I couldn't believe I let him see me like this, unable to fend for myself. I fumed in disgust at my vulnerability. I didn't want Evan to think I needed protecting. I pulled back my torment and let the numb blanket envelop me, pushing away the stirred memories, the noise of the crowd, and the trembling that still lay beneath the surface. I stared at the flames licking at the darkness and everything was lost as I sank deeper into nothingness.
I am both numb and oversensitive, overwhelmed by the need, the raw and desperate need of the girls I am listening to and trying to help. I'm overdosing on the trauma of others, while still barely healing from my own.I cry for hour at home and have fitful nights of little sleep. My nightmares resurface as my own pain is repeated to me, magnified a thousand times. It feels insurmountable. How can you save everyone? How can you rescue them? How do you get over your pain? How do you ever feel normal?
I was not allowed to think of him. That was something I tried to be very strict about. Of course I slipped; I was only human. But I was getting better, and so the pain was something I could avoid for days at a time now. The trade-off was the never-ending numbness. Between pain and nothing, I'd chosen nothing.