The pain thunders in, rumbling after the big quake shook my life, crumbling it into pieces. These aftershocks are reminders of what once sought to destroy, and nearly did. They roll in, rattle and shake things up, and then roll out, leaving no destruction, but chaos in their wake.
They simply stir up trouble. They stir up memories. They stir up questions. They stir up answers.
The clarity that comes with them is troublesome because it’s something I don’t want to face. I don’t want to admit it. I don’t want to think about it, but I can’t help it at the same time. The depth and gravity of my illness was far beyond what I realized during the quake. And thank goodness. I imagine I might not have been able to handle it if I had known how many close calls there really were. If I had known how savagely the ground beneath my feet was shaking, threatening to break into a deep chasm. If I had known…
The questions that swirl up from the ground from the shocks leave me unable to move or breathe at times. They fill me with guilt and remorse and regret that I know I shouldn’t feel, yet… The questions come in rapid fire. Did you know how bad it was? Of course you knew. You saw it. You were looking from the outside. You lived with it and you knew what to look for. What did it do to you? How did you feel? I watched it break you. I watched it. I saw you and I knew it was my fault. I knew it was my fault but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I kept leaning in. Leaning harder and harder. I couldn’t stand on my own. I couldn’t. But you were barely standing, either. Did you want to give up? Did you hope I would give up? That it would just be over? Were you mad at me? Did you even believe me?
I didn’t think the quake would ever end. It was relentless. And now, the shocks come and go so unexpectedly. Uninvited. What purpose do they serve? How long will they last? Will they stop? Those are the answers I wish I had. This earth shattering time in my life will never be erased from my memory but I don’t want to keep reliving it. I don’t want to keep being reminded of the damage it caused. The damage is permanent, like cracks in porcelain. The cracks will always be there. Damaged. Repaired, but not quite like it used to be. Do the cracks cause the aftershocks? Will they always?