Drowning in an oasis

Feeling the parts that were never felt, seeing what I wished would be seen, feels like playing death in reverse. Picking up the pieces and galvinating on the crime scene feels like the air is dry and the sun is scorching and a migraine is coming on. I look around for a shade to retreat to, and it’s nothing but desert as far and wide as my eyes can see. Why did I come back here? The place I was abandoned, what would it hold except the relegated parts of me? I snuff out any inkling of hope because the air carries a foul stench, a potpourri of everything that ever hurt me. I just want to go. Forget myself. Wait out the rest of my life in nescience. I close my eyes, begging to fall asleep so that these senses can be dulled. But nothing. My awareness only sharpens.

That’s been my curse. Like waking up in the middle of a surgery, paralyzed but otherwise fully aware. No matter how you try, you can’t get the attention of the doctors and you lie there in unimaginable agony, wishing you could black out – death or unconsciousness, whichever comes easier.

Being handicapped from my experience while unable to communicate my handicap often gives rise to a sense of panic that reminds me of the time I almost drowned as an 11 year old. The irony is that my uncle was looking straight at me, his feet dangling off the bridge, laughing at my flailing arms and splashing, thinking I was playing. I had never feigned drowning so I don’t know why he’d think it was a game. Fortunately, just as I was losing consciousness a boy a few years younger than me noticed I was drowning, and he dove in and fished me out. I was coughing up so much salt water that had gotten in my lungs. I was in a daze for the rest of the day. No one comforted me, which I needed more than the blanket and hot chocolate I was given. I just wanted a reassurance of life. That if anything were to happen again, I wouldn’t go out not being taken seriously. But of course, that reassurance never came so instead I stopped taking myself and my life so seriously.

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