I’ve only been away a couple days. I’ve been in long meetings. Thoughtful discussions. It’s amazing to be a part of systemic, deeply integrated, racial justice change. I am honored. I believe in the need for change so deep we wonder whether or not we deserve the seats in the boardrooms where we work to create such change.
For some reason, being in long meetings makes me consume beverages in copious amounts. Too much coffee, water and trips to the bathroom. I’ll be wired for hours tonight.
I know, I know, cool it with the late coffee.
And can someone tell me why meeting rooms always have the heat too high or the a/c to low? I have sat in so many meetings, in so many buildings and in my experience, not a single conference room can maintain a comfortable temperature level.
Today one board member and I fought over the thermostat. At the end, he looked at me, shrugged and said, I’m between two women. His wife on one side. Me on the other. It made me laugh. His wife is well through menopause. I am just beginning.
There is no temperature that makes me happy.
I’m on my way home on the train, a blessed piece of transportation unaffected by security changes. I get to have beverages, lotion and toothpaste in large containers. It is amazing what makes you happy when your civil liberties have been stripped away.
Tonight, though, I ache for home. I want to kiss my children. I need desperately to hold them and remember what is important. How safe they are. How much I love them and would never hurt them. It is not something I take for granted.
I woke up with a nightmare last night so horrible I could not shut my eyes again. It was a weaving of my current life with past horrors. The images are still pressed in my mind. I am uneasy. The next time I try to sleep, I’m afraid I will see it all again. It rocks me to my core. My children’s faces meld into my own. I am at once victim and perpetrator. It is beyond description except to say I wake up with a dry scream in my throat.
Please, oh god, please, no.
I know I am a good parent. I know I would never hurt my children. But the scars I have cut so deep they make who I am and who my parents were inseparable at night.
I wonder if sleeping is overrated.
My babies. I could never hurt them. And yet my own father hurt me. Without a moment’s hesitation, I became his prey.
In the long run, I am anybody’s prey.
I am up for grabs. I am vulnerable to the worst kind of people- the ones who only care for themselves. Whose desperate need to be soothed surpasses any of my own.
When I wake up from these dreams, I want to put an end to the images. I want to put a gun to my own head and stop the movie I cannot stop. I don’t want to die; I simply want the images to stop. I know of no other way. It’s as if the gunpowder and bullet will cut through my head and remove all that is bad. All that I cannot control. All that happened to me I could never control and make me better. Obliterate it with a single shot. Not surgical- there is too much to be surgical- a messy but complete removal.
I heard my voice last night say please stop please stop please stop.
It will never stop.
And the gun is no answer.
There is no answer. Except to step through every day holding the images.
And at night, hope I can let them go.