We discuss benign topics. I stay on safe ground. Expectations, values, a tiny touch on guilt. We can talk about these things.
And then I leave the room and everything hurts. There’s a thousand pounds weighing in my chest.
Why? I wonder. What just happened?
Beneath the surface is an abyss of pain that I just don’t want to open up.
I don’t even want to talk about.
I’m not ready to share this part of me with this stranger. Not now. I think not ever.
I’m not telling her about the deepest hole that has no bottom.
I’m not going there. When I opened it in the past it just swallowed me whole. It sucked me in, and I struggled in its depths, trying to find enough oxygen to breathe. It shrouded me in its murkiness and the stalagmites that hung from the sides punctured my skin.
I can't open it again.
So I don't.
But I continue to go to therapy, because what else is there to do?
I can't keep going on without changing something.
Because beneath all the painstakingly pieced together fragments of my self is an ocean of pain. Wounded innards.
We treat on the surface, but the surface has cracks. I feel the pain rising through them, the heaviness seeping through.
I'm afraid that if I stay on this ground just a little bit longer, the surface will give way and I will tumble right into that abyss once again.
But there's nowhere to run.