Lives there any human who doesn’t hold somewhere inside unspeakable terror?
To whom do we speak the unspeakable?
I speak a great deal. I write and I write and I write, detailing the horrors and the hope that I hold.
Mostly I speak into a void. I know that no one is listening, no one is engaging what I say. I know that people shy from my words, sky from the meaning I try to convey with them.
But somewhere, beyond all that I reveal, there are places inside of me of unspeakable terror.
These places are not rational. They are not subject to logical elucidation, to sensible addressing. They are places of unspeakable terror.
Much of this terror is of bits that most people take for granted, the terror of being exposed to a system where functionaries hold your choices in their hands. This is the system of compliance which most people accept and submit to.
I can tell my stories, lead you through my experience. I know, though, that you will only get shards of those tales, will only be able to understand what you can comprehend, and not everything that I share. This is frustrating but true.
The stories I can’t tell, though, the ones that hold my dread, the unspeakable terror of erasure of my inner core, well, those I can’t even give breath to so they will never pass my lips. Just saying them out loud invites them inside me where they can wreak wordless and violent damage on the parts of my soul which are so primal that they are without language.
Mothers often understand these terrors in their children, seeing the breathlessness in their eyes. Helping their loved ones find language for these deep, bogie man fears is the first step to overcoming them.
I know how much I help others when I bring their fears up into the light, letting them see the monsters are not invincible. By revealing the dragons I have faced, they can start to imagine moving beyond their own demons.
The terrors which still are unspeakable to me, though, are not wraiths that most other people have knowledge of, let alone the language to make them exposed and surmountable.
I code my own fears in symbols, asking for the kind of vision which can help me face and handle them. Finding any, though, who go deep enough to understand and cradle my terrors, well, that always feels like an impossible task.
“If you can do what is very hard for me,” people seem to say, “then obviously you can do what is easy for me.” This is false and twisted thinking, the extension of their own mindset into me rather than the willingness and ability to enter my own presence of mind.
Making my own experience explicit, working so hard for so long to reveal the shadows which haunt me, had not made the unspeakable terrors inside me visible to others. I strive to explicate them and they just keep tormenting me.
The terrors that I can lay bare are horrors that I have slain, ones that I own, although at a significant cost to me.
It is the unspeakable terrors that still trounce me, terrors which may seem banal to most but which reach down into the deepest pits of my existence.
Asking me to simply tell you about them is missing the depth of them. To me, to me, to me, they are unspeakable.
How do we engage and transcend the unspeakable? I know that I have spent decades finding words for what I face, what I see other people face, so their terrors will no longer be without words and unexaminable. I bring out the experience so it can be owned and put in place.
For me, though, there are still terrors I cannot speak. These terrors are around being invisible, voiceless, without power, unseen and unheard. They reach into a very, very deep place where I know that I have no language to defend myself and no loved one to hold, protect and guide me.
They are unspeakable.
Every human has unspeakable terror. We all look for others to recognize and assist with those terrors.
Even, I struggle to tell you, me.