Saturday, November 12, 2011


This is a free write I had about something that I want to include in my NaNoWriMo novel.  (National Novel Writing Month is November and I am working on a 50k manuscript at the moment.)  However I am not a very wise man in such matters and I realize my experience and understanding is limited.  So I am sharing this here in my blog in I hopes that someone will respond to this and give me honest feedback about what they feel on this subject.  This is not up to debate people.  If someone has a different opinion than you it is okay.  I'm need a heartfelt answer, not a you're wrong because answer.  And if you opinion is different than mine shared here, it is also fine.  Just don't turn this into an argument.  Here goes.


Ever get that feeling that nothing else matters, that you could care less if you live or die, whether you are a good person or a bad, or that you even have meaning in the world?  I do.  I call it being numb.

Cause you see being numb isn't like the doctor who puts a needle in your arm to make sure it won't hurt as he does surgery there.  It is the general anesthesia which knocks you out completely.  It doesn't want you to feel anything while you are in its embrace.

Numb comes to that junkie who needs one more hit.  To the woman who has do to do one more Jon to be able to pay for her child to play on the baseball team.  To the kid who has been hit over the head so many times with his father's bat, he just doesn't feel it anymore.

Call it suspended feeling, because when we are numb we feel everything.  We just aren't aware of it.  We don't care about the damage being caused because either there is something more important we think we are gaining.

For the junkie they think they need their hit.  For the woman she thinks that the money she gets will save her child from the life she's leading.  And the abused child thinks being numb will save him from the worst of the beating, especially because he can't give them the satisfaction of his tears.

But what happens when your addiction owns your life, even for a second?  Being numb became the worst thing ever because you sold your ability to choose for a few minutes or even hours of pleasure.  And afterwards you'll feel again and know that you are just another junkie.

That girl who got her daugher on the ball team, she didn't realize her daughter wanted to be just like her and because she didn't learn the right values from her Mom, she didn't turn to the streets for money.  She went to the boys for love and learned what the word slut meant to them.  Her mother purchased her V-card to be taken early.

And the boy who was abused who wouldn't cry... He's now beating his girlfriend.  He doesn't know why.  He can't understand it.  All he knows is that he feels so much that he needs to numb it all and when his fist connects with her stomach, chest, or face he has his moment of numbness that relieves him of his feelings.

Don't give being numb dignity.  It is a life destroyer.  To feel is to live.  To live is to feel.  And if protecting your feelings isn't enough to make you want to fight for them, something terrible has happened to you and you need help.

Nobody's going to blame you for being numb, or for the pain you've buried.  But the choices numb caused you to make will haunt you, and that will only make the cycle of numb worse.

This free write is dedicated to all the addicts, all the sexually, mentally, and physically abused, and the generations of mankind who have been broken because they stopped feeling.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this… it actually touched home for me in a lot of ways.
    Before I became a grant writer/fundraiser I spent twelve years as a counselor to the exact three groups of people you mention here.
    I’ve counseled hundreds of drug and alcohol addicted persons, worked late nights in ‘high-risk’ areas of NYC to provide help and support to sex workers and spent the last 6 years working with youth and all the hurdles they have had to encounter including abuse, isolation, drug use, sex and poverty.
    I believe at the core of everything; the drug use, engaging in unhealthy social and physical behavior becomes an issue of coping; the ability and inability to cope with the issues they face each day.
    I say ability to cope because I believe that our human ability to disconnect or become ‘numb’ in a given moment is a natural one and can be a healthy action. It can be healthy action that we use when we don’t have the tools, the environment, the care, the support, the unconditional love and the awareness that helps us cope with life’s ups and downs.
    For an example the main character in my book which is inspired by someone I know and care for deeply is an perfect example of someone who utilizes both healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms with the strife and things he is whiteness to in his life.

    For almost 23 years this Marine and now police officer has witnessed the most ugly part of human nature. Day in and day out he is a willing participant to death, the threat of it, abuse, neglect of both adults and children.

    His ability to disconnect during these times may seem like callous behavior or ‘numbing’ himself from feeling; however in those given moments in which his own feelings are in threat of being exposed and hurt- disconnecting is a healthy behavior. If he should let go and ‘feel’ --this in it self puts him not only in physical risk but emotional risk that will hamper his ability to make tactical choices for the better good. Even the Marines and soldiers I have interviewed describe this feeling and act of disconnect because if its internalized it will make their ‘job’ more difficult and potentially put others at risk.

    However, with this same person he drinks, and drinks a lot (like a lot of Police Officers) This is the unhealthy portion of ‘numbing’ and disconnecting from the present, from the feelings that are yelling right in front of them. It’s when we don't address our ‘hurt’ it manifests into something else, worse behavior. This happens because they have neither learned or has been provided with the tools to appropriately handle and cope with whatever trauma they have witnessed or received in their lives.

    And even when a person may become aware of their unhealthy behavior and actions and try to reach out to make change ,,,it just may be too late I actually spoke about this in my post about killing off my main character.

    How can we ask a child and even an adult that at every turn during every second of their day -they must face their fears, their insecurities and all the ugly things and actions that people do to them or around them? I believe that it can be too much to ask from anyone person.

    They say God, won’t give you anything you can’t handle…that maybe true but how one ‘handles’ always depends on what was taught to them and what tools are available to them.

    Thank you for the post and sharing… it really had me thinking



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