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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/7/19

An Unwilling Prophet

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I sat there in the small room, with its monochrome palette of tans and bisque, its bland wallpaper and unimaginative office furniture, all designed to calm me, but I was not calm. Numb perhaps, but not calm. An unassuming woman with an empathetic posture sat a safe distance from me, her dark blond hair and beige outfit even seemed a part of the decor.

As she spoke the fabrics of the room seemed to absorb and soften her already gentle tone and all the sound for that matter, giving the room an almost whispering quality" fitting for this place where painful secrets were undoubtedly revealed.

"So tell me why you've come here today." It was of course a rhetorical question. She knew why I was here. My mind was in a fog, yet in some ways still acutely aware, balanced precariously between this world and one of pure madness.

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I sensed her tone was kind but could I trust her? I tried to answer as rhetorically, "I suppose to find out if I'm insane. Or, if maybe I'm fine and the rest of the world is insane."

She quickly and assuredly answered, "I don't think you are insane. But tell me what's going on. You have trouble sleeping and are having anxiety? What kinds of thoughts do you have?"

The pristine quiet gave the illusion the very room was listening, waiting breathlessly for the next secret. My eyes moved from staring at the floor to a meaningless floral print on the wall, but never to hers. From my peripheral vision I could tell she was looking at me, her eyes studying me for some clue as to how she might resolve my current state, but I avoided reciprocation for fear of pulling her into the abyss with me.

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The room felt like a portal outside of time, where reality could be changed with the utterance of words. And in truth, it could be. Only the stale air of the room separated the two of us yet at that moment I knew that we did not exist in the same reality. As she prompted me to share my thoughts, I weighed in my mind that once spoken, I could never give her back any peace my words might steal.

But why was I here if not to try and resolve this? If I did not try to end this agitated isolation then I would remain, like a fly, trapped between two panes of glass, buzzing wildly and bouncing hysterically against his prison until he falls silent. Never escaping. Effecting nothing.

My eyes cast to the window. Outside the sun shown brightly on the street, still and free from traffic. As I began to speak, my heart felt like a giant hand was squeezing it with each beat as I dared to share my torment. Beginning to speak was like passing over the peak of a rollercoaster - terrifying but there was no way to stop.

"Do you ever look out the window at that street and imagine that there are tanks and soldiers walking up and down? That they could burst in at any time and drag you into the street? That in a minute you would be thinking of every way to get out of this building without being caught?

As I said this I felt numb but I felt a tear roll down my stoic face. My eyes never leaving the window for fear in even blinking the madness of my mind might materialize into the still sane reality.

The therapist voice was calm. "Do you fear these things? What makes you fear it?"

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Finally I looked back at her, "Because it is happening. It happens all the time. We think it can't happen here. But none of those people, in those places where it did happen, thought it could happen there either. But it did."

"Do you feel like its happening right now?"

"I do."

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Michele Goddard Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I was born in 1970 in Wheeling, WV and have lived here all my life. I come from mostly Irish Catholic coal miners and railroad workers. My original academic interest was in teaching foreign languages studying both French and Spanish in High (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 13 comments  Post Comment


Michele Goddard

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I don't know what event it will take to bring about a revelation to the general citizenry that the reality we live in, and take comfort in, is but a fragile creation of those in power. Designed and nurtured to keep us just pacified enough to remain compliant.

Submitted on Sunday, Jul 7, 2019 at 10:55:13 AM

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David Watts

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

Michele, you write so well.

"But I realized that it wasn't the impending authoritarianism that I was paralyzed by but the disconnect of my knowing it was coming and the rest of the world who didn't know it was coming."

That is often the way I feel. You describe it as a "disconnect;" A "disconnect," I think, is a good way to describe the way I feel too. And that disconnect makes me feel alone. No one wants to talk about these things that I want to talk about; they don't want to listen, they don't want to be bothered. Having said that, I have found a person or two that are on the same page as me. We can talk a long time and it is a really nice and needed release .. I have found someone I can talk to and who understands.

"My eyes cast to the window. Outside the sun shown brightly on the street, still and free from traffic. As I began to speak, my heart felt like a giant hand was squeezing it with each beat as I dared to share my torment. Beginning to speak was like passing over the peak of a rollercoaster - terrifying but there was no way to stop.

