Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Scream

Sometimes, when I know there is something inside me that needs to come out, but I can't put the words on paper, I imagine screaming. Loud and long and primal, the sort of scream you imagine echoing through the corridors of a Victorian Era asylum. I imagine my voice carrying through the ceiling, the roof, up into the sky, and taking with it whatever elusive emotions were living inside me just a moment ago.

It's a pretty picture but it doesn't work, of course. Whatever it was that was so desperate to get out is still there long after my imaginary voice gives out. I'm left with the same feeling pressing at my chest from the inside, its urgency still building. I'll turn back to the blank page and try to write again, but I still can't find the words.

Actually, that last part is bullshit. I can find the words, but I'm afraid to say them. I'm afraid that I'll seem angry or too emotional or overly aggressive. I'm afraid that I'll scare you away. I'm afraid that I'll show you my rawest, most vulnerable side, and you'll turn your back on me. I'm afraid that you'll judge me. I'm afraid that you'll hurt me.

And so instead, I let out a scream, wrapping myself in it like a protective cocoon. Because that half measure, which really doesn't give any comfort at all, is better than the alternative. Putting it all on paper and laying myself out for you to see who I really am and what I really feel, giving you the opportunity to judge me and turn your back on me and cut me to the core, is worse. Instead I scream to myself, silently, wishing you could hear it and everything else I'm not saying, but not daring to let you in.


j said...

This is beautiful, Erin; why vulnerability is so hard... and so meaningful.

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