung from my nose, little bubbles slowly sliding down them, onto my pants, blown in the breeze they fell to the ground and vanished.

The way you talk to me heals me even though you keep apologizing for talking. We talked about the stars, and it makes me wish I did know more about how to find each constellation at any time of the year. You held me and told me things were okay. And they were. They were from the start.

I know the problem is inside me. No, not 'the problem'. The confusion. If I were still under the thoughtless abuse of the bully, the programs will work just fine. They understand that that is how Reality just is, and so they prime all the right systems to fire on cue. Physical pain has to be addressed, so they get ready for the physical pain. "Okay, boys, here it comes!" But it won't come. This is an emotional struggle, and it resolves through communication, understanding, compassion, and charity. There wasn't going to be any physical pain, no matter how cutting the words are or how searing the heat of the anger —the abuse is not there. Just the old coded memories and non-conscious preparations. They are confused.

I told you that I am still eight years-old inside, and that part is very much truth. Once you set aside all the skins and masks and persons I need to get around in this culture, the boy who is the man, the boy who sometimes plays the girl, is still there and still dreaming all this. There are people who get this about me, and you are, with all your own harbored wisdom, one of those who does get it. I think that is why it's so easy for me to peel away the skins to be him again around you.

We talked about the pirates on the water, the lovers in the yellow light, the alien ship resurfacing, the cartoon door in the sky. Your imagination is so much more vivid than mine, but the brooding dragon inside knows how to set aside the wings, the claws, the smoke, and listen to the wisdom of imaginary nonsense.

I am trying to be truthful. Hiding nothing but respecting boundaries. We both said we want to do things right, without someone getting hurt, when we're not the ones who think we're hurting each other yet. But we will, if we're at all sincere in our humanity with one another. All humans betray and hurt one another in the long run, which is why promises, commitments, vows, and forgiveness are so important for growing together into something that's more than human, or beyond humanity.

I am learning how your eyes and shoulders work together. I am learning how to see the topology of your selves shift so subtly across your surfaces, when at first it seems like boredom or resistance or indifference or nervousness or skepticism.

Your words, your sensitive touch, your genuine soul, and your stellar wisdom: thank you for healing me when I needed it, and I took that healing back home and found closure as well as growth.

The water flows past my home and makes it way towards your bridge. I know now that whenever I pass by that spot near the bridge, I will think of you, us, that tree, those stars, and the water.

I know I am poly because I see how this works for me. When I am able to find and make and share connections, I am less cornered by my own isolating tendencies. The people who talk to me inside my head when I feel in my body that I just need to take this sharp object and plunge it into my flesh aren't always interested in what's going to happen afterwards, past the physical pain and the shock of the brutality. They want that release of calm that comes from the body responding to its physical cues. They are masochists for real and genuine pain because it gives them their own meaning and reason for existing, when what they think they are doing is helping me, or the system, recover from the emotions. Maybe there will come a time when they understand how to see further and further into the flesh and its sacred roots. I know, if I walk down this path with all of you, that they will come to understand this.

We cannot do it alone. I want you to understand that about me. I am not alone inside. We are different inside. We are the same outside. We are water flowing along from many streams and sources, until we return and join the great ocean and lose ourselves forever to the eventual.

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