So, I broke my arm. This would be the third time I have broken bones. Maybe the fourth, if I count that time in elementary school where I was being dragged into the boys’ bathroom and my thumb got crushed in the hinges of the door as my so-called friends thought it would be funny to shut the door on me who was screaming to be let out. The scream turned into a blood curdling shrieking as the stubborn door that wouldn’t close because my thumb was in it finally was able to be closed all the way. When the mob of children outside the bathroom door was successful in closing me in the boys’ bathroom and their cheering subsided, it was then they could understand the meaning of the type of screams they were hearing coming from me. This time my demands to open the door were conciliated. Even though by that time, I could no longer feel my thumb. It was interesting, I could mark the differing degrees and intensities of pain/suffering that day. The continual pressing of the door trying to close was excruciating for my thumb but when it was able to be closed completely, that was the point past pain. I really do believe God and His immeasurable, unending grace, gives us that. I believe He loves us so much that He sees the pain or suffering is too much and He gives an escape or reprieve of some kind.

There are different types of horror that occur during times of painful experiences. There are many I’m sure but these three I identify with my personal experience: horror of knowing, horror of helplessness and the horror of what now? There was the horror of knowing what was happening to my thumb, the horror of being helpless/powerless to stop it from continuing, and then the horror of trying to understand how a door can actually completely close on your thumb and what it must now look like.

Numb. Can’t feel.  Merriam-Webster defines numb as 1 : devoid of sensation especially as a result of cold or anesthesia. 2 : devoid of emotion : indifferent.

Gerrik Thomas. I met Gerrik Thomas in a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed piece entitled “Just another South L.A. killing?” This young man of 21 years lost his life buying a soda. Lost his life. Lost: unable to be found. : not knowing where you are or how to get to where you want to go : unable to find your way. : no longer held, owned, or possessed.

I was taken aback to say the least. Then my alarm/horror increased learning that his life was the fourth lost/taken in TWO DAYS. This was January 25th that this happened. And…is still continuing. This is something that’s happening now, in a community that seems powerless/helpless to stop it from continuing, and what must life look like after this happens?

The article stated how “to everyone other than his family, friends and the LAPD, (Gerrik Thomas was) just another L.A. killing.” The implication being one of indifference, devoid of emotion, numb.

I remembered what happened to me in that boys’ bathroom before I went numb. I remember being numb with grief at the sight of my misshapen thumb. Numb also with the knowledge that the very people I entrusted to help me, didn’t or couldn’t. With each pressing blow that my thumb endured, it could’ve been prevented. There’s something incredibly traumatizing about knowing harm is coming again and again. I think about the community that has to endure the knowledge of senseless killings allowed to continue. There are mothers who have had this happen to them numerous times, their children’s lives lost. How many times does it have to happen before they go numb? Give up?

I do know this, I am thankful for being able to feel. I am thankful for the numb feelings in my life but even more grateful they were temporary. I am well aware that there are times when numbness is not temporary. There are also times when numbness is chosen, when it is self-imposed.

What does it take?

I believe there is cause for alarm when numbness persists. Origin of numb comes from Middle English nomen, from past participle of nimen to take.

What does it take to be awake?


2 thoughts on “Awake

  1. Awesome post! I believe that we must get to the origin of our pain in order to face the traumas that cause the continuous repetitive emotions we suffer. Somehow we find resolution and resolve and become one with our creator; along with the divine flow that releases us and allows us to continue our journey through life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tanya. Also, through our pain it hopefully allows us to better empathize with others and want to work towards a solution to their pain as well.


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