Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.
As I looked out at the water, I realized there was nowhere to go, nowhere left to run. And I just had to stay here facing this terrible truth. I felt, as more tears fell, just how tired I was, a tiredness that had nothing to do with the hour. I was tired of running from this, tired of pretending that things were okay when they had never, ever been less okay.
I feel something change in me… I feel a flat calm, a detachment, the way I get when something is too much and yet l must function and in fact function at the highest level. I know what I’m in for, only a fool wouldn’t know that..
Then I laughed. It was this sick reflex—to laugh. But that was what people did, right? When they couldn’t cry or scream because they couldn’t feel enough to do either of those? They laughed. It was what happened to those too numb for pain, who instead sensed only a tickle. They laughed.