A Stranger Beaconing Me Home

It hurts to type this. My hands are aching. My back is tight with muscular pain and tension. My head is heavy. My joints are inflamed and raw. My eyes blurring. My sinuses pounding with pressure. The soles of my feet feel as if I am walking on electrified metal pokers, stabbing me alert. My knees and hips giving out as I go to sit or dare to stand. Below my laptop, the nerves in my right thigh are firing warning messages telling me I am unsafe.

To pay attention. To recognize something is wrong, whilst understanding that this message is old. That something was wrong, very wrong, and I couldn't change it.

I sat beside the water today. Holding my screaming body, believing all and welcoming my many intersecting truths.

I wrapped my hands around my thighs, forehead dropping slowly forward to rest on my knees. I breathed in the salty air, saw a whale in the distance, and heard my body demand to be heard.

Touching my own body hurts both the skin I touch and the palms of my hands. The sand felt like sharp cut glass as it grazed my skin. Walking was agony. My nervous system was firing loudly. My migraine piercing so intensely I had to close my eyes. I felt every bone and joint and tendon in my body on fire and breaking simultaneously. The pain is excruciating and endless, with sparks of heightened stabs dancing across the entirety of me.

This is my reality. This is my present space. This is my residual impacts of numbing and dissociating from eighteen years of hell, and I feel empowered to have the emotional and mental space to hold it. To hold all of me. To believe all of me. To not shrink or cower or choose to lessen the reality like I have done on repeat for nearly twelve years with this disease. To meet me, forehead to forehead, hands on my inner child's cheeks, breathless from the pain yet still breathing. In and out, slowly, with intention.

Not always. Not in every second. But every day.

My body is my messenger; my body mirrors what the enemy has done. I am not the white knight who believes them, I am not the warrior who defends her, I am the adult who hears. The messy, honest, human who is learning day-by-day how to live more honestly than I ever have. Maybe not in an external community, as isolation still feels the safest, but definitely within a community of me. Relaxation within the demands, survival, and assimilation. A deepening of recognition, of acceptance, that my future may not look any different than this.

How can I be the emotional midwife to my mind, body, and soul as it wades into the waters silenced grief made for me long ago? How can I reclaim my autonomy when at times I see a stranger in the mirror before me. Stress hormones flatting my beloved curly hair, sickness stripping me of curves, immobility rendering me dance-less. The most sincere answer I can give, that I have found, rests in my tears that stream down my cheeks as I type this.

The most tangible, alive, hope I hold lives in the cells of me that are simultaneously screaming and whispering together instead of at one another. To free themselves from the silence, and to guide all of us into a permission of existence we have never held before. To remove the tainted tang of survival I used to taste before I laid my head to rest each night.

I feel privileged to exist in the body I do right now. It may seem oxymoronic, and I may not always experience gratitude for it, but I do feel it without force when I listen. In the quiet hum that follows the pain I witness clarity, and in this clarity, I come home.

Whatever you decide for you is undoubted in me. I believe you with the most vulnerable belief.

Skyler Weinberg