Death, And The Child On The Road

TRAUMA AND RESOLUTION | Four short, raw poems putting feelings to a childhood accident and its aftermath. Followed by one powerful story of resolving the trauma, half a lifetime later, using InnerChild work and emotional memory alteration.


We all have wounds that have shaped who we are. Some eventually heal and become scars that merely itch every once in a while, but some refuse to close and start bleeding when least expected. 

The following piece, originally two pieces (Quadrology Of Silence and Changing The Story) written with two years in between, has been crucial in my own journey of finally accepting the PTSD that resulted from a childhood accident that was never treated nor recognised as a trauma.


Pain

There’s a pain within me
It feeds on my teenage soul
Pain is contagious, I have learned that
My pain always becomes their pain
And I want to shield them from this pain
My family
This pain needs to be controlled

They shall never feel my pain
Because I love them

🌟

My pain finds me hiding places where it can breathe its heavy breath
I move into the house next-door
Their house is for laughter, my house is for tears
Sometimes I have to run the last steps at night to make it
The tears overflow before I put the key in the lock, and I fall to the floor as I close the door behind me
Safe in silent solitude

Some pain can only exist at certain temperatures
It naturally evaporates in an environment warmed up by love and connection
Somewhere on the way from their house to my house the temperature drops and the pain rains down on me

They shall never see my pain
Their love is too warm

🌟

My pain has no beginning, no middle, no end
No story, no thoughts, only hazy intangible feelings
Real pain should have reasons, I know that
Reasons other than ungratefulness and guilt, spiralling away
Because I am blessed with all I could ever want!
It would break their hearts to know that was not enough

They shall never hear my pain
My pain has no words

🌟

Only if I’m silent can I shield them
Only when I hide can I be me
Only if I’m silent can I shield me
Only if I run will I be free

So I run
Further and further away


and before that…

The Dungeon

I am chained to a hospital bed
Chained with a metal pin through my shin, attached to a structure with weights stretching my leg away from my tattered hip
To give it space to heal

🌟

They drilled a hole
I was high so I laughed at the tingling vibration as it pushed through my shin bone
Until it hit the nerves on the other side
Skin bubbling out
And I cried out in pain
Mum holding my hand

And then they chained me

Bruised and battered and broken they chained me
Until I have healed, the doctors said, vaguely
Until the pain is gone
As if the pain would ever go away…

🌟

I’m fourteen years old and this room is my dungeon
They bring me food
They treat allright
They allow visitors to come and to leave
To LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE
And all I can think of is leaving, too

Doctors ask me how I’m doing
I play their game

Only if I’m silent will I be free

🌟

I share my dungeon with three other beds
Sometimes there are small, small people in them, parents holding their tiny hands
One three-year old boy with epilepsy stays for maybe a week
Having seizures every night
But then he goes, too
Home

But I’m staying in the dungeon
Chained to my bed
Not feeling
To eventually be set free, too

I dream of running almost every night
I wake up from the pain of having pulled my leg towards me with all my strength in a dream attempt to run away
No one holding my hand

🌟

Finally, the day they take me out of my chains
The test
Not of my body, but of my willpower
“Does not hurt” I say
And they set me free


and before that…

In Transfer

I guess I’m lucky
I’m sure they told me

I should be grateful

🌟

A cute young doctor rolls me out of the intensive care yard
I’m being transferred to the children’s hospital
He seems hostile
I feel shy

Mum tells me I screamed and swore at the doctors the night before as she brought me in to the emergency yard
I went havoc when they tried to put the IV in
I did not make a good impression, apparently

I look at my blue arms
I cannot bend them due to all the bruises from punctured veins
My body is sore and battered
Numb and in pain at the same time
I feel the embarrassment amongst her fear, relief, chock
Her trauma

So I bury my experience under a layer of guilt and shame
And I leave it there

🌟

No one asks how I feel
What I felt

I, least of all


and before that…

Glimpses

Blue monitors shining a pale light in the dark yard
Humming noises from machines
Disorientation
Emptiness
I’m gone again

🌟

Fluorescent light
My body shut down
The numbed presence caused by pain too strong to handle
A blurry awareness of a black leg
Confusion
I’m gone again

🌟

The sudden burning pain of a tube being shovelled down my throat
Needles in my arms, in my hands
Every cell of my body trying to push the foreign objects out
But I cannot move
Powerlessness
I’m gone again

🌟

Car lights on the road in front of me
Magical power lifting me up
The inhuman strength of a mother saving her child
The excruciating pain of being moved shutting down the short glimpse
But before that: relief?
I’m gone again

🌟

Darkness
Cold

Three remarkably clear thoughts:
1: no one will look for me
2: I’m in the middle of an unlit road, the next car coming will kill me
3: I have to MOVE!!!

