It's like gently nodding off with a full stomach and a light heart in your beloved's arms on a train bound for Paradise and suddenly being forcefully awakened by a violent shiver piercing from your insides outward, only to slowly realize the only clothes you wear are darkness in a frozen Hell crowded by your fiercest foes and most profound fears.
Trauma is a run-on sentence that's always on the move. We insert pauses, semicolons, periods, and commas. We vigorously try to erase words and fragments or add proper punctuation, but the marks remain, the paper tears, and the whiteout leaves us emptier than before. Our Stockholm syndrome runs back to hug the cactus. We introduce it to our friends and neighbors and feel their eyes on our souls as we whisper sweet nothings to the plant that somehow thrives in a barren land.
We try to fall asleep but can only fall apart. We paint over the feelings and convince ourselves they are accurate representations of our own failings and then silently lament over why no one wants to see the original coat and color. "Look what I've done," we smile proudly; and when they compliment our façade, our structural integrity trembles silently, "why can't they see me?"
When you insert your story do you take away mine? When you tell me everything's okay, do you mean to soak my scars with tears and lime?