May 1995: Airplane Pollution

(Written May 2, 1995)

There’s been a damn airplane snarling out there while I’m writing.  I hate to have a lovely fresh morning, 8AM, sunshine, greening grass, spoiled by that continuous grind at the edge of hearing.  Sigh.  I am not looking forward to airplane season.

I went to take out the birdfeeders and there was the plane, gnarling away in the distance.  I don’t understand how it is that it can completely spoil the freshness of the day, it’s like the days when the mountains are bleared by sulfur dioxide, a continuous low-grade pollution that prevents a return to freshness, newness, innocence.  It’s like the way childhood abuse prevents me from being reborn with the spring, there is no rebirth possible if every experience of freshness that could provide a metaphor for healing is tainted.  I feel like Frodo, so wounded by his quest to destroy the Ring that he could not enjoy life in the Shire when he returned.  Yes, that’s how I feel, that I am so wounded that certain things just aren’t possible: a return to innocence, to freshness and newness, to zest in life?  will I never be able to really enjoy living again, enjoy it 100% in some total kind of way, will there always be that pollution, that shadow, darkening the edges?  I think I’ve been hoping all along that it was possible to heal, to “get back to” some kind of primary positive experience.  I think of Nessa saying after Julian’s death: “I may smile again, but I’ll never be happy” or something like that.  I think of the woman in The Unicorn, who had always wanted time to herself, time just “to be,” and then when she got it, found that it was spoiled somehow, as though already used by someone else.  That’s how I feel, that I’m not able to come into the freshness of the moment because before the moment gets to me, it has already been spoiled.
Wow!  I can see that that doesn’t make sense logically — surely each moment is truly new — but that’s how it feels.  Time itself, the day itself, surely even the noise of the planes, is always new, so if I experience it as “already spoiled” it must be something I do myself, some mechanism in my psyche.  What comes is my inability to forgive myself — for being unable to enjoy, for being wounded, for having been abused, for being unable to heal from that abuse.  Sigh.  Maybe I should try forgiving myself seventy times seven.

Comment from the Present:  Here I am blaming myself for symptoms that are caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: the hypersensitivity to noise, and being triggered by it into a position of being totally hopeless and helpless.  Medication is still two years in the future, and I don’t really get it that I was traumatized until 2002.

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