How Do You Get Your Skin Back On?
Spring seems to have come early in this part of the world, but I don’t really trust it. The sun is warm on my face, but the wind has an icy touch. Flowers pushing up through the earth bring hope, but they are obscured by dense fog this morning. It all feels a bit fragile and unstable, this time between the seasons. I could get tripped up or caught out by an unforeseen snowstorm, a sudden downpour of rain.
Living on the wire edge of disappointment is an unnerving balancing act.
Anxiety grasps its strong, skeletal hands around my insides. Bony fingers dig into my guts and I’m paralysed; my sympathetic nerves raw and unprotected. They seem to have taken up residence on the outside of my body. Each thought or word I brush up against slams them together like wind chimes in a storm: jangling, discordant.
I’ve turned up empty-handed. I have nothing to bring to the table except desolate hands clenched and twisted with apprehension. I am ashamed to show up yet again, with nothing to give.
I’m ashamed to show up so vulnerable. I’m embarrassed to need people. The possibility of abandonment haunts me like a sinister shadow.
You’re too needy.
Too emotional. You’re unstable and unreliable.
You’re too broken to fix.
You feel everything too much. You’re too much for people.
I do feel everything. All the time.
How do you switch that off?
How do you get your skin back on?
I read in this book about how we all wish God would show up and speak from a big cloud; an audible voice to explain everything we’ve been confused about. Perhaps that voice would be the one to erase our doubts, bring us what we’ve been asking for, tell us what to do next. In the book it says God did show up in a cloud once, and the one thing he shouted from it, the one thing that was so important he said it out loud, was this: you’re my beloved, I’m so pleased with you.
The morning mist has burned off and above is endless blue. The faintest whisper of haze streaks across the sky. The only voices belong to the birds, and a small child wailing in the distance. A breeze rustles through the still-dead leaves. I can’t stop crying.
For a fleeting moment, I think I almost hear it.