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  • Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

Dealing with pain on fragile days



When people say pain, I scoff a bit.


“You don’t know my pain” they say.


Of course I don’t. Even they told me about it, I wouldn’t get it, not if I hadn’t felt it.

It’s the same way no one knows of my pain.


How my heart burns from the words of my father. How it hurts, dull and sharp at the same time. It’s like I’ve been struck, or punched. It’s like someone, something, is gripping it tight, squeezing, always squeezing.

I want to feel it. I think. Or at least a bit of me does. If I let myself feel it, I might be spurred to action, to change. But, there’s always a but isn’t there? An opposing argument, devil’s advocate to the riskiness of progress. If I felt it, if I let myself feel it, I do not know that I’d survive it.


Jump. You might fly they say.

Can’t jump. I might die I say.

So I pray that I’ll never have to jump at all.

Some days are fragile, brittle like glass, so delicate that if I were to show myself, my true self, with all of my life, all of my story and all of my history, they would shatter. Days like a splintered mirror, my face, the final push to fall apart. On those days I hide. In my bed, in a dream, on the internet, anywhere that can bear the weight of my grief, my terror, my shame. I’m barely a person. I say this a lot. I’m not really here, the large bulk of me is elsewhere. My body is too broken to contain my full self without bursting from the pressure, without ripping seam by seam. I flee from me, leave from me, that’s the only way to make it through those fragile days. So when you look at me, when I speak to you, write to you, share time with you, do life with you, don’t mistake that for me. It’s only the scent of the pine. There’s no tree there. I am the green thing hanging on the car’s rearview mirror, a poor imitation of the smell of a great forest.

Some days are fragile. Only meant for sleeping, for lying still. Jostle too much and you’ll break them.


You’ll die.


Happy Days,

Damilola

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