I’d like to start with a story of a man howling from behind his mask.
“The other day, as I was waiting for a subway train, I suddenly heard soul-piercing howling. I looked around, and there he was, a man in a winter hat howling like a wolf, from behind a mask covering most of his face, howling from the depth of his gut, again and again.
He was not saying anything, not asking for anything, not being violent, just standing still, bothered by whatever was bothering him, and howling like a wolf, from behind his mask. After a while, somebody else across the tracks, howled in response.”
People were making remarks like, “Oh, it’s New York, what do you want.” And I was thinking about how that scene was a mirror of what has become of us after three years of biological poisoning and psychological abuse. Howling from behind the mask while waiting to be taken away somewhere is where we are right now.
Many years ago, I married an abusive man. He was very sweet initially, and then — gradually-then-suddenly — he turned into an irrational maniac who was messing with my head, acting physically violent and then frantically apologizing, yelling with a red face, gaslighting me, making me feel crazy, then acting violent again, then begging me to please not tell anyone because he was so embarrassed, etc. etc.
Ironically, the marriage had a very presentable facade, good parents-in-law and all, and I was ashamed to tell the world about what was behind the facade, or even admit it to myself. I was just steadily fading into a shadow of my former curious self. I became afraid to do things like go to the store and buy a can of juice because I thought I would end up buying the “wrong kind.” I was only nominally alive.