I keep doing these things that terrify me. Maybe I have PTSD of the heart. Or maybe it's that, despite the fear, I keep trying. But it means I constantly fight to untangle the knots inside.
Have you ever had a true panic attack? I don't mean feeling scared, I mean an honest-to-goodness experience where fear soaks your entire body and you feel you must fight for your life. I have once. I plunged, unprepared, into the ocean with a scuba tank on my back.
Know what happens when you dive into the water with giant steel weight attached to your body? You sink. Immediately.
There is no thinking following the sensation of being dragged under. You just fight. You fight not to die, because that's what it feels like.
I clawed mightily towards the surface and when I reached it, I grabbed onto a float, ripped the regulator out of my mouth and gasped for air, then climbed weakly onto the boat and that was it. It wasn't until later that I even realized what happened -- my BCD hadn't been inflated -- but the next time I climbed into the water to snorkel a few days later I was uneasy and had to remind myself, "You just FEEL uncomfortable, nothing is actually wrong."
I found myself saying the same thing last night on my date, the 3rd date with The Cyclist (the guy who is thinner than me that I mentioned earlier).
The date was great, rapport awesome. He makes me giggle.
He leaned forward to kiss me last time I'd seen him and paused. "Wait, what's your last name?"
I said, "You were going to kiss me and you don't even know my last name?" I laughed. "I guess you didn't google my number yet."
I knotted up inside, just like I almost always do. But nothing was actually wrong. I'm just terrified of being hurt. Last thing I wanted was to reveal this though -- that's CRAZY GURRL!! territory and I hate crazy. So I didn't say anything. And then something in me realized he was scared too. Not too scared to try though. And so we stood facing eachother in the dark and tentatively reached out.
I tried to tell him things. "Asplenia," he said, cutting me off. "that's your business."
Later, when sleep finally overtook me, I dreamt I was standing with the Dark-Haired Boy. He hugged me tight, lifted my face and asked of me one thing: "Be kind."
I don't know how to be kind when there can be no certainty. But nothing is certain. We are wandering souls, connecting to discover and explore. This is a temporary place, this space between loneliness and love. By its definition, something temporary implies it is discarded when no longer needed. But that doesn't have to mean it lost value, right? As long as we all treat each other with care?
This is the thing I struggle with most, that knots me inside.