I noticed it right away. My heart beat faster and my thoughts proliferated out of control. Every twinge of muscle, of intestine, of nervous skin was magnified. I wanted to run, to turn back the clock, to un-make this reaction. I struggled to assert my Rational brain. “Emotional reactions are not the Truth. They are a human phenomenon, but they are not Right or Wrong.” How do I act, what are my choices, given this rising tide of Fear? I immediately decide on Function. I later decide on Communication. I notice that when I begin to dismantle the wall of Function, I feel very vulnerable. My nose prickles, my eyes moisten. I entrust myself to a Listener. I dare myself to be Honest.
Fear is at the dinner table, and we let it talk. It is mostly about The Unknown. What will happen? What will my options be? Will it hurt? I am uncomfortable. I squirm. I weep. I want to flee, but I stay put. I keep talking. Memories of pain join the conversation. I don’t want to return to that place. I realize that I can’t return to that place. Each place is different. Life moves forward; we flow with it. Now that my emotions and thoughts are freed from repression, I feel movement in myself. It is comforting. I am unstuck, calmer. And exhausted. How much energy it takes to be afraid! I will sleep, and use my energy differently tomorrow.
© 2014, essay and photograph, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved