Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Portrait of Despair

I see someone I love very much on the train tracks.  She looks so small and vulnerable in the distance.  And all of a sudden, I see that a train is coming. It’s far away, but I can see the tiny prick of light from the headlight and hear the quiet whistle in a distance.

I start to yell in hopes that help will arrive.  I see others coming to her aid, but the temporary wave of relief is fleeting as I realize that the others don’t hear the train getting closer.

Now everyone is on the tracks, and I am instantly filled with anxiety because they don’t hear me screaming at them to get off the tracks nor do they hear this train rushing towards them.  This train is loud and scary, and that tiny light and whistle heard in the distance is becoming brighter and more thunderous by the second.

I yell louder and louder, desperate for someone to hear me.  I am afraid to get closer to the tracks because I don’t want to get injured.  I’ve been hit by that train more than once, more than twice.  And now I am responsible for other human beings other than myself, human beings that are now old enough to discern when something is not right,

Instead I continue to scream, “Don't you hear the train? It’s coming so fast!  Why are you ignoring it?  Why are you ignoring me?”

The train roar is deafening, covering up my desperate cries.  I cannot fathom how the people on the tracks cannot hear this.

I yell some more, but it’s futile.

The next logical step would be to run and get help, however, I’m afraid to tell anyone else because this train that is coming to destroy my loved ones, it's a secret.  When discussed with loved ones, big, angry fireworks explode to cause a distraction from the real issue, the issue of the train barreling down the tracks with no regard to anyone or anything.
I am stuck; immobilized by fear. No one can hear me over the rumble of the train and the blast of the fireworks, but I’m scared to tell anyone.
Even though the train is so close now and it is clear no one on the tracks can see it, self- doubt starts to creep in.  No, creep is not the right word.  More like flood in, and I am drowning in self-doubt.   Maybe this train isn't really here. Maybe I am the one imagining all of this.  It’s hard to stay focused on the train with all these volatile, abrasive fireworks going off all around me.

Until the trains hits.

It’s messy and sad and unbearable.

I thought nothing could be worse than the anxiety of trying to get others to listen.


Guilt. The guilt that pierces right through to my core and sickens me with its vileness - that is the worst.  It’s the guilt that I didn't protect my loved ones and keep them safe.  The guilt that I let my warped distorted sense of loyalty and the irrational duty of secret keeping prevent me from doing what was right is the worse.  It makes me feel dirty and no amount of hand washing will ever make it go away.
Only time seems to make the guilt slowly fade away, and I start to feel hopeful that I may start to feel normal.  I do normal things, like brush my teeth, brush my kids’ teeth, make meals, and do laundry.

But when it’s quiet, I find that guilt slowly undulates into anger and back into guilt.

When I am exhausted from the raging course of my emotions, I lay still in hopes that it is peace that emerges from the dark waters.

But right now, that is not the case.  I am left with steady flow of despair which constantly erodes my sense of well-being.    


NPRMommy said...

going through some tough times now, too...can totally relate...the quiet times are the toughest, for sure...hang in there...sending positive, healing vibes your way...

Mommy on the Spot said...

Thanks so much! You hang in there, too. Sending positive thoughts right back at you!

NPRMommy said...


AlJam said...
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Anonymous said...

I hear your screams.

Erin Rawlings said...

Thank you!

Julia P F said...

I'm so sorry. I feel like I'm there with you, excellent description of some terrible feelings.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I hear you. I try and avoid the quiet times. Sucks, doesn't it? Huge hugs.

Erin Rawlings said...

Thank you so much. I appreciate the supportive comment!

Erin Rawlings said...

They are the worst! Thanks for the hugs!