As a young child I was bizarre. Curiously pedantic. Pedantically curious. I was attuned to intricate details, mesmerized by the most mundane stuff. Stubborn! Oh lord, my middle name is ‘hardheaded’. I, of course, have my biased defense of the trait; ‘ I’m incessantly curious!’ I quip.
I asked mum why I had to feel pain? She told me that pain was useful because without pain there is no sensation and then we wouldn’t be able to walk. And if we hurt ourselves really bad, we wouldn’t feel that too and we could die.
That lesson stuck with me. For every step that I take inwards in introspection, it’s as if I’m performing a surgery without anaesthesia. I’m cutting away the vines of my childhood pain and rip open the scar tissues to extract the bullets that have been slowly permeating my mind, lacing it with a young child’s fear.
Being vulnerable is like being pierced and keep from flinching. The pain becomes physical at times. I feel it run down my legs. Knot in my stomach. My chest constricted. My back tense. I let it surge through me like a gushing river. I tell myself to ignore the urge to suppress it, and to let the river of tears out. Two decades of tears and blood.
I collect memories. I hide in the pain, in plain view. I close my eyes,grit my teeth and lie down. Whenever I reach a level of consciousness within me, the accompanying pain always startles me. Though I know the drill, nothing can prepare me for the pain because the more aware I become, the stronger the current of pain that surges through me. I brace myself.
The current of pain electrifies me. In its wake I find energy. It livens me. I’m vaccinated against fear. I pain, I live, I reflect, I am free.
I loved what I saw in him. I love who he is behind the iron curtain he set up against pain. How unfortunate it was that he couldn’t see himself. I hope that one of these days he’ll reach that place within him and brace the pain to see himself. For that day, I’ll be patiently awaiting.