Shame and Lightning



“I am Burning and Becoming…
I Heard about shame and I heard about lightning…”

I have spent I wonder how many evenings and dark mornings pausing beneath street lights, circling around and over and through and across but not quite in to the center of what has been festering in me, blooming, burning, becoming. How many trips did Bon Iver take with me as I worked my away around charting the symptoms of lust and love confused, of a discovery of myself, my body.
I have been pretending in my life. Not sleeping. Pretending. Because parts of what I am and who I am are hard to accept for me. This is about looking at myself, stripped of tragedy and triumphs, and I’m standing in the street alone in the dark, my heart fluttering in my chest as I make yet another connection–the big one about my body. Hunger started fucking me long ago. So much hunger. But I’ve passed that point and am now mapping the symptoms I’ve charted.
I am my body.
I just spent six years rejecting that notion, teaching myself with reason, logic, and books from the greats that I am consciousness–I am not my body. But I am. My body has been my instrument since its very beginning. It shut down when it was taken, and it hid so well I lost me for a very long time. It returned in a sick state I tended to once I was able to attend. My body has been my alarm system, enemy and foe and protector for a long time. My body knows when something is off inside me before my emotions and reason seem to.
But being my body isn’t what you think. I have claimed ownership of it in a different way-in a way that gives it freedom to finally feel touch and skin and, finally, others. I’m taking the taboo of a woman with a past of sexual abuse who evolved into her own kind of healing–I have stolen back my body’s meaning because I found it to be loyal. I have found it to be my ever faithful companion who knows my tricks, who at times gets harmed on purpose when I find myself in restless states–which I’m taking because shit the remainders of trauma could be a lot worse. My break-down worked like that–my body got very physically sick when I was at the top of the edge of my bottom. I kept going to the doctor, and they couldn’t find anything. Psycho-somatic shit. When my body returned to me I was twenty-nine and I kept rejecting it with all its memories and sweaty palms of anxiety and psychotic breaks. But I eventually gave in to feeding it what it required, and so the bottom came, and all hell broke lose, and then we laid low, recovering together. I am sharing this point because what my body has reversed in on itself is its own hunger to be possessed. I have this sort of imprint in my mind that I can only be loved if I give parts of myself away, if I toy with you and say I am lovable, if I pretend to be someone I am not and you love me, and then I wash up with shame. I have been wondering these avenues since last January picking apart these things. Picking apart the things I have come to believe about myself and the things I had learned to believe about myself that just do not fit anymore. I cut out as much emotion as I could and charted the symptoms and actions, habits and repetitive motions. I married myself to logic and reason and equations which ultimately led me into even farther yet closer questions and theories. And it led me back to my body–I had been pedaling its path long before I realized it. Like I said, I am lost without it. My body. I miss the cues and the signs. Without those, I am a creature of habit, and filling up healed up and scarred over voids with my old fears I know so well. It is a process–when I am unsettled and feeling things I cannot name or understand or I just don’t want to look at–my body acts up. Sweaty palms and sleepless nights and pacing the floors at four in the morning. I pick fights; I pick loves. I watch myself scramble. I exhaust myself until I have no choice but to rest. This doesn’t happen often but I’ve probably been doing it so long, only noticing because I decided to.
And after rest and a little pampering has its way, I get out the maps I made–star charts–to what happened and where I veered off. I finger the constellations and make out how -oh I fell in love over there, that’s what that was, -oh I disrespected myself right there see on that one that looks like Orion’s Belt? -Yeah that’s the spot where I forgot who I was and what it took to get here. See how the stars trail off? That’s what I did–a kind of spin out from the imprints in my head about my worth. And when I feel small, I feed that fear by shrinking myself further. I don’t like feeling small. An old bodiless part of me surfaces. I re-hear all the things I’d been saying to myself over the past few weeks, my approach and conversations with others–the laughing energy: that was all me. Just scared for a sec. Not of my past. Not that I’ll be what I was before. But scared of the threading vein that makes my body beat anyway–that I am how I used to be and always will be–something you have to deal with. Someone that just skated by, just barely, shouting out oh the spirit when I am and continue to be a fraud–my many masks (though so much less than before, I am coming). The one that lets people wipe their hands and sins through me because I don’t know how to stop pleasing and I don’t’ know how to honor myself. I don’t take these lines with a grain of salt. I read a Bukowski’s poem of whom I am usually not fond of, and in it he says

“I have satisfied the thirst at the well of myself and that wine was good, the best I ever had, and tonight sitting staring into the dark I now finally understand the dark and the light and everything in between.”

And there is an ocean of worth in that poet. And as I cut this short because I need space, I will say there’s oceans in here, too.




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