Earthquake >Trapped: Fear of Responsibility

A low rumble reverberates against my body. My flesh gels in time with the violence. The ground heaves from a crescendo of intensified pressure. At the epicentre, my head vents, in a massive exchange of desolation. My world crumbles into ruined fragments, yields with the rocks. Irreversible, I’m caught in a gapping, ravenous abyss. I plummet. Down. Down, into the bowels of the earth, through an invisible eye of darkness. All my failures link together into an endless crippling chain. Gouge a trail of devastation to drag me ever deeper into the darkness. My throat gags from the weight of my shackles. Piercing screams resonate in my ears, my screams.

Where am I?  Alarmed, I struggle to move. Cold rocks press abruptly into my cheek. I’m lying face down. Gingerly, I lift my head a few inches and strike more rock. Black, unfathomable darkness engulfs me. My lungs heave at the acrid tang of ancient dust. Sharp gulps seize at my breath. My ears strain into the silence. Dead Silence. There’s no-one else. I’m alone. Fear slaps my senses with a magnitude of despair.  I’m trapped. A witless prisoner of my own uncertainty, buried alive. I’m so scared. What if I can’t get out?

There’s no help. Never any help. I’m only nineteen. I’m not ready to be in charge. Mum. Why did you dump the responsibility on me? Why did you have to die? Chilling fingers of sweat erupt from behind my ears. Creep along the soft line of my throat. An oozing flow of intersecting pathways invades my shirt collar. Stalls, and rises up, a rapid tsunami to shiver along my trembling spine. Now, the family depends on me. Thud, thud, thud! My pulse vibrates, transforms my ears into throbbing bass drums. I can’t bear to let everyone down. Cramps creep across my stomach in