Wait … wait… wait ….
The word reverberated in my head; getting louder each time I said it. Faces are above me, angry faces – wait … two are speaking, I don’t know them, no, not speaking, yelling …
Wait … please … wait …
I can hear one of them now but it’s like trying to listen to someone yelling against a fierce wind, the words are faint and you make out only a few at a time – “get” … “car” …
Wait … wait… wait … I say in my head again; then finally I find a word, a word to not just say in my head, “Stop!” I hear it; it sounds funny, low and far away. I try again, “Stop! Stop! Wait … Stop!”
On that last word the wind is gone and in a moment everything is loud – sounds loud, feels loud, looks loud.
“Stop!” I say it again but the faces keep talking, both of them, at the same time. I hear them now.
“No! You stop! Get out of the car, we need you out of the car!” says one.
“How many?! How many did you take? No, we’re not gonna stop – you need to get out or we’ll take you out!” says the other.
For the first time I see them, they’re cops. I don’t understand. I feel angry and afraid, so afraid, “Please… wait … wait wait … please …” I say. Everything is too loud; they are too close.
“No!” says the one who’s on my side of the door, as he leans in and unbuckles my seatbelt, “We need you out now!”
Looking for the first time in the cop’s direction, I see, up and out the open door, my therapist. He’s trying to talk to them, he’s saying something, I don’t know exactly what it is but then I make out some of the words, “Just take it easy, give her a second.”
“We don’t have time for that, we need her out now,” says the cop at my door. He turns to me, “This is gonna be a lot worse if you don’t get out.”
Everything is so loud, so fast. I hear him but I feel like I’m watching a movie where the sound dubbing is a little off, delayed. I suddenly feel cold and see that my door is open and I want to close it but he’s there in front of the door, leaning in and angry. I hear myself say, “ok, just … one secon – ok.” Anything to stop the yelling.
This was the beginning of four of the worst days of my life. The question could then be asked – why go back? Why dredge it all up again; leave it alone, look forward. To that I would say that writing about it is looking forward. Writing about it allows it to no longer hide just under the surface, popping up occasionally to terrify me into believing I’m crazy or incompetent. Writing about it, is me choosing to look at it all, to take command of memory and no longer allow memories to take command of me. I’ve lived most of my life in control, at least on the outside, holding things together for family, for friends, for myself; while on the inside I was and sometimes still am a tsunami.
A tsunami is a catastrophic ocean wave that causes great destruction when it reaches land. Earthquakes, or volcanic activity, or some other major disturbance under the sea causes it and the devastation it brings is immense. My destruction and devastation was always internal. Large earthquakes in the form of trauma, bullying, pain, disappointment, loneliness, and rejection would come and destroy the good I had tried to build in spite of the bad. Leading up to that day in January almost two years ago now, the tsunami’s had gotten worse. It was no longer a large disturbance that started my devastating wave of emotion, it was now having to deal with traffic, or long lines at the grocery store, or a seemingly innocent conversation that somehow struck a nerve; everything led to a large reaction.
When tsunamis begin to come weekly, at first you’re a little worried, thinking you can get it under control, you can find a safe place to weather the storm. They then begin to come daily, then before you know it, hourly; and not really knowing or understanding how, you are in your car on a snowy and cold January afternoon with two strangers yelling at you as your only thought is…. wait …. wait … please wait …