"Do you ever look out the window at that street and imagine that there are tanks and soldiers walking up and down? That they could burst in at any time and drag you into the street? That in a minute you would be thinking of every way to get out of this building without being caught?

As I said this I felt numb but I felt a tear roll down my stoic face. My eyes never leaving the window for fear in even blinking the madness of my mind might materialize into the still sane reality.

The therapist voice was calm. "Do you fear these things? What makes you fear it?"

Finally I looked back at her, "Because it is happening. It happens all the time. We think it can't happen here. But none of those people, in those places where it did happen, thought it could happen there either. But it did."

"Do you feel like its happening right now?"

"I do."


Thank you for the insight into your feelings. It is nice to know another, feels like I do...


Submitted on Monday, Jul 8, 2019 at 3:50:17 AM

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Michele Goddard

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

David,


Thank you for your kind words and for being an empathetic soul. It is nice to I know there are other people like me.


Take care,


Michele

Submitted on Monday, Jul 8, 2019 at 9:02:38 PM

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Janet Supriano

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

You are not alone, Michele. We may be scattered around, but there is support here. A couple years ago, I went to a therapist with the same angst, feeling very lonely. Cut off from my old circle. But worried about them, too.

The lady told me 'that is the price for seeing the big picture, for knowing what most others don't even want to hear about'.

She asked if I wanted to trade places. I answered, No.

I guess it helped somehow, at least a little. I'm sending you a smile. :)

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 3:09:11 AM

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Michele Goddard

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Thank you so much for your comment. I feel like there is a great awakening taking place. That our isolation, brought on through a manipulated effort to make us believe we are insane, is falling apart. We are talking, to each other, in forums like these, through writing and art, we are beginning to cast off that illusion that we exist as columns of people, that what happens on the other side of the world is "not us".


For centuries the "powers" have had a conscious awareness of us as citizens, as consumers, as voters, as people to be oppressed and conquered, but I feel like the tables are turning. I feel like we are collectively looking to each other as fellow human beings in a great tribe without borders. So what happens to the children in Syria or Yemen is happening to our children. The families fleeing violence in Central America are OUR families.


Where before I felt alone and insane, now I feel part of a great movement. Thank you for being in it with me.


Take care,


Michele

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 11:26:57 AM

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Jerry Lobdill

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

Well said, Michele. You are a very good writer. Here at OEN you are in good company. Keep on writing. I have found it to be very helpful.

We are not crazy. Josh's advice is good. Maybe our efforts will be enough. The more I write and read the better I feel and the better prepared I am to talk to people about it all and what I think may be helpful to others.

Thanks for your story.

Jerry

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 5:29:51 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Reply to Jerry Lobdill:   New Content

Thank you for the compliment and your words of encouragement. Writing is very helpful and you are exactly right that I am in good company here. I am thankful to have found a tribe of truth tellers who have adopted me. I do believe as we continue to grow our community and spread our ideas we will have a massive impact.



Take care,


Michele


Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019 at 12:19:36 AM

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Josh Mitteldorf

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Michele - I've come to the same position that you did. Telling the truth loud and strong is our responsibility, it's powerful, and maybe it will be enough.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 8, 2019 at 12:39:46 AM

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lila york

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from your keyboard to God's ears.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 8, 2019 at 3:00:24 PM

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"Do you feel like its happening right now?"

This is how therapists behave. It's all about your feelings--not because they have any independent judgment of whether your feelings are more accurate than consensus reality, but because dealing with your feelings is the only thing they know how to do, and helping us organize to alert the masses to slowly-unfolding catastrophe is not in their job description.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 8, 2019 at 11:33:53 AM

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True. But since no one can really validate or invalidate another's experience in the objective sense, I suppose she did all that she or any other therapist could do which is try to help me to go d some way to feel in control or to at least not feel completely paralyzed with my own helplessness.


I am glad that she gave me the advice she did. Because it did instigate the thought in me that so needed to speak rather than be silent.


Thank you for your comment.


Take care,


Michele

Submitted on Monday, Jul 8, 2019 at 9:16:02 PM

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BRAVO again, Josh.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 8:57:02 PM

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Cela va sans dire,Michele

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019 at 9:03:49 PM

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