Fever spikes are like lunar magnetism, churning the waters of my emotions. I’m drowning in this tide of memories, pulling me down with the undertow of nostalgia…
I remember what it felt like to be twelve years old, being flooded with so many feelings at the same time that I was convinced I couldn’t actually feel anything. I would just lie on my bed, with my headphones on, wishing that I could cry. But, by then I had already cried so much that my tear ducts felt like they had turned to dust. I could have ground broken glass into my corneas and I would have been surprised if I could’ve even squeeze blood out of my eyes.
I had only been alive for a decade and some change… and I already felt so… empty. There’s a point where fear, sadness, and pain seems to melt away. They don’t actually vacate your body, but it’s sort of like how static sinks into the background. Despite what people may think, this is the most dangerous sensation… you’re not depressed or angry anymore. You’re just… perfectly still. You start to wonder if you’re already dead. You get comfortable with the idea of blinking out of existence, because nothing already feels like nothing… which feels like… nothing.
And you remember that when you were younger (no matter how young you still are) that you used to fight the numbness. That when you slammed your fingers in doors or fists through mirrors… when you watched the sharp edge dance across your skin, it felt like you were bleeding off some of your own misery. You would grit your teeth and quietly scream “Fuck OFF!” on the inside. You weren’t even sure who you were cursing at. Your abusers? Your parents? The world? Yourself?
No one really understood that all the times you hurt yourself, you were just trying to feel something. You wanted to prove to yourself that you were here… that the things that happen to you matter… that maybe — just this once — no one could sweep you under the rug. That you were making a record of your existence, keeping track of time served, in the form of scars and burns. To prove that some things don’t just fade away when you refuse to talk about them. To stubbornly demonstrate that not everything heals with time.
But… it was only a temporary solution. Eventually, it just became like a mechanical habit, but it really didn’t make you feel any better. No matter how many times you left marks on yourself… you’d always wake up in the same bed… the same room… the same world. Feeding your lifeblood to the void.
“Everything happens for a reason.” It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s too naive for me. It suggests that existence is safe and easy, because whatever is supposed to happen will simply happen…. and that’s not the nature of life. Life is uncertain and brutal. And after a long time of contemplation, I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing means anything… unless you decide to make it mean something.
For me, I knew that no one else had witnessed what I had been through. I was a sole survivor… and if I let my negative experiences cause me to self destruct completely, then the wrongs that had been inflicted on me would just be wiped from the slate. And maybe they would just keep happen again and again, to different people.
It wasn’t my fault, the things that happened to me. I didn’t ask for any of it… but to be in a position where I could do something that I was already hard-wired for— survive — and possibly make someone else’s life a little brighter? I felt like I had an obligation…
Because we live in a world where too many people turn their heads when they see things that make them uncomfortable. They close their eyes and pretend that things are okay. And I knew, even at my weakest moments, that was something I would make every effort not to do.
The ugly things that happen to all of us mean nothing… unless we acknowledge and empathize with one another. We make it meaningful by caring. And by giving it value, we are given the liberty to help channel it into something positive — even if that takes a lifetime to achieve. By being willing to play witness, we show other people that they matter. Even if the universe doesn’t care… someone does. We empower each other to assert that what happened to us was wrong. When we survive and learn how to thrive even, we prove to each other that those wrongs don’t define us.
We remind each other that It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to be human.
And sometimes being nothing — in the grand scope of things — isn’t a terrible or frightening thing. It just means that you have everything to gain.
Nothing means anything.