Have you seen Good Will Hunting, Reader? Do you know the scene? The one where Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is brushing off his childhood abuse through an exchange with his … Continue reading Trail Notes from the Serpent’s Mouth
Our relationship to pain– how we react and respond to it– changes everything.
This idea ruminated in my mind from the moment I saw it. My thoughts latched onto this because I don’t have a healthy relationship to pain. I avoid it at all costs until I come into contact with it. Once agony and I collide, I can’t let go. My stubborn perseverance encourages me that there’s some prize for enduring the most pain. It’s a fool’s prize– the one given to marginalized people as an incentive for their silence.
But pain is a cat burglar. Denying it entry only motivates it to break a window, infiltrate a vent, wind itself inside a hiding place just long enough to jump out and scare you when you’ve convinced yourself pain is long gone.
What if I were open to aching? What if I acknowledged the thief as it entered? These aren’t solutions. Then again, these days, I’m no longer in search of the answers. I just want to ask better questions. We weld questions so complicated that the simplest answers become out of reach.
For now, all I can do is become a doorway and witness to my own discomfort. I seize my right to arrest my pain by acknowledging and addressing it. I’ve spent too long being a bystander in my own suffering.
I’m always asking myself if I’ll hurt in the same way my mother does.
i want to be so loud you can’t hear my hurt,
a string of nonsensical rebuttals so long you can’t untangle them back to the fears they’re tied to,
and when rage has wrung my lungs of air and your stamina gives way,
the thunderous hurt will linger.