This year has been a year of leaving self-compassion in the duffel bag for a week, then forgetting it was in there, that it needed to be petted, fed, and watered every day, it’s body practically lifeless now, its eyes as yellow as neglect. It’s horrible to be unzipped by the alarm and to awaken like this. Though I suppose my unconscious is giving me what it knows I can handle, which, if I’m being honest, scares me a little, and seems to suggest there’s darker traumas to unpack. When around 7 my mother straddled me under her adult weight, pinning me to the laundry pile I’d just tripped over, then punched me in the face with a Tyson-like hook, a flash of light entered my consciousness and obliterated every feeling I’d ever had for or about her, and instead of thinking oh mom please don’t you’re supposed to love me, she instantly became something I had to survive and even kill in my mind for me to be something resembling a caring human being again. I wish that never happened, and that now I didn’t have to resuscitate myself so completely whenever a feeling of sadness whimpers from inside my bag of forgetfulness only forgetfulness can open. I’m floored by the heaviness of it, paralyzed under the image of motherly nurturance bearing its teeth and slapping my arms out of the way while it lunges for my face in the middle of the day, the scent of laundry detergent knocking my brain loose and causing it to go numb, I must now walk through my life with an unswerving ambition to remain unfazed by my own little depersonalizations, incarcerating every resemblance to my mother behind bars of spiritual justice I’ll need to rely on as I go digging for that little dog-like boy I lost to my mother, in the laundry pile of disbelief.