The Fissure of Pain

A thousand thoughts run through my head tonight: grades, success, romance, and most prevalently protection. It pounds in my ears and has no solace. My arms and legs stretch to cover all of the broken who surround me. And I try to think not of how I am stitched together, but rather how to stitch us all together. I have an arm around a shoulder, hand touching past to the next person. My other hand lightly touches the person on the other side, and my foot reaches all the way across to rest on the foot of the last group member. A thousand explosions are going off, fission into our problems, and the whole time I try to stay inside myself as much as I am reaching out to other people.
It started during a game, laughter coloring our connections, but yet two, distracted by things the rest of us didn’t see. Until one member leaves and our fawn points out something that we had neglected to notice. I feel sick and shock. Usually I am the first to notice an edge to someone’s character and a darkness in their thoughts. Usually I am attuned to the room in a way most people would dismiss, but it’s as if there is an energy plane where everyone’s expressions, vocal inflection, and body language lay. That room is usually where I haunt, and where the feeling of everything haunts me. Yet I failed to notice the notes being passed. And when my friend asks are you okay, my other friend starts to sob. I crawl over as if a fire was lit beneath me. Desperately I press up against my friend, hoping that somehow the physical contact will slow the torrents of her soul. I curse, which I never do. I try to convey how much I care, and yet we all feel at a loss, unable to help her: she who is caught in the net of emotionally abusive parents who have told her that she is a burden. And she hadn’t told us. Instead she told the friend who left who in turn told her he was considering committing suicide.
Waves crash over us. Questions fly like arrows in war, and everything is blurry and bleak and muted. My friend of action took my hand and we walked towards the RA’s office. Outside the door I curse for the second time, tears welling in my eyes and I hug her as if she was my anchor to reality. Perhaps she was. The RA goes to talk with the suicidal friend, and it leaves us together, a group of five, many broken.
Pain fissures out. Pain always fissures out. My other friend, a mere passenger to this conversation, is triggered by the recent suicide of one of their closest friends, while still one cries about their burden. Hence the strange circle we are now in. Tonight everyone needs the comfort of physical reassurance. As my friend relives his best friend’s suicide, I slide my foot across his and apply pressure. It’s strange, but I feel it’s at some level comforting.
I could talk. I could say I’ve considered suicide, that I used to pray I would get hit by a car so that it would end and no one would know my struggles. I could say that so many of my friend’s have left me, and I wouldn’t even know if they’re still alive. I could say I’ve been terrified of losing people, that every joke about killing themself shot ice through my veins. I could say that I’m triggered by mentions of suicide, that I feel the pain of it so strongly that I could just explode. But I say nothing. Because I won’t commit suicide. I have bigger aspirations, bigger hope. And I fight for life. And I say nothing because I’ve never been great at admitting my deepmost struggles. Instead I sit and try and breathe life into my friends. “Stay,” I whisper. Stay.

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