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#197824 - 01/04/08 06:37 AM
A Sailor's Life
Imagine that you're a sailor who is about to go out into the sea for the first time.
You are nervous, joyful, and ready for the experience.
You think that nothing can go wrong on your voyage.
Everything is new, colorful, and exciting when you go out.
Then you begin to think about what you are seeing and doing.
You find yourself thinking that it isn't at all glorified as it seemed to be when you first started.
You find it hard, wrong, and uncomfortable.
True there are those who find such things pleasurable, but not for you.
You are eventually paralyzed after storms hit you again and again.
You want it to stop but there is no place for you to go out in the middle of nowhere.
Eventually, you begin not to feel anything...the wind, the sun, the rain.
It means nothing to you anymore. It just becomes routine.
You stop talking to people on your voyage...not because its pointless,
But because no one can understand or know what you have seen, felt, or done.
You find yourself even more alone in your situation,
And you retreat further and further into yourself;
Ignoring the pain and confusion of the situations you find yourself in.
But that all changes one day...
A storm hits your wooden vessel, and tosses you over the railing.
The waves are relentless and hit you again and again.
Your first instinct is to swim back to the ship.
After all, that is where you feel more comfortable;
However, when you swim towards the ship,
It gets further and further away from you.
You begin to think that everything you have done is lost,
That there is no more hope for your life and it makes you feel worthless.
That you should have done something with your life,
But you realize that you could have done nothing.
You begin to sink into despair and almost give up,
But you notice a piece of driftwood from your ship float by...
You grasp onto it and begin to hope once again.
You begin to feel each muscle, each inch of skin burn,
And you just want it to stop, but it won't.
You want to tear at your throat and your wrists...
But it doesn't do anything for you.
You have to make a decision at this point.
Continue on hanging to that piece of wood,
And hope that someone notices and comes to find you,
Or let go and sink into the water...
If someone does find you...
You can remain silent for years about what happened;
Telling no one of your journey.
You feel embarassed about the events...
After all, you were supposed to be a tough and strong sailor,
Supposed to be able to stand up to anything and survive it...
But that wasn't the case. You lost this battle.
You feel that amongst all the people who have traveled the seas,
You are alone with this guilt and shame.
You feel like that everyone knows the truth,
Everything, everyone is after you...
That they are ready to expose you for what you are...a fraud.
So you lose yourself even further to your own deception.
You either go back out and prove that it was not so...
You break down and expose yourself to the truth of the situation...
Or choose the easier way out and forget about it while it consumes you alive.
#197945 - 01/05/08 12:19 AM
Re: A Sailor's Life
Loc: Carlisle, PA
That feeling of being uniquely damaged and defective, "alone with this guilt and shame", as you say, is something that will be familiar to so many guys here. It's a survival from our childhood, when we could make no sense of what was happening to us except by blaming ourselves.
The same with that feeling of being a fraud. I remember feeling that my whole life was a sham and only the abuse was real; that was the only time I could drop the pretending. But those feelings too are false and a survival from a broken childhood.
I'm glad you found us. There's a lot to think about here and I'm glad to see you getting into it so seriously already.
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me. (Woody Guthrie)