Bravery is a strange thing. It doesn’t mean somehow being able to fight and not be afraid, I don’t think. I guess it’s fighting whilst being terrified, but fighting because you know it’s the right thing to do.
In that respect, a lot of people are braver than they realise….
But then there are different types of bravery. And I have only ever needed one. I have only needed to be able to somehow keep breathing, screaming, fighting, kicking, loving, caring and surviving despite whatever horror was thrown at me. It’s been a pretty face-to-face war. You punch, I bite…and so it goes. How often I have wanted to give up and let them beat me to a lifeless pulp is daunting…and more times than I’d dare to count or imagine, but certainly far more often than a want to somehow make it. I don’t often *want* to make it. But I don’t want them to win either. And that is stronger…
And now? Now I feel like it’s all changing. There’s a big shift in the current of the system and I don’t yet know where I fit, if I even do, and how the hell I manage if my feet ever firmly hit the ground. If I was in a scene, I’m in the middle of a pasture surrounded by dark woods, and it’s an icy cold winter’s day. My breath fogging the air is my only company and I can’t look behind me, beside me and in front of me all at the same time. I know the enemy is somewhere, in vast numbers. But I cannot see, and I’m entirely exposed. Any moment now I’m waiting to fall, and my breath to be taken, and never to return. The foggy mist of my breath will hang for a moment in the air, frozen with not having a purpose, and then fade….
Or, I will see the enemy and rather than run away, or fight face to face….I will think of a better plan and counter them.
How is that possible? It doesn’t feel it.
But what choice do I have? I’m trapped here now. I can’t go through the woods. I can’t move from this spot. It’s so tempting to wait to be finished, or indeed to lie down on the icy, wet grass and freeze slowly in time….freeze until I stop breathing and be free from the bewildering and overwhelming emotions drowning my head.
It’s so completely tempting…and would be so easy….
But it’s not the right thing to do.
And so, I’m again in a situation where I’m terrified beyond words, spent yesterday and most of the day before that and earlier this week frozen rigid in some warped grasp of shock. Trapped in a shell, and unable to move. I cried, a lot. I mostly didn’t notice until I had to wipe my face. I didn’t always know what I was crying at. Just something horrific. Everything was, and is, moving in slow-motion. I can hear my pulse in my ears, and even that feels slow….everything’s so slow…so paused….just waiting, for the absolute calm before the storm….somehow… the fear is choking me, locking itself in my neck and my lungs and the lower part of my back. I ache with it. It feels so heavy, weighing me down, that I constantly want to just sit down and relieve it somehow. I feel weary, exhausted, very unsure of myself and certainly not strong. I am just terrified. And hurting. And want to give up in this pasture rather than wait to see how gruesome the next bit is….
But to give up would be the wrong thing to do. I must do what’s right…. even though I’m so scared, and so in pain, and so overwhelmed and tired…. I wish I was a little girl again….