Globus Sensation

Globus Sensation: That lump in the throat feeling. It’s the medical definition of swallowing your feelings and silencing that inner voice.  It’s a talent that helped me survive my childhood. Being calm and collected on the outside while the world inside me was a blaze. It’s absurd to realize that I knew how to push down my feelings and reactions by the 3rd grade. Swallowing that lump kept me safe. 

I perfected this craft in my marriage to Standish. In his eyes crying was intolerable. You would be left alone with those tears, it's best to just swallow them.  Tears aren’t the only thing that you can hold back with that sensation. I have force fed myself all the arguments, all the words I wanted to say to defend myself, all the truths I knew.

 All for a sliver of that love I remembered. If I took all of that on and was compliant sometimes, I would get a glimmer of the beginning.  I became obsessed with making him happy so in turn maybe he would show me that love again. Sometimes it worked. I lived for those brief and fleeting days. When he would smile at me, hug me, tell me he loved me first, let me pick the movie we watched, tell me I was a good mom. I became addicted to the endorphin kick I got when all my hard work paid off and he showed me any sign of affection. There’s a part here where you might ask me why I didn’t just do the things that made him happy. The answer is simpler than you might think. Because what he expected was constantly changing. If I thought I had figured it out, the rules changed.  

Sometimes the entire game changed.  

If I did remember the rules and the game, I often forgot who created them. That person was incapable of giving me the prize I so desperately wanted: Love.  

I remember days of pure emotional exhaustion trying to prove my love and sanity to a man who was lacking both of those things. In moment’s like this, I would slip down to his level.  A mistake I know. I would act irrationally and cry or scream.  Then I was “Crazy”. It didn’t matter what provoked it. Only that he had won. He dragged me down. I was in his eyes “Crazy, just like your mother” The cause of my reaction didn’t matter. Just that I reacted. 

It gives someone like him satisfaction knowing that he had that power over me.  

Most of my slips happened after being yelled at right in my face so close I could smell the last cigarette he smoked, I could feel the warmth of his breath, often with spit flying from his mouth. 

My back as far away as I could get it into the corner or against the wall. If I tried to push him away, then I would have started a “fight” and he had no choice but to restrain me. I was acting “irrational,” “how could I be so cruel to someone who loved me?” It would have been easier to just let him restrain me. To not fight it. I did that a lot but sometimes, I couldn’t. 

I knew the consequences, but I had slipped too far down and fought back. This was not a wise decision; this was pure animal instinct. Fighting back is what animals do when cornered. 

I wasn’t allowed to leave an argument we were having, I would be chased.  There was no escaping. We would fight to the bitter end whether or not I wanted to. A couple times I tried to shut and lock a door to have a moment to collect myself, he would break a door or in one instance he ripped it right off the hinges.  I stopped locking doors because his reaction frightened me. 

 I thought once I taught myself how to drive I could just leave. Take a drive, listen to loud music, calm down a bit. That version of myself was still so naive. Even after living through all that I just wrote, I had no clue. We were only done arguing when Standish was done.  I only tried to leave in the van  during a fight 3 times. 

Once he punched the rear view mirror off of the minivan. Naive Shannon felt bad he hurt his hand.  Two of the other times he jumped in front of the car opened the hood and disconnected something so the car wouldn’t start. I was in a heightened state of desperation, I had no clue what he disconnected only that I couldn't leave.

 If I fought back and he didn’t feel in control of the situation or if I didn’t cry but instead stayed calm, he would break something I loved. My cellphone, a knickknack I cherished, a letter I had written him in the beginning. Just to make sure he had cause to his behavior.  

He didn’t break things all the time.  

Sometimes he would mock me. Exaggerate my mannerisms, mimic what I said in a shrill voice. Each time he did those things, he caused me to hate the mannerisms I once thought made me quirky and unique.   

 He was a man you didn’t want to see or feel mad.   

After years of having my memories twisted and challenged, I started to believe that maybe the beginning never happened. That love I swore I was fighting for was just a fairy tale I remembered.  

Those lumps in my throat, I am almost certain poisoned me. Each time I swallowed my feelings and tears it got easier. I could just be numb. I only get those lumps in my throat when I write now. How quickly it can take you right back, that sensation. Never alone, it is accompanied by shallow breathing, tense muscles and a clenched jaw. It takes a lot for a human being to hold it all in. It takes even more to let it go...

It amazes me what a human being can withstand. I have had far more emotional pain in my life than physical. When I talk of Standish. The physical things he did, are things you know are bad. Society tells you that a man hitting a woman in any role is wrong. We can debate that if you’d like but it’s a widely accepted truth.  What society is just getting caught up on is the nonphysical things I endured during my marriage to Standish. Some of which still haven’t completely healed, I am not even sure that some of those things ever will. I never had anyone warn me about mental and emotional abuse.  

He wasn’t the first person to abuse me in such a way. He was just the best at it. He made me fall in love with him, tell him my dreams, my goals, my fears, my secrets. He called me his soul mate. It was us against the world.  

Then he took all those things and used them against me. It became a game of him against me. The soul I had entangled in mine wanted to take over.  

 Love didn't live there anymore.