When the monster fills the silence, everything real stops and everything imagined escalates.
Anxiety consumes everything in its path. It’s a cruel and unforgiving blanket to reality, laying a haze over everything it touches. The haze turns to fog and the fog turns to cloud. The clouds become storms and the storms are unrelenting.
It’s an irrational monster, borne of fear and baggage, occupying space it wasn’t given and taking up time it doesn’t deserve.
When the silence sets in, the monster stirs from his slumber and begins the familiar low, slow, pace into the void.
We all have different triggers. We all have different monsters. My monster comes out when The Great Divide is opened up. The foundations rock, the chasm begins the shuffle – the unexpected spread of time and quiet.
For most of us, abandonment is a real fear, based in real experiences. Silence is often translated as abandonment – ghosting. Often times (in my case), it’s not ghosting that triggers my monster: it’s a sense, a feeling, a moment – when intuition tells you, like a speaker broadcasting to an empty canyon – something is wrong.
Intuition is not universal. Some of us have a stronger sense than others, some people never develop it at all. Sometimes we bundle our understanding of intuition up into common sense, which isn’t as common as you are conditioned to believe.
My intuition is strong. So strong in fact, that the day I was unexpectedly hit by a car I couldn’t see (which sounds decidedly more dramatic than it was), I knew it would happen the moment I lifted my foot to step off the curb.
I lifted my foot, and at the exact moment I did, something told me I was about to be hit. Like a movie, in slow motion, I curled into a ball as I was forming that first step. As soon as my foot hit the tarmac, I was struck by a car. Because I had curled into a ball, I wasn’t seriously injured.
I was raised by a woman who inadvertently placed more value in developing my intuition than any other god-given ability. She worked in mental health on a crisis team. She spent her life – before and after me – developing her natural ability to understand people and to understand situations. She had used her intuitive abilities to steer much of her adult life, and she placed that ability on a pedestal akin to those who have a strong faith in religion. Unwavering and devoted – in Intuition we trust.
My intuition has told me to ask questions, to avoid places, people, situations, to change my approach, to slow my mouth. My intuition is rarely wrong. In Intuition we trust.
That intuition told me something wasn’t right last night. Thunderbolts was distant, less communicative, short, less engaged.
For six hours I sat with an increasing sense of discomfort. Something was wrong. The monster stirred.
The longer I sat, the closer the monster got. The faster he approached to fill The Great Divide. The haze set in. The haze thickened. The fog became soupy.
By the time I realised I was holding space with the monster, the damage was done. I could feel the fibre of my being grabbing at straws, writing stories to explain and rationalise, illustrating the scenarios that would justify away the sense of unease. Something was wrong.
I asked Thunderbolts, (the monster asked), “Are you ok?”
“I’m just tired.”
The answer was never going to be enough. The damage was done.
There’s often a moment, when you’re with your monster, when you feel the threads of reality start to slip. You become needy, you become clingy, you become disconnected from yourself – you have an out of body experience where you see your limbs and your mouth acting independently of logic. You are powerless to stop yourself, you are powerless to slow the monster and lift the storm clouds.
You know you are being irrational (but are you?). You know you are filling the void to serve you (or are you just preparing?). Your body steels itself to fight, or to fly. Your heart rate increases, your extremities tremble (ever so slightly). You are consumed in the cold embrace of the monster. You desperately try not to feed him, not to give him more power, but the fight is tiring and relentless.
You eventually fade, exhausted, frustrated, cold.
I fell asleep last night knowing something was wrong. I woke up early this morning still knowing something is wrong.
This morning, the monster and I will wait.