Growing Up - When Feelings Rule You Into A CornerTuesday, December 1, 2015
"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
― James Baldwin
When I was younger — late teens to most of my twenties — I made gods out of my feelings and let them dictate the course of my existence. Feelings, I relied on; to nudge me here and there like they were literal objective clues to what I should be up to next. I didn't fully grasp that I could put them aside for a bit and think rationally for one good second and so, for the most exhausting part of my journey to self-discovery, I was swallowed up by a great tsunami of emotions that pulled and tugged me this way and that. It was my coming-of-age experience and being the empath I didn't know I was, I felt way too intensely and too quickly.
And I was utterly clueless to what it was that made me battle with myself until it came to a point that I had to give up. Feelings; when you're young — from the standpoint of your teenage years to your critical twenties — especially when you feel misunderstood can be quite the battlefield and if you're built like I was (still am), can hit you like a ton of bricks. No matter how low or how high on the emotional spectrum that I happened to be swinging at, everything was magnified and it was a struggle to balance myself in the center. I could not articulate this experience if you had asked me then because all I had in mind was a gazillion thoughts rushing through the crowded space in my head where feelings ultimately reigned.
I wrote a lot of poems as I was growing up because I found solace in words, penned down as opposed to speaking them out. Many of my poems then, of the written ones I scribbled in journals were quite emotionally charged but with age I have come accept that how I was, is a part of my identity even as parts of it remain a derelict bit of my sense of 'self' now.
12 years ago, on October 21st, I typed my first poem on one of the few poetry sites online and I titled it as Rushed:
Walking seems like running,
My head is spinning,
This void in my soul grows
Larger with each breath I take in
Breathless as I breathe out
My voice stuck in my throat
I'm sailing in a wrecked boat
Drowning in my floods of thoughts
They burn my mind
With pain undefined
The thorns of sorrow prick my heart
Feels like I'm blown all apart
This soul needs a remedy
This soul is tragedy
Unmoving, with my hands typing
Speeding thoughts reach further than eternity
Hold me so I know that I'm still here
Embrace me so I will let go of this fear
I'm rushed by this void
Rushed by this nothingness
My head is hurt by this loneliness.
Every single time I read this poem, I get transported back in time in a body of a young girl who felt like she was always in a compulsive tango with a certain darkness. To view it from my current lens, I have nothing but understanding for the whirlwind of pre-adulthood, the rites of passage I went through before tentatively accepting being me.
shanaz@RS | 9:07 AM | Labels: short prose therapy