ball of wool.


Am I the only one here whose anxiety is envisioned as, depicted as, a ball.?

In my particular case, a ball of wool.

A solid mass of intermingled, knotted, coarse, crude wool.

For many years, tightly bound

At one point beginning to unravel – even more fearful than the tight knot….

Even unravelling at speed once, alarmingly so.

Did it ever really leave me, that ball in my stomach. There since Childhood.

Taken me years and years into Adulthood to realise it was in fact, Anxiety.

It had a name. A capital for a proper noun.

Why didnt they tell me back then? Why didnt we label, categorise and print out our woes … back then.

Is it that they existed less than now?

I thought the ball had gone at one stage….maybe I was truly happy for a while….

Yet then it returned with a vengeance! With a searing emptiness to remind me daily it was missing

That I had wickedly unravelled it and torn it, wrenched it from my gut and now my comfort rock was gone, painful as it felt at times, pressing down on my very inner core.

But this….this utter Emptiness. This hollow ringing Despair. Not even a worthy replacement.

Its mantra – There is nothing left inside of me. There is nothing left inside of me.

Echoing throughout my very person. Singeing the edges of my Soul.

Of late it has changed its form again.

 

It decided, this Entity, to reconvene its gnawing, its inimitable gloopy presence in the pit of my stomach, clawing at my insides at any given, but unexpected moment. No warning, just layer upon layer of uncertain certainty that it will lay down again. Resurface again. Simultaneously.

 

If I imagine removing it by force I know it will just thwart me so I have to let the feeling, the invasion of me, dwell until it decides its time to vacate again.

This unpaying, scrounging, vagrant.

Sucking me dry of energy, motivation and desire.

I want to scoop it out, scrape mercilessly at my innards, free myself from its sticky tendrils wrapping around the walls of my gut.

It resists. Like a mollusc created from transient thought. A growth manifested by Guilt , Shame, Lies, Tragedy, Confusion. All abstracts leading to one concrete, unperishable mass.

Am I then?

Am I the only one?

Advertisements

Associative Memory Syndrome


Is that a real term? label? condition?

Or did I just coin it myself at almost 4a.m on a frozen, snow-blasted morning –  somewhere betwixt the witching hour and dawn?

I just went to sup some water – too cold to brave downstairs in the scullery as it would have been back in the Victorian hey day of this cottage – brrrr! – and my modern day scullery has heating! I found myself cupping my hands under the cold water tap in the bathroom.

Suddenly, I am back in the ’70’s – with the senior sister’s skirts swishing ominously past as my playmates and I spend that little bit too long at the cute little washbasins after using the toilets at break.

“Class!” she barks. “Now!”

We scuttle by, hastily rolling down shirt sleeves and surreptiously avoiding her keen eye.

Except me.

I never avoided her eye.  As my paternal grandmother often said in her dulcet Irish brogue – ” You’re a bold, bold girl – so you are!”

Yet in that formidable senior sister, who most cowered and hid from, I saw something far softer.  I never forgot her. As a simple trip to the bathroom to drink from my hands proves.

She inspired me.

She took me seriously. In a home where my passion for writing was highly ignored and even scoffed at, my random musings dismissed by my mother as mere scribblings of a half wit, to go to the school with such offerings and have them applauded and praised was pure balm.

Somehow, too, with the Mother Petronella’s sanctimonious blessing they seemed to matter more to The Adoptive Mother too.

So is associative memory syndrome real? Our brain never ceases to amaze me – its breadth, depth and capacity to harbour such long-anchored moments, to glimpse in an instant that scuffed corridor of Our Lady & St. Hughes, to audibly recognise Mother Petronella’s fearful swishing approach!

 

 

Yet without AMS where would we be as writers?

Nostalgia is my main tool, and adds poignancy to memory – even if, as suspected, memory is somewhat rose-tinged, polly-fillered over the cracks of Time, and loosened of its grip in that very present back then.

Sound, Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight – eternal olfactories – unending Muses.