I am fear’s captive. A child again, I am paralyzed as the terror has its way with me. I feel it traveling across my skin and down my spine. My mind is screaming, but the thoughts make no sense. They are of explosions and tornadoes, flames and floods. I am assaulted by visions of gunfire and bombs, crashing planes, wayward drivers smashing through buildings. Homelessness and the freezing cold. Drought and extreme thirst. Rape. Torture. A person imprisoned in an oil drum in the hot African sun. Bodies on the street, their lives taken by a typhoon.
Fear robs a person of words, and I am struggling now to find my own. How do I move? How do I function? These cascading images of horror keep me frozen. I cannot march forward with the assumption of my own safety. Childhood trauma has broken my brain.