Tuesday, December 16, 2008

on writing about pain

sunday i endured possibly the most violently painful uterine cramps i have ever experienced in my life. they came quickly and unexpectedly like an earthquake in my lower abdomen, and but for my hands shaking uncontrollably, i really was paralyzed with pain and fear that i would not be recovering. to make matters worse, i had no idea where the couple of ibuprofen tablets i had were, so when i was finally able to somewhat get up, though still doubled over in pain, i had to tear apart a basket on my dining room table tryin to find a single dosage packet and then find my way to the kitchen for some tap water to swallow it down since i'd run out of bottled water the night before. it was a nightmare experience through and through. a nightmare i could not awaken from. the saving grace was my mom in full prayer warrior mode on speakerphone speaking scriptures of healing for me to try and meditate on. as the phone layed open near the middle of my bed, i tried to focus on what she was saying while fluctuating between being balled up and writhing in pain. i have never felt that degree of violence in my own body before. i mean, i've characteristically have bad cramps, but this was off the scale. some time during my mom's prayers of faith on my behalf and my having swallowed those couple of pills, i finally was able to stop writhing, though, still feeling a charliehorse in my uteris, i remained in a ball in the middle of my bed. she eventually ended her prayer and suggested a few times that i try to go to the emergency room. but, for obvious reasons, that was not an option for me. i decided to believe in our prayer that the pain would eventually settle and then dissipate, leaving me to relax and sleep for the remainder of the day. whereas it never quite dissipated (even now i'm feeling just a little unsettled in my lower stomach) i did eventually fall asleep.

monday was a beautifully warm late-fall december day. even in my ability to appreciate the newyorkcity that i love to walk and breath and watch and hold dear, my heart was heavy. and though i can probably accurately attribute my blues to the same physiological cause of my cramps, it still is the truth. as i enjoyed a leisure walk for 30 blocks, my heart was heavy. IS heavy. my father suggests that to continue to write about a brokenheart is to choose to remain in that place. but i don't believe that. it's important that i acknowledge that though i don't want to be broken, the truth is, i am. and the pain is sometimes as severe as the charliehorse tremor i felt in my uteris two days ago. not always. not everyday extreme pain. but some part of every day is unsettling if, when i find my mind wondering into the corner of the recent past, and out the door down the corridor of yesteryear. i fear that i'm not being as strong as i am somehow supposed to be, because it's arguable that either i'm letting or not letting the wound of a broken heart breathe enough to heal. sometimes, i don't feel strong at all. othertimes, i feel strong enough to ignore my heart for significant spans of time in a 24hr period. right now is not one of those spans of time. usually when i write, it is not one of those spans of time. but it's okay. i choose to chronicle this because it is cathartic, to let it out perhaps will facilitate letting it go at some point. i fear not writing about these moments will incur more psychological pain from having internalized thoughts that should be exposed.

i do, however, have faith that documenting these feelings will prove to help illustrate the measures by which i have grown, when i finally begin to grow out of this stage of my life. i don't pretend to anticipate when that growth will begin to take place; but then again, as a growing child you just look up one day and your favorite jeans are too shorts for your lanky legs. just outgrew them, without effort or intention. it was just design of your life to continue growing out of those pants. so, indeed, through design of my life, i will grow out of this tender heartbreak, maybe even with the fondness of having gotten some good use out of my favorite pair of jeans, my favorite and most significant love. (but, forreal, i ain't never felt this way about no pair of jeans.)

you know, not for nothing, i am thankful and so grateful for having the most encouraging pillars of truth in my life. no matter what i may be feeling, up or down, or all around the "wheel-o-emo" (i found out from one of my students that i'm "totally emo"), the people that love me are holding me down and feeding me the truth that i so need to hear, internalize, remember, believe. hold on to with a firm grip. my father's wisdom and love never fails. my mother's wisdom and love never fails. my brother's wisdom and love and motivation is like a can of popeye's spinach causing strength to pump me up and get ready to mentally knock this thing straight on its back. but in the same moment he esteems me for qualities that i think are causing me to be weak right now, insisting that they are not a liability, admonishing me to not let those qualities of being able to love so intensely die out as a result of this pain. "don't kill it," he said, "because that vulnerability is a conduit that enables us to receive the fullness of the reciprocity." and i don't want to choke out the vulnerability i have... well, not exactly. though in moments when i'm wiping streams of tears in between laughing at Fraser reruns, i wouldn't mind if my vulnerability dosage was just a fraction of its current potency.

anyway, so that i could stop wiping tears, i turned my computer on and started writing. i'm peace now that my tears are gone, and i actually can't wait to go back and re-read what i've written here..... although, i have about two hours before i have to be up and out of here on my way to an island that has more memories than i care to experience on any given tuesday or friday. but whatever. the good thing about today is that my students are testing outside of my classroom, so i don't have to conduct a lesson, just be on campus during the time of the test. so the sleep i should have been getting as i've been typing, perhaps i will make up for in my classroom.......

we shall see. nevertheless, the morrow awaits. so, as Fraser would say, off i go.

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