People who stutter can sing with perfect articulation. Singing become their other language, a way to communicate freely and fluidly.
Writing is my ‘other language’. It affords me a freedom I don’t experience in real life, a voice I have yet to fully harness.
I have complex PTSD so my day-to-day life is fraught anxiety and considerations, fears and ‘what-ifs’. I have yet to loose the bindings that restrict me and am tethered to my past. I’m working hard on my release but until that happens I’ve discovered a way to escape them, if only in my head.
I would crawl around inside my skin looking for a way out of this carcass and not finding one, I’d climb inside my head and listen to the stories and adventures of all who live there. Purely by chance I picked up a pen, began to write and discovered an escape route. With that tool in my hand I’m able to squeeze between the spaces of my cells and leak out onto paper and screen.
Once freed of flesh I vaporize, journeying this realm and others, some real, many not, and find myself unburdened by my concerns of others and their judgments. Here, I am limitless, able to pour myself into the tiniest fissure or expand to envelop the universe.
I can dive into a teaspoon of water and discover an ocean, use planets as marbles and eat the sun because when I write I am everything and nothing at the same time. I can slip into the skin of earth and feel what it is to be trod upon, to be pelted by raindrops and scattered by wind. I can become the ocean and smash myself on rocks, thrash against cliffs, be pulled into peaks and laid out thin on the very sands I was two minutes ago.
But beyond experiencing the physicality of the world and universe, writing gifts me a greater freedom. The freedom to feel love and be loved without her sibling, fear, mutating bliss to bereavement. I bloat in the fullness of love, allow myself complete abandon to touch another far more intimately than our bodies allow, reaching in to stroke the soul of another without fear of reprisal and rejection. Here I surrender to love, welcoming the wreckage it brings, knowing full well that the cost of love is the possibility of pain but being able to withstand it.
I am truly grateful that my adventures into these fantastical realms aren’t always done alone but with the company of other writers, other escapees. They too have discovered the not-so-secret world of imagination and offer themselves to me and I to them. We merge like mists, dissolving into one another and into shared dreamscapes and at other times thrust upon each other in mock wars where we bleed and battle with fearsome ferocity. I am plunged into the depths, drowning in the wetness of their being and scorched on their exposed rocks. I ride a tear down their cheek and am carried by their laughter. Every word they offer sends me careening through another realm utterly powerless to resist and I’m glad of it, intoxicated by it. I willingly lay down my power for another to pick up, to write me as they see fit, to peel me new eyes. How exquisite is that foray into the psyche of another, to play host to another’s creation, adopting endless personas to act out across a myriad of scenes to feature in my writing; my words being the spume of a vast ocean that birthed them.
And this is why I write; To soar above the pit of my despair and kiss the sun full on the lips. To walk naked and exposed amongst the crowds with complete disregard. To lay to waste the monsters that whisper in my ear and avert my gaze. To scream into the darkness of my being, to boil with rage in the cimmerian shade as I stand toe-to-toe with my demons and tell them their days are numbered.
I don’t just write to escape them but to expose their lies. I’ve been outside, seen the truth and offer my writings as proof of that.