I think I was in high school when I first had the thought. Or middle school? I remember I what road I was driving on in my home town when I visualized it.

I wished I could take a syringe and plunge it through my skin. I wished I could extract pain. It was this clear liquid, a little more dense than water. And I would take out enough to fill this clear, glass box that didn’t have a lid. Then, when someone came by and touched it, they could feel what I felt. And they could tell me if they felt pain like that too or if mine was different. They wouldn’t take the pain, it would still be mine, but they’d be able to understand.

I thought of that again today. And this time, I’d add doctors. Doctors and biologists and chemists and psychologists. They could touch the pain and feel it and test it and study it. Then they could tell me if it was normal. They could tell me that if what I’m feeling, what I’m experiencing, is normal and I’m just being dramatic and making a big deal out of nothing. Or they could tell me if it wasn’t normal. They could tell me if I needed help.

I feel like my mind shut me off to something the other day. Like this giant, metal garage door came crashing down, trapping me in this room, this box. And the sound was deafening. I feel like I’m reeling from the shock of that door hitting the cement ground and sending shock waves up my legs and my body and into my brain. And now I’m dazed, wondering what the hell to do next and if that giant, metal door is even real in the first place.

How do I explain that to someone? That feeling? Because it’s not going to make sense to anyone. It doesn’t even make sense to me.

If I could just extract the pain and allow you to just briefly touch it, you could tell me if it was normal.



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