More Weird Tears

Note: This includes details about something that triggered me, and if it might trigger you, use caution. That part is in quotes/italics, so it’s easy to skip.

Something happened when I was a sophomore in college that merited tears. I ran back to my dorm room. My roommate was in bed, with the lights off. I slipped into bed and stayed quiet, silent.

I never told anybody.

I’ve been reviewing a friend’s beta version of his novel. It’s a thriller, with the required details of death and violence. I got triggered but didn’t realize it.

My review comments turned harsh. I wrote a page of feedback on something and another page on something else.

I’d been sending my review in parts and sent this one off. The next day, the author responded with some comments, and I realized what I was writing about wasn’t what I was writing about.

I answered, but gave myself more space for the complete answer. In the next section of my review, I wrote:

“Also, another thing that was going on for me in the last reading was I got triggered. Yes, a West Point cadet tried to rape me and I’m still ashamed that the only reason I got away was I was running out of energy, paused to regroup, he let go of my wrists because he couldn’t undo his fly with one [hand], and I got out from under him. I realized this is the cost of me being a beta reader. If I’m triggered, I’m going to tell you, because if I don’t then I stuff it and my comments get harsh, snotty, ponderous or whatever label fits.”

Then I started crying.

Cried the tears I’d never cried, had told the story I’d never told.

Decided to stop reviewing and go to bed.

Instead of sleeping, I took the time to say to myself the words I needed back then. Because I didn’t want to just speak them into the air, I grabbed one of my stuffed animals, not the rabbit, the lamb.

I soke softly to the lamb and stroked its ears (which surprised me, since I’ve never petted my stuffed lamb). My words were mostly, “It wasn’t your fault.” Then I slept, with the lamb beside me (instead of on the nightstand, or the floor).

I’ve thought about what happened back in college twice since then, and both times, when I pictured it, I was me but I wasn’t me.

I was the lamb.


PS: That night I found myself sobbing on my yoga mat? I think this is what that was about.

Chewing the Cud of Good

Fallen blossoms from a crabapple tree

Thankful for flowers. Always.



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