Sometimes I feel like I’m always fighting something, like there’s no peace in my head. I’m sure often I give people the idea that maybe I am never happy, which I am of course, just like anyone else. I can find joy in the little things like walking my granddaughter along the stream not far from us, through all the trees and things she has yet to discover and name. It’s so wonderful to watch her sometimes with the innocence she has of a two year old.
She points to the water and looks up at me with that face, she smiles and says “wet” and I nod and say yes it is wet. Then she points to her feet and says “shoes” and I know she wants to go paddling, so I take her hand and we do. These are the little things I can find my peace in.
Inside though, it’s different. My mind is panicking about everything. When did I last eat? Is it going to come back out, every mouthful I take has the potential to make me sick, and as I’m eating I remember, what if this time? So I put my food down, throw it away and try to decide if the rumble in my stomach is hunger or illness. The more I think about it the worse I feel. What if I get sick?
I’ve washed my hands so much thy feel sore and dry, the skin on them feels tight. I stand trying to think, are they clean enough? Did I touch something bad? Did I wash them properly? As I stand I don’t even notice I’m clawing at my scalp or my arms and I don’t realise that I’m bleeding, scratch marks run down my arms, my scalp feels like it burns from where I’ve grazed the top of the skin off in my absent minded scratching frenzy.
I try to hide the noises I make in my throat, feeling each sound and when I can’t I do it again, making me sound like I’m clicking. Numbers fight with symmetry and I’m breathing through my nose just to feel the scratch.
1 – time, it’s not enough.
2 – it’s a division of four
3 – Yes I like three, that’s my number, but it’s not even.
4 – I can’t even think about resting there. Four is bad. Four is terrible. Something bad will happen if I leave it at four. Four makes him come. Bu he can’t and I’m big. He’s gone.
5 – No, not right, like three it’s not even.
6 – Six is good. No link to four, divided by three and it’s even. But Six is divided by three to get two, two is part of four.
Stop it!!! I try to tell myself.
I look down at the water and try to focus on my granddaughter, but I see my reflection. My reflection. No it isn’t, it’s someone vaguely familiar, not my face, just something the same. I see the badness there. There reasons for the bad things.
No wonder people do bad things to you, I say in my head. You’re pathetic and stupid. How can anyone care? Look at you, look how stupid you are.
I wish you would die. I wish I could kill you. I wish I could die. Just to make the madness go away. I hate how I feel.
I look away, back at my granddaughter. She smiles at me and stamps her feet making splashes. She reminds me why I can’t end it.
I smile at her. Smile and pretend that I’m normal.