"You will use math the rest of your life."
That's what they tell you in school.
But math is numbers, numbers are counting and counting makes me dissociate.
Dissociation is the black hole I fall in when I don't feel safe.
I don't like the word safe. Safe is an unattainable goal.
What about me isn't safe?
I remember sitting in Village Inn with my parents that time my father called me every name in the book and told me how worthless I am. 1, 2, 3.
I remember the counting wasn't working and I was scared he'd finally broke me before I could check out. 4, 5, 6.
I remember thinking, no one can survive this raw, you have to leave before irrepairable damage is done. 7, 8, 9.
I remember counting to 20 before I finally slipped into the black abyss that I find peace and rest in, where I can no longer hear my father and the insults he slung at me.
I can't even hear him screaming at me for "shutting down."
I remember nothing after because I went nowhere.
I personally believe that you have to have been somewhere happy to have a happy place, and I only know Happy by its Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition.
But it's all well and good because I have a black hole.
It's the black hole that pulls me in while I'm watching my daughter pitch her softball game, because someone behind me said the word grounded.
I'm told by the rest of the people in the stands that she pitched all three girls out and her home run hit was a thing of beauty.
I wish I would have seen that but, the black hole was nice too...
You don't want to avoid the black hole, like when you're driving and you don't have time to visit because you kind of need to pay attention. Then the black hole leaks into reality and suddenly everything is looking cartoony and it all feels unreal, staged. It feels more like an arcade game.
My best skill at racing arcade games is crashing.
People tap on your shoulder and wave your hand in front of your face. They want to know what you're staring at. Quick, "nothing" and "I don't know" are not acceptable answers.
Therapists say you're "triggered", how long can a list of triggers be?
I wonder if we tallied them up if I would have a matching number of scars on my body from all the bullets they fired at me.
They say you'll use math all your life. But math is numbers, numbers are counting and counting makes me dissociate.
And maybe they're right, but it's still a weird kind of achievement that I can be out of here by 2.