Memory is a funny thing. It is strengthened by use. The more you travel down the same path, the deeper and deeper you ingrain memories into your consciousness. And with that said, it pays to be selective upon what you reflect on. Memories define identity in more ways than one.
I know this in ways I did not need to learn. Forget my own life. I watched a woman become undone. I watched as her memory slipped away and what was left? The raw horror of her existence. The abuse she had suffered. Whereas so many become but empty vessels of their former self, she became the darkest shadow I had ever known, she became me as I was.
I saw her in me and me in her and I realized it was because of the brutality, the ancestral curse. And, well, it makes me shudder to think of the way everyone who witnessed her demise thought nothing other than she was insane. But then, heyy, that’s what they tried to tell me too.
Ahh, what did I just read. Psychology is a pseudo science. Damn if that ain’t the five best words I have heard in too fuckinn long and with that thought, I keep hearing these words: I’m out to bomb like Vietnam.
I rarely look back, though I trust from the things I’ve written it seems I do. But those things came to the surface as I made my way out of Hell. Most everything that came up had been pushed all the way down, and it wasn’t me looking for memories, it was memories bubbling up at the boiling point.
The past month has been something of a reprieve, a time to rest as I make my way through Step Five. For it was only four weeks ago that I found myself laying face down in my bed, with four chakras overwrought and me bleeding out. It was at that moment that everything changed.
It was at that moment that I dedicated myself to self-preservation. To conservation. Of energies. Of resources. But most of all, to the protection of my heart, so fragile and strong. And in self-preservation I found myself able to do that which I never knew; I became able to stand before the Looking Glass without going through.
I became, if not comfortable then at least comfortably uncomfortable with the discomfort of life as memories surfaced and waggled like a lash and me not taking the bait. My back is unbruised, unwounded, unscarred. I am finally free to discover a new means to penitence.
I thought I had faced my greatest fear in order to leave Hell, but no, what I faced is my greatest shame, and I let it all go. Claiming my shame is what set me free, but there is still work to be done, and that work is facing my greatest fear. The fear of retribution for telling my story.
I am not ready to discuss my fear. For now, I have decided to remain in Step Five and not rush ahead. Were I to force myself forward, it would just be another set up for failure. I have come to understand that all addictions, no matter what form they take, are the addiction to self destruction, to self abuse, to creating a new and compelling pain to alleviate the oldest one. Shame. Willful, obsessive, compulsive desecration of the soul on earth. The feeling of abject worthlessness taught by those who were supposed to love and protect.
It is an incredible thing to type these words without an ounce of emotion, to feel the pain recede and be at peace with the new discoveries that will be made no matter how vicious and disgusting they are. Progress. It is slow to reach the obvious but what is obvious has nothing to do with what is self evident.
This, then, is where I am starting from:
There are no shortcuts. There is no easy way out. Not that it is complicated, no. I no longer believe in complications. I believe in simplicity, and simplicity is this: it is clear and concise but that does not make it easy at all.
Resistance is the bitch, and by bitch I mean dog, I mean Cerberus with three heads, and all three are female, just imagine the noise. Resistance is that which torments my every moment on earth that I do not allow myself to seek higher ground. It is not easy to climb the jagged edges of rock but if the choice is to go nowhere or to face failing and falling, I will do as I must.
Yesterday I tried to get my Hemingway on. I went down the block and I had a drink and as I drank, I drank away the tension of not writing in order to write. But as I drank, I drank away the passion and the focus and I felt my head start to swim and I thought, How the fuck does anyone write drunk.
Writing is my deepest form of release. It can only be done when I am completely in tune with myself. I think of what it takes to be in tune, to simply accept my resistance and put it to the side and say, Miss Thing, there is no guest list tonite.
I begin to write. And I write some more. And I remember that I am not only a novelist. I am here for so much more.