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conundrums of courage

July 31, 2013

My trip is less than a week away. While I’ve been on a business trip that lasted 13 days, I’ve never been on any sort of vacation by myself.

I’m exhilarated. I’m euphoric. . . I’m terrified. But I’m still going.

I haven’t been able to write about this place that I’m going to. Even writing a blog post saying, “I’m not going to write about this until I go”, seemed like something I shouldn’t say before now.

I feel internal pressure, as if my conscious mind were a dam about to break. There are . . . things . . . that intend to be thoroughly felt, and expressed. I don’t have any (conscious) idea what they are, but I’m afraid of them.

I have this strong sense that my-life-as-I-know-it will be swept away. I don’t understand how that could happen, under the circumstances I expect to meet. And yet . . .


I have a feeling that actually being there again will be a key that unlocks a door I never noticed in what I thought was a smooth and featureless wall. Seems like the door would have to open inward (into me).

People that I have a long and troubled history with live within the general vicinity. However, they are not involved in my plans. I won’t be seeing them or talking to them. While it’s possible that they could know some of this hidden history of mine, I couldn’t trust them to tell me anything even approaching the truth — there’s always spin.

I have to keep reminding myself that facts can’t be what I don’t know. And facts are all these people could tell me.

It’s so desperately, impossibly hard to wait to go.

The parts of me gibbering in terror want to distract me through every waking moment with addictive behaviors. I’ve mostly resisted. I’m limiting my time on Twitter; I’m fasting (again) from library books, and I’ve rarely allowed myself to read my own books. I’ve stopped myself from ordering new books. I’ve stopped myself from buying things that seemed vitally necessary, but now seem to have been a way to redirect my attentions. Or commit me to a path that might be part of what will be washed away.

I do have occasional anxiety spirals, but I usually manage to rein them in.

In some ways, this is no different than all the other upheavals I’ve faced. Except that . . . many of the worst ones popped up like mushrooms after a rain. No warning, though, meant I couldn’t fret about them ahead of time. In the moment, I do what needs doing — any figuring out what it all meant comes much later.

It’s hard to know upheaval is coming, but not know any particulars. That means I can’t plan, can’t prepare. In fact, mentally armoring myself strongly feels like exactly the wrong thing to do. I need to go in . . . open, curious, eager to improvise. I need to trust in myself.

Positive Disintegration has never let me down before. Yes, the process can seem impossibly thorny and tumultuous, but stepping into the dragon’s lair, I consent to transformation, to being utterly remade. Afterward, I’m me, but a configuration of me that has never existed before. A configuration of me that couldn’t have existed before. I create a new reality just by living. Who could resist a lure like that? (Apparently, lots of people could. I’m different from them.)


Yesterday I reread a poem that gushed out of me in December 2011. I never finished it because it veered off in strange directions. The central subject matter was so fearsome I worried that it would be a globby mess. But it isn’t. Really, it just seemed to need an abrupt-ish ending. (Or, possibly, a different ending to be written.) When I wrote it, I relived it, but in poetic form. Which, oddly, made it more bearable. Rereading it, the horror of it all is very immediate. But I wasn’t pulled into its undertow. I could just read it, and marvel that I survived it.

It seems the ideal intended audience for it would be my parents. But if they read it, I bet they would just get defensive, and make excuses for their behavior. My mother would try to get me to absolve her; my father would rail at me for hurting my mother’s feelings by pointing out that their refusal to act almost got me killed.

Surviving them was even harder than surviving the other. More discouraging too.

I had to remake reality to go on living in it.


What new reality awaits me, just around the bend?

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