I’ve had to make so many changes. Somehow I’ve managed to keep working, to a point, though not like before. I’ve managed to not become a total recluse, though I feel my mind begging to stay safe, to keep away, to protect, and that translates to a lack of interest in going anywhere. When I do, I can’t feel much besides an overwhelming feeling that “This is fine, but it’s not like before.” I get small glimpses of feeling better, numb vs. actively in emotional pain, but those don’t last long. For every step forward, I feel the pull of anxiety as it locks down any progress of healing. It says, don’t forget. Don’t forget.

I have an incredibly vivd memory. It’s something I used to be proud of, especially my long term memory of experiences. Now, I’m not so sure. Like empathy, I’m not sure if the gift of memory is so much a gift to me anymore. I remember where most people are able to forget, and we forget as a form of protection, as a means of moving on. Memories play in my mind from years ago as if they just occurred, and their sting is fresh each time. I so badly want to forget so much, and yet I can’t. Feelings, inflections, experiences large and small—all there, churning in my mind and looking for a place to live. Except they don’t belong there anymore. They are nothing more than interlopers, cancerous entities that eat away my ability to find peace.

Find peace. This is what I’m told to do with these memories. Experiences both good and bad, lessons learned, a person who ruled my life, hooked me in and made me fall so far, and then simply vanished. Find peace in the most brutal act I’ve ever seen someone act upon another. A dead father, my lost family of dogs and wife and in-laws. Now my life, scattered and broken, confusion, loss, fear, confusion. Fear, fear fear of losing more, of being dealt another blow.

Because of fear, my hands shake and I lose control of my emotions nearly every day. I have to leave work early, have to go home so I don’t lose my composure in public. I lie in bed, I wail, asking why. My feelings seemingly only existing as sadness, or anxiety in its many forms. Happiness is lost to me completely, and I beg to just feel nothing, dream of a day where I might feel content again, or simply numb, truly and completely.

I’m so afraid that I’ve somehow fallen through the cracks. No children, and a future of more loss as I enter middle age and beyond. Where do I go? What changes do I make? How do I plan when planning and hoping placed me here? Please, make me numb. Please, let me not feel.

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