Helplessness Feels Like


Woke up to you again. Holding your sides and shivering, your mouth wide open and screaming so hard your lips shook. Don’t know what to do when you get attacked like that. Don’t know where to put my hands to calm your breathing. But I laid you down in the bathtub and I ran the water up to your ears so that when you screamed you wouldn’t hear it so scarily.

I suppose I accepted in an act of all embracing, twenty twelve defiance. So it really is fitting that leaving should cause the same gut-wrenching pit of despair and cold anxiety inside me. The kind that swirls in my stomach, unbalancing me, making it difficult for me to walk. The kind my counsellor always seemed so concerned about.

I know some people would tell me to stay the course. Remind me that some people would have to; that they do not have the choice. That I should be grateful. That things could be worse.

 Well I am chequing my privilege. I am claiming my right to be choosy. I will not settle because others suffer, I will not let them place settlements into my skin, building exponential colonies. I’m sorry if that sounds selfish, but I will not hold back progress until the others can catch up. I do not wait, only to become stagnant. I want an ocean. 

Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (via talkativolive)