on losing myself to myself
cw: paranoia, psychosis
there are things you can say, but to say them is to admit
something quite possibly inadmissible. an attempt:
i see eyes where there are no eyes, voyeurs where no
one is watching. i wrap my fear in soft language
so that i may pretend it can do no damage. the truth:
paranoia strains my hands, pulls at the stretch of my
skin until i have reached the breaking point. the truth:
i am my own biggest fear. i have touched what was not
to be touched. i have not said what i could not say.
i hide from the shaking within myself as well as without.
i am hiding even now. fear of the thought of capture—
or else the thought of containment. confinement? o,
these words are all the same. i have trapped myself in
-side myself and i am afraid of being let out. i am afraid
of being anywhere but here, in the cage of the mind. i
have been in other cages, both literal and not, and i must
tell you, they each had their charms. they all had their use.
it was not their fault— my fault?— the fault of anyone or
anything. the use has been outlived. the ideal then is to
move on. the plan to extricate myself from myself is one
i reverse so frequently. i bury myself in myself. i lose
myself to myself. i spin myself dizzy trying to reach
the center. of myself. of the truth. of whatever it is i must
be seeking. i see eyes where there are no eyes. i feel the
presence of no one most heavily. i cover the cameras with
cloth and i refuse to admit why. is there a need for an answer?
the question has yet to even be asked. and yet! here i am,
finding myself asking and evading my own strange tongue.
have you ever noticed that time does not move only forward?
have you ever lost yourself to the haze of the past? tell me,
does your mind offer you a lure to catch on? perhaps yours
is a different mechanism of entrapment. but do you know
what i’m attempting to say? there is no inciting action. you
can trace the veins of your past all the way back to their center
and never find the explanation you’re looking for. no, not
everything offers a reasoning. when you hide from the world
there is not always going to be justification. when you hide
from yourself, you are avoiding nothing. you are the only one
capable of whatever it is you’re trying to do. i am not speaking
to you, you must realize. in my world you do not exist. you are
eyes unseen, you are the sight that plagues me, you are the
admission that what i see and do not see are not here or not here.
if we cannot begin at the start, we must end at the end. the truth:
i am both seen and unseen. i am here and not here. i am and i am
withdrawal from reality
the child’s mind grew up. saw the world
and ate it. felt life unfolding in the body,
and chose the coward’s way out.
fear is a damp, dark room. the body too big
to fit. a child’s place; a crawlspace. a set of
walls clawed into; a tower too big to climb.
mistakes were meant to be made. blame
was meant to be laid. the child’s mind
ate its fear and stones gathered in its belly.
comfort cradled the child’s mind, wrapped it
heavy and sang it to sleep. life ebbed on
and guilt spread out, and in the arms of comfort
the child wept. the mind grew up. the body followed
behind. the steps taken to learn how to live in this world
became obvious only in completion. they went unnoticed.
unappreciated. the walls built up and there
they were, on the other side of fear. or at least
somewhere further. the mind a delicate thing.
the motion of movement, an alluring sight.
rules unspoken scrolling across the peripheral.
they were taught how to move, how to speak,
how to be. their tongue refused to follow the
teaching. even their own. and so tied itself
into a knot. and then they went on.
skin wilts under touch without thought. lids curl
themselves closed when the mind overwhelms.
there are indents in a floor years away
where a body stood, incapable of moving.
the body grew away from that moment
but the mind remains. the mind pulls
itself back, the tongue shrivels to child-speak,
the body pulls itself so small it can be seen
as nothing. age ticks up, body bends back,
chest tightens around the knowledge of growth.
lungs expand empty expand empty the mind
fizzles itself out of thought. a wish for return.
time inevitable, tugging forward
the unwilling body
change inevitable, trailing time
BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in Vulnerary Magazine and others.