the box

It is bulging. Its sides are reinforced with duct tape. It’s been reopened many times to accommodate just one more thing, haphazardly retaped each time. Its label says Keepsakes, when it should actually say DANGER.

But at 34 years old, this box is too heavy for me to lift anymore, and it’s too full to for anything else. It’s stuffed full of pieces of my life that I don’t want to think about, parts of me that I’ve carefully concealed. The things that bring me shame. The things that make me hide. The things that make every nerve in my body stand up when people get too close to it.

For a short while, I started putting these things into someone instead of the box, and I felt safe. I didn’t feel like I needed to hide or perform. I could just be. I want to stay this free and unburdened, but I feel the weight of my life and The Box I’ve been carrying around, and it is enormous.

I messaged my therapist and told them about The Box, and in that moment it finally gave out, spilling the contents all over the place. Huge manifests of things I’ve been and hoped to be still, little scraps of hopes and dreams, slips of papers with the lies I’ve told, a book of accounts that list all the hurts and outstanding apologies that aren’t coming. The lists of roles and expectations that I’ve abided by. All of these things are going to need to be inventoried before they can be safely recycled to be made into something new. It’s an exercise of taking taking them out and talking about them, piece by piece.

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