I try to drag myself off the road, but I’m incapable of moving even an inch
I fight to stay conscious, to stay in the glimpse
To save myself
Despair
I’m gone again

🌟

There is no accident

There is the before:
The point of insight that this is not going to end well
The low January sun is still up
And the after:
It’s dark and I’m on the road

I don’t have the in between
The place where all change happens

🌟


and then, almost half a lifetime later…

Changing The Story

I don’t know why it happened this time, but I’m back again
My body ice cold, aching, I can feel each individual cell fighting to survive
Emotionally, I’m experiencing dying
Mentally, I feel blank

I’ve made it alright through an intense day of meetings
Like a dying flower I’ve given it my all
But now, back in my hotel room, the exhaustion is overwhelming and I sink down on the carpet in the middle of the room and let my head rest against an armchair

PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It used to happen mainly in hospital situations
Going from calm and rational to fighting for my life in a split second, something no one would believe until they’d witnessed it themselves
Subconscious fear, consciously irrational, leaving me exhausted for days afterwards
But lately: this feeling of dying

I close my eyes, knowing there is hard work to be done
I empty my mind and I let myself travel…

🌟

I see her there in the darkness in front of me, a child lying on the icy road
I kneel beside her and ask her what she needs
“Get me off this road!!!”, a hissing sound, despair in her voice
So I lift her up and I move her over to the shoulder

I put my arms around her and ask her what she needs
“I’m cold”, she whispers, “Blankets.”
So I wrap her in thick woollen blankets

I gently rub her wrapped up body and ask her what she needs
“Is there anywhere safe I can take you?” I wonder
“Is there anyone I can bring here to make you feel safe?”
“Mum?”
“Angels?”
I make suggestions, but she doesn’t answer
I can feel the bottomless fear inside of her
Nothing seems to give her comfort
So I hold her as best as I can
An unsafe little girl next to a road in the cold winter night

Suddenly a white horse appears out of the darkness, and there is some relief in her voice as she cries out “Shazmir, you came back!”

“Can you light candles all around us?” she asks after some silence
So I light thousands of candles in a circle around us
Brighting up the dark night
I ask her what more she needs
But she shakes her head and only says “please stay here with me tonight”
So I stay with her

🌟

Me, a beautiful white arab horse, flickering candles and a petrified girl wrapped in woollen blankets
She, waiting for death
Me, waiting for the morning
And I cry the tears I need to cry for not being able to protect her
For not being able to make her feel safe

🌟

Slowly, slowly dawn is coming
A pale winter sun breaking through the darkness
I ask her what she needs
She seems confused by the daylight and her answer comes slowly, but reluctantly she admits she needs to go home
So I put her on Shazmir’s back – it takes some tries to find a position that does not hurt her too much – and we commence the slow walk back home in the crispy winter morning

I ring the doorbell
Her parents open and I ask her what she needs
“I need to lie on the couch in the living room. From where I can see the ocean.” she replies
So we put her on the couch, and I ask her what she needs
“I need my family around me” is her answer
“I need them to talk and laugh and play right here next to me, so that I can still belong. I need to feel their joy that I’m there, not their sadness that I’m hurt.”
So the family gathers in the living room with her, continuing their lives by her side
Whilst she heals on a green couch – not in a dungeon by herself

I stay around for a while, watching her spirit rise, her face shifting, her body relaxing
But eventually I know I’m not needed anymore
I can hear her bubbling laughter as I sneak back into my own world
Knowing that she’s safe
That she won’t even miss me
Now that we have changed the story forever

🌟


This experience really did help me heal. I still can get panic attacks in hospital situations involving needles – a trigger too close to the original incident – but I no longer feel I have an aspect of me constantly fighting for its life. I no longer feel the sensation of dying.mike-labrum-151765

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