Thinking about this today, as I did, and not just today, I have realised that as time goes by, minute by minute, step by painful step, across days, weeks, months and years, the hurting softens. It’s like a blob of washing soap that melts into a bowl for washing dishes. I blob in, fire up the hot water and watch the blob loosen. As the bowl fills, the water and the soap conjoin, presenting me with a dilute. They are both still there, but somehow they have created a new environment. After all, I don’t wash dishes with just the soap, nor just the water, but together they create me a new environment, one that allows a transcendence. From dirty dishes to clean ones. It is just like this for hurts and time. Together, they make a solution.
Although I (and everyone else it seems) thought that now that a year is over, a year during which I live on and my husband of almost 50 years does not, I find myself confounded by upstarts of anger. He did this, yes he did. He put me down, yes he did. He controlled, yes he did. They flare like sudden flames and stop me in my tracks because what I was actually thinking of was more about whether I would iron my frocks or clean my fridge. These confounds trouble my feet, so I might even stumble as I flit through a doorway. They smack at my heart. I invite them not but they come anyway. Half way down the stairs once they hit me and I could barely breathe. Thank goodness for the geriatric banister thingy. My water slopped over the glass and I shook my head to realign my eyeballs.
I don’t want this, I said, out loud to no-one there. I want all the good memories to come back. My mind nodded. my body stayed quiet. Ah, I said, I get it. Mind has memory but so does body. I am tempted to write “and ne’er the twain shall meet’ but I won’t. Nonetheless it is true. Body does have memory and hurts lodge in muscles, in veins, in arteries, in bones. I know this, have always known this, and there is no hiding. We can control our minds, sure, with endless daily and exhaustive self-control, but the body is a wayward and a truthful thing. It will remember like an elephant. By the way, I am now, me and my thinks, almost at the bottom step. And I realise another something. I must listen to my body memories, even if they are painful, even if they tip me off my path. They are not complacent milestones, sunk into the ground of the now. They are djinns that leap out at me begging for recognition and release. We all have them but only the brave (that’s me) stop and turn to say Hallo, tell me your story.
In a world that, apparently, controls us, nobody wants to, nor acknowledges, body memories. If someone is showing signs of distress in a situation that appears like nothing much to others, that person obviously needs medication. Oh flipping dear. I am thankful for all the organisations out there now who stand firm against such illiteracy. I am hoping with all my heart that anyone who feels marginalised because of hurts will find the courage to contact those who really care and who can actively help.
I reach the ground floor. I look back up. I hear you, I say, over my shoulder. But I am down here now and moving on. I thank you for keeping me safe but now I am a different woman. You will always have a place inside me because you are the truth. I look at my bare feet, my toes. Well done you, I say, as, together, we swing through the door into the kitchen and flip on the kettle for strong coffee.