Hello blog world. It’s been a while. Somehow I can only do the blog thang when the mood takes me, and over the past year the mood hasn’t (taken me).
I can tell you now this isn’t a blog about those delightful words – “I love you”. In fact it’s the polar opposite. Diametrically opposed. Dramatically not that. My three little words tell the story of a privately horrific Sunday. Something (not someone) talking to you in your head. It’s a heart sink moment and the sign of a tough day ahead. But I’m going to try to give you a flavour.
A few Sundays ago when I woke up the sun was shining, the windows were open, the blinds were clacking and flapping in the breeze. My cat was purring next to me. It was all quite nice, in fact. And then I realised. I noticed that I had the three little words with me. In my head, on a loop, over and over.
Sex Is Evil. Sex Is Evil. Sex Is Evil. Sex Is Evil. Sex Is Evil.
It’s not rare for me to have a voice. A malevolent voice. Usually it describes me in a pejorative, accusatory way, telling me what horrors I deserve. To have it describe something else was a bit of a novelty.
And to have the voice on a loop rather than intermittently breaking in to your mind was kind of useful. It helped render the words themselves meaningless, turned them into background noise. After 20 minutes of hearing the words “Sex Is Evil” they don’t carry that much import. In fact while I was drinking coffee in bed I was trying out anagrams – “ex lives is” “sexi veils”- you get the idea.
But as I got in to my day (I needed to write a report for work) things got a whole lot trickier. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I am used to images, flashbacks, unwanted intruders lingering. They are usual for me. I hate them. On that day the combination of sexual words AND sexual images meant that it was all very much front of mind. They became difficult to manage.
The trouble was I wanted to act on them. Not to go out and commit an evil sexual act (seen enough of those, thanks…) but to express the words more loudly and clearly. Somehow get them out of me.
What followed was an afternoon of keeping the strangest, strongest impulses at bay. Having to work that sunny Sunday was both a challenge and a VERY welcome distraction.
At one point I found myself sitting on my hands, rooting myself to the study chair, staring at an indelible Sharpie pen. I wanted those words to be so public and so impossible to get rid of. I had an overwhelming desire to pick it up and scrawl ‘Sex is Evil’ in huge black letters all over my landing walls and all over my own body.
I knew neither of these would have been good and I managed not to.
Instead I filled many, many post-it notes with the same words. Wrote it over and over on text messages I didn’t send. Filled screen after screen on my computer. It wasn’t the same. It was the low alcohol, de-caff, Silk Cut Mild version of what I wanted to do. But…. it got me through and I didn’t do it. It was the low alcohol, de-caff, Silk Cut Mild version of what I wanted to do. But…. it got me through and I didn’t do it.
That afternoon felt like the battle of my lifetime. One of the many battles of my lifetime. At the same time I wrote the report for work.
There’s been a lot of this recently. What can only be described as a kind of madness going on in my head and normal functioning happening at the same time. I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
I mentioned a little of it to my therapist afterwards, actually saying the words to someone else, to her, was important, but found myself unable to describe the scrawling daubing impulses.
Sometimes it takes time to let the madness out.