To be precise, I've been feeling like shit that has been sitting in the gutter for a week and is pretty much a gobby mess of stink and not much else. Barely a coherent mass but what is there is not anything you'd want to, like, touch.
I think I probably posted something about this a long time ago but that was when I was still only about half online that is some vital part of me was out wandering around someplace that was very very very very far away from here and now.
I'm less absent these days or that is I guess those dissociated and exiled parts of me are back for the most part which is good in that one feels more alive when more of one is present to be living but on the other hand whatever anesthetic effect my flight had is gone now so, well.
But so the story is this: in fourth grade I found that Jack Chick tract called "The Beast." It was on the floor or windowsill or someplace equally random in my classroom and I being the obsessive reader I have always been, picked it up and brought it home.
I've mentioned this recently, I think too, but I found the thing confusing and frightening so I showed it to my mom and she said we could go through it together so I sat next to her in the big rocking chair and we went through it page by page and she basically said maybe the details weren't exactly as they were going to be but that, yeah, the tract was telling the truth and that as long as I was not saved I was bound to be left behind after the rapture.
You don't really want to see it--trust me--but if you feel brave, take a look. In fourth grade I would have been 8 and then 9. I don't recall what the time of year was when I found this thing.
I was a literal-minded kid. The mobile guillotines I thought were probably depictions of the form of my eventual salvation--only if one is martyred for not wearing the mark of the beast can one be saved after the rapture. That part might not be clear from what is written in this particular tract.
In Trauma and Recovery, Dr. Judith Herman writes that children normally internalize a figure that is benevolent, loving, and comforting, and that as adults we normally are able to soothe ourselves through the agency invested in this figure.
Survivors of long-term abuse do not have this internal figure. I had no idea that anyone else had such a figure until I read the sentence in which she describes it. What I have instead is a constant dialog between what could be my ego, when it has the energy to make a stand on its own, and a voice of condemnation and loathing. When I find myself in a situation where I need comfort, there is no one home inside of me and so I find myself alone in a way that, I gather, adults who were not abused as children don't experience?
I don't know, actually. I cannot imagine what it is like actually to have a friendly 'other' in one's internal dialog. Mine is either hostile or absent. Feeling good is, to me, an experience of reprieve from the internal bombardment of abuse, and is always time-limited. I mean, I could look at it the other way, but I feel like I spend more time with the hostile figure than I do alone.
One reason I seek out solitude so avidly is that it seems the safest way to be. When I am left alone I can experience a kind of peace, at least. My internal experience is that it is better to be alone than with my usual interlocutor. And talking to others--as in other people, the breathing ones living outside of my head--is always a risk and in some ways the better I know someone the riskier it is. I cannot always bear that amount of uncertainty. My room has been my refuge for most of my life.
So I've been in my room.