a brace. i am learning how to identify and relearn the micro movements of my own muscles. it feels like a slight twinge of cold and an increased sense of structural integrity that anticipates blows. i remember this feeling well, in my early teens, when touch was unbearable. any sudden movement and i would flinch. the only way to approach me was to,,, not. somehow through the years, i started to forget that reflex and simply went on to do my little tasks. i’ve learnt to force my body open and force it into a state of bearable relaxation because i crave connection. do you know that i am actually rather ticklish but have learnt how to make my body not react? i have overrode my ticklishness. with sheer willpower. i’ve learnt it so well, a muscle that has protected me so well, that i realise i’ve forgotten how true safety feels like as a baseline. only in a few scattered moments here and there – with my most trusted kin, that i feel my body easing, thawing.

my temporal measurements and sensings too, are not quite right. each moment and day so dense it sometimes feels like i’ve absorbed a lifetime’s worth of emotional shifts and regurgitated thoughts with such neckbreaking speed. i realise this dissonance whenever people ask me how my week was and i realise it has only been a day or two since the last moment that came to mind. or whenever i look at the date and realise it’s still the same day, when it felt like entire weeks have gone by between morning and afternoon. the elasticity of time as a material, the immense Elasticity. the momentary disorientation – for a moment i lose all grasp of who i am and what i am. a rug i did not know i was standing on pulled out yanked out and my feet registers void as remembrance. right this moment, 1.23pm. right this moment as i type this the seconds are running by and it is already 1.24pm. an entire minute of 60 temporal clicks. clacks. my feet. i think of margaret’s poem:

In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.

The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.

a part of me wishes to return to non-knowledge, a larger part of me wishes to parse this out, to really learn how to sit with it. regarding this, A said this – if i have always been dissociating with only moments of lucidity, am i really sitting with the terror? something about, if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it did it really fall // if i feel terror and simply checked out of my body did i really register terror. did i really build the muscles to withstand terror. a breakthrough moment i remember clear as though now with my therapist: “i don’t want to die”. i said this when we were approaching one of my root traumas, and she asked ever so gently, “why can’t we go there?”. that was 4 years ago, and in these 4 years we have been processing talking EMDR-ing my way through this terror. but this terror lodged in my being, emerged during my somatic touch therapy training, as though i have never touched it. i’m rather irked by that, actually. i’m sure i have done a lot of work to exist the way i am now, but in that moment of terror it felt like i have done no work at all. but i have! i have done so much work! and i am continuing to do the work! of processing all my traumas, intergenerational and micro, so that it does not get passed on to the people around me!

but ya i felt so stupid and useless when i froze so badly on the table during the training, angry, even. i couldn’t cry i was just lying there eyes opened wide in terror and shock, at the monstrosity of how fresh it still feels. it prevents me from fully trusting, from fully exhaling. it was only when the trainer touched ever so lightly the spot at the base of my throat that i gasped for air. i stopped breathing for those few moments. my body reverting to corpse. an unmoving mass.

an infant again, feeling all these sensations, brows furrowed trying to make sense of it all from ground zero.