Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Primal Scream

In my last post, I mentioned that I was going to find a secluded spot and give in to my need or urge to scream, something my therapist thought might help me to loosen the lid on long repressed feelings. Well, I did. And I didn't.

I did not find that secluded spot, but I did scream. I screamed and I screamed while driving in the hills. At the time, though, it felt like the only things loosened were my fillings, as I ended up with a headache and a slightly sore throat.

My therapist says the headache is a symptom of very deep and repressed emotions from my childhood. She may be right. I do know that after my screaming I also had a desire to rant, or to borrow the name of a 1990s band, rage against the machine.

What came to mind was part rant, part rap, part poem, all in short, choppy phrases, something my therapist said was akin to how a child might react and respond to the situations I experienced growing up:

O, God!
No, God!
Why, God?
How, God?
What God?
Where God?
Whose God?
Which God?
When God?

While a few of these phrases have been added after reflection, most of these phrases/questions came to me in the moment immediately after the last scream. A crisis of faith, a cry for answers, a plea for relief, maybe all of the above.

All I know is that I have traveled further (and perhaps farther) in the last 14 months than I had in the previous 52 years of life. The screaming and the brief rant/rap that followed show me still how far I have yet to go.

My head tells me I should just let the past go. My heart, though, says that for better or worse that past is a big part of who I am and of how I got to this place in time. The answer for me lies somewhere in-between.

In the battle to protect myself as a child, I numbed myself to everything around me, which kept me at arms' length from nearly everyone who ever entered my life. Now, I need to dig through the scar tissue to get back to the emotions nearly cut off so long ago, so that I can make my peace with the past, be fully part of the life I now have, and look forward to the future.

I may never truly reach that point, but I have already come further than I dared to hope was possible, so there is hope. And as long as there is hope, there is life.

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