Visiting the trauma psychologist- a new one, not my lovely shrink who’s been with me all this way- is about as much fun as a hole in the head.
Or a noose round the neck, as the case may be.
An hour every week or so, I spend deep inside my head, with a person who’s job it is to challenge my thought processes, to ask the questions other people don’t dare.
To dispense with the social niceties that ignore my guilt, and pierce it head on, and let it bleed all over me, burn me… until it’s all bled out. And I feel better.
I’m healing, you see, and quickly, and this is confirmed by my new shrink (hey Charlie). I think the aim of trauma sessions is to ensure I heal intact. With as few scar as possible. With as little of that bumpy, ugly scar tissue as can be managed.
My first trauma session left me an uncomfortable, weeping mess- with a small pinpoint of light in the clouds. Talking to this shrink, I had realised how much time I spend in a comfortable, sad fog. remembering and reminiscing and blaming myself.
Comfortable. Because to let go out that fog, to deliberately distract my mind form conjuring up an image of a dead man, a ghost walking through our lives every day.. how much that hurts. because that’s letting go.
I still remember, and mourn. But I can’t spend the rest of my life in a fog of regret… I can’t live like that.
And so, we pierced the fog. And I try to think more of the future, and less of the past. to exist more in the present. Fingertips tapping on keys, music and incense wafting through my windows.
These are good. And these are real, not memories, not figments of my imagination supported my relics of my past.
And now, we come to the next glut of bumpy scar tissue, the next spot where I’m not healing quite as right as I could be…
A noose. An orange noose. And I type that, I grit my teeth together.
There’s a tactic in trauma psych called ‘exposure’. When you identify something that you’re avoiding- avoidance being a key factor in PTSD- and then you practice not avoiding it. You focus on it, you expose yourself to it.
Remember losing a tooth, as a child? And sticking your tongue in that soft, raw spot of flesh that tasted of copper blood, and feeling the pain of it, that felt strangely good, tracing that fine line between pleasure and hurt. And eventually, if you touch it enough… it hurts less every time. Until the nerves dies completely.
Welcome to my missing tooth.
When I loop back that ugly movie in my mind, as I do, over and over…. I miss the part where tony stretches out the noose, stretches out that orange rope with both hands, and leans his head forward to slip it through it. Because while I remember it, my mind likes to tell me that I’m probably remembering it wrong, so I shouldn’t bother…
I don’t think I am. I think it’s just so much easier for my mind not to think about that. Because,hello, reality. A chair, a rope, a noose… all that is bad enough. but to see someone actually put their head through that noose… that’s reality. That’s no bullshit.
That’s the end of the purple world.
So…. the next few days, excuse me while I return to my fog. But this one will be orange, i think, and filled with images I don’t wish on anyone.
Pressing on the nerve, until it dies.
Fuck. How much fun is my head?
It’s probably interesting to note here that it took me three tries to write that horrible, descriptive paragraph. Every time I started, my brain would suddenly remember something desperately important that needed to be done online. At least I caught myself at it. they tell me this is called ‘mindfulness’.
Another one of those strange mind deviations- I almost put- still may, in fact- a disclaimer at the beginning of this post warning it was potentially traumatic and triggering. Is it any more triggering than anything else I write, or is it just that my head finds it so much more confronting?
The mind is a funny monkey.