This Chapter - By Christine Steendam
I’m regressing. Life has stalled. Instead of moving forward, it is moving in reverse. What comes next? It is a blank wall to me. Will I have to relive those painful years of discovery and change? The years of slowly being ripped out of my skin and suddenly donning a new one. It never quite fit. I am being ripped out again, but this time the skin that regrows is younger, like a snake. This skin is too tight, constricting. I can’t breathe. I have read this chapter before.
I am lost in the woods with no clear path out. I am stuck in an endless cycle that is doomed to repeat itself. I am a mother, a wife, an employee. NO. I am a child. Instruction is forced on me again. I am a woman trapped in the life of a girl. I am not trusted. I shouldn't be. I am broken. I have read this chapter before.
I am bitter, angry, afraid. My strength wanes each minute. My mind fractures and falls apart. What is left? Duty, responsibility, purpose. NO. Just turn up the music and escape. I have read this chapter before.
My own body betrays me. It closes in, stopping my breath. My mind is only a portion of what it once was. Thoughts spiral out of control. I can’t control them. I can’t control myself. I am losing everything. I have lost myself. I have read this chapter before.
Can you tell that I’m faking it? Can you tell that every minute I sit here with you that I’m falling apart inside? Can you tell that it takes every ounce of strength I still possess to plaster a smile on my face? I am a clown, makeup caked on so thick you can’t see what’s beneath. I am an actor, a playwright, a hypocrite. I have read this chapter before.
Everything fades away into darkness. My mind is broken. My heart is silent. I have lived this chapter before.