Stuck in the Badlands
“Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
if I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
It’s been almost 2 years since the end of my marriage to a narcissistic psychopath. In the aftermath of his departure, I suffered a complete collapse of all systems that just shut down and went to black. Cognitive dissonance clouded my mind so that I was shrouded in a fog of torment and agony. Crippling panic attacks were disabling and unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was a full-body experience — mind, body, soul, spirit, heart, everything. Dysregulated brain chemicals, physiological symptoms, insomnia, panic disorders, intense anxiety. . . you get the picture. It was equivalent to withdrawal from heroin or fentanyl. The addiction was bigger than me and swallowed me up. He was a black hole, and I fell headfirst into the nothingness.
Stellar black holes form when the center of a very massive star collapses inwards upon itself. This collapse also causes a supernova, or an exploding star, that blasts part of the star into space. He was that shiny sparkly star until something happened to transform him. Black holes, those gravitational monsters so named because no light can escape their clutches, are by far the most mysterious objects in the universe. These black holes could even be dark stars and home to exotic physics we cannot even begin to comprehend at their core.
I just know one thing. When his mirror exploded into a trillion shards of sharp fragments and became the darkness, it sliced me into pieces and impaled me through and through. I died a death of a million wounds that all happened in an instant as I stood paralyzed with shock.
But what happens when you try to come back to life? When you try to recapture pieces of who you thought you were before the storm. When you try to resurrect some kind of functional human that can experience life through the lens of hope and joy instead of through despair and hopelessness.
What happens when you get stuck in the badlands? Indigenous peoples described a place of rocky terrain, lack of water, and extreme temperatures that was extremely…