ANGEL OLSEN | Unfucktheworld
When I was in fifth grade I took a nap on our living room couch and woke up in the dark, hours later in a panic; my emotions completely out of my control. I cried and shouted like I never had before, like I never knew I was capable of. My clothes were drowning in my boiling sweat and my skin radiating with heat. I felt as if someone had just been holding me by the neck, dangling me high above the heat of the sun. And before I had woken up, I saw from above myself lying on the surface below. I ran around the house as my siblings watched, wide eyed and stunned as I went absolutely mad.
I had no idea who I was. I had no sense of time and no sense of where I was. I had no control. I felt separated from myself. Words spilled out of my mouth as I tried to explain to my brother and my sister what was happening to me. I said such crazy things! I said that I was trapped in my mothers body. I said that I was trapped in my grandmothers body. I said I had switched from my body and into theirs. None of it made sense and I knew that at the time. But I knew I felt detached from my body. So I repeated the words, as if they'd help me gain some type of clarity. As if maybe if I spoke of my living mother I'd find some type of connecting. As if maybe if I spoke of my dead grandmother I'd find my way back to myself. But nothing. I felt absolutely disconnected from everything. I felt lost.
I was eventually able to calm down. My mom was working a late shift that night and she came home early to attend to me. My siblings sat by my side, encouraging me to pray, as we always did in times of distress. And it calmed me. I remembered and spoke the arabic words we grew up on and I felt more like myself. Though, I fell silent the rest of the evening. I was ready to abandon the memory of what I had just experienced.
But the fact is I've never been able to. I will never be able to shake the feeling I had felt that night. And for the past 10 years I've had to push through the memory of having felt those feelings. Through high school when the teacher would ask us to write our names on everything, I always fell a step behind my classmates; taking my time, making sure I got that answer right. Though I didn't always; once in accounting forgetting completely what name I was meant to write down. I'll never trust the words that come out of my mouth whenever I'm asked to describe how I feel. For they've failed me when I once needed them most. I can take burning hot showers in the middle of july with no discomfort, for nothing will be warmer then the heat I felt that night. My hands, they always trip me out because sometimes i feel disconnected from them when I lay them flat on my desk right in front of me. And heights. I'll always fear heights. Not because I fear the sensation of falling but because I fear I might not be able to identify the person below if I do.
I've never really cared so much for an explanation or I never though it was important. A bad dream? Could have been just that. Out of body experience? Maybe. I just knew I couldn't live everyday looking for an answer of what or why I experienced what i did. Because that's not what I'm most terrified of. I fear of having not been able to explain to myself who I was. And thats an answers no one can give to me but myself. Thats an answer I'll search everyday for.