Halfway house

For months now, I’ve been intensely focused on being comfortable with minimal activity and noise, so I can hear the internal dialogues I’ve been evading for all my life. It’s like nails on a black board. It’s never a linear process, getting to the core. Not only because it’s not a horizontal process but a circle of layers you have to keep peeling back. But because just like the universe, the soul doesn’t have a centre. Just like the universe, the single point it started from is everywhere. So the core of someone is the non-resistant authenticity of this moment. 

It’s like I’m circling the same neighbourhood, but each time there are subtle discoveries that come to my attention. When I see the landscape fully for what it is, that’s when I can properly analyze it.

Seeing my internal landscape has been something I vehemently resist. I never wanted to be me. I was adamant that to be worth my salt, I had to serve a function. Of course, my soul retreated its resources because of my obstinacy, so I was left in a stalemate. Hearing the internal dialogues that I’ve allowed to stream to  my conscious mind, I understood why it was so god damn difficult and scary to allow the clutter to clear and noise mute. Painful.

It’s like an ASMR but instead of a comfortable tingly sensation, you get intense cramps, stabbing sensation, and burns streamed through your earphones that spread through your body, holding it in excruciating contortions. Add to that, a feeling of having your gut scooped like ice cream and instead of blood and other yucky body fluids, your torso collapse into a black hole somewhere in the universe.

Yeah. That’s what I feel the first 3 seconds after I decide to brace myself for the worst, just to release the pain spirits. Then it dissipates, as if I never was terrorized by the fear for a day in my life. As if all these years of going out of my way avoiding these spirits were in vain. It’s easy to underestimate how powerful illusions are when you’re stuck in them. It’s like being in a relationship with a deadbeat person  or an abusive person. It’s easy to look back and ask yourself what on earth you were on, holding out for such crappy treatment. But in the middle of the storm, you can’t see that because your fear and self-hate overplays the benefits of staying in your comfort zone ( better the devil you know..), and underplays the benefits of being true to yourself.

One of the recent galaxy of pain clusters has been my body dysmorphia. It’s always been there, underpinning the other gazillion issues that clouded my mind at any given moment. But as I peel back each layer and release unprocessed emotions, I see myself more clearly. The image isn’t so grainy and blurry. I don’t know why my body dysmorphia is so overwhelming and pervasive. Looking back, it’s always been there, for as long as I can remember. I can’t even imagine my life without it. Challenging the litany of self-criticism that goes off everytime I walk outside is like trying to hold my breath. I can’t stand a chance against the barrage of hatred that I unleash against myself because of the shame I feel at being seen. At how I walk, how I breathe, how my clothes look like, how my gait looks like, how slow I walk, how fat I am, how bad my stamina is, how people are probably looking out their windows gawking at my embarrassment. It sounds insane, but I can’t get a word in edgeways until I get back to the safety of my home, where I can be invisible again. It’s painful to try to understand it. It’s painful to be a spectator in this play of passionate hatred. It’s painful to fathom being without it. It’s become my safety blanket, this hatred. A justification for why I should remain under the radar. It’s why I don’t have any pictures of myself from age 14 to 25. My extreme dysmorphia has rendered me a hermit and discovering how toxic that is scares me because I don’t know anything but the hermit life. It’s toxic, yes, but it’s safe. I don’t know how to operate in a reality I don’t feel safe in. So it’s about creating an inner safe haven of sorts, to replace my smothering safety blanket.

Going with the current of the moment, wherever it may lead is one way of creating that safe haven. Learning to be ok with these feelings of embarrassment, rejection, negativity, panic.

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