Scratching The Itch

Speaking of scratching itches.

Survival never taught me to take care of anything other than myself.

And even that I did excessively poorly. Abusive and negligent would be good descriptors.

That thought struck me earlier. And it had a profound effect on me.

I was out doing my thing. Getting all my different things done in the 3 opposing corners of the city while working within a very tight time frame and carrying a literal heavy load. Juggling my diminishing sense of serenity and my voracious pain that had reached a level that could under other circumstances leave me delirious.

But the thought and the following stream of thoughts that assaulted me almost made me miss my stop while trying to circumvent the massive police blockade in the centre of town because of the inmate who is dying as I sit and write this because of an extended hunger strike in protest of his human rights being infringed upon by the government and the penal system through the constant worsening of his conditions despite being a model inmate.

Weird times we live in. Looking back throughout our history, though. It is difficult to surmise if anything ever really changes. We pretend to progress so much yet remain tethered to antiquated and vindictive ways of thinking. Because absolute power corrupts absolutely. And it’s easier to just do the same things over and over rather than really change.

So yeah. The thing.

The process of learning to open myself up to letting other people in. Learning to love and listen to the needs of the people and animals I have in my tight circle. My tribe.

It broadened me. My consciousness grew to finally accommodate all the massive weight I chose to carry with me all this time. I began to understand the true meaning of words like strength and family.

It helped me decide to finally address what I before believed to be the insurmountable damage I had acquired along the way.

My pain. The way it changed me. It made all of this possible. My ability to now connect with people comes from a shared knowledge of pain.

One might say that I have spent my life in pursuit of nothing if not the experience of pain. In any form I could get it. Not for gratification. I can’t even begin to explain why. The reason is deeply rooted in some part of me I have yet to find or address. A psychiatrist once joked that I had taken sadomasochism to a whole other level.

That pursuit has allowed me to repeatedly experience as much and as varied a pain as I could encounter. My need to do things the hard way, and I mean fucking everything.

The way that I have processed it and understood it. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of pain. I understand it intimately. Which is fortuitous as it has become a daily and constant fixture in my existence. Even if it can get the better of me. I hold no malice over it. I see it for what it is and what it could become.

This writing. The drinking. The madness. All of it is centred on pain. It always has been. Never as a means of fetishizing or romanticizing it. I never sought to put it on a pedestal. Just to put it out as I experience it as a means to understand. Rather than sit and obsess about it while I fruitlessly try to ignore it. I took a proactive approach. And instead of trying to reason with it or admonish it to understand it.

I don’t pretend to understand what goes into other people’s pain. I can only understand what I experience. And how I experience it. I see, though, that by understanding the mechanics of it and how that can affect an already burdened mind. I can listen better. Because that’s what its about. Right?

Encyclopedic or not I understand that it is mine and only mine. What it can do though is humble the ego by reminding it how that specific pain broke us. Quietening the inside so that I can listen with my all.

I understand all of this conceptually. But putting I don’t communicate it with other people because I fail to find the words.

It seems that this afternoon’s events set in motion a particular set of dominoes. And that I did find them, eventually.

I think I am going to enjoy reading this tomorrow. I am eager to see what new pathways open up to me. What else I will find.

I guess we will figure it out together.

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Costas K.

Costas K.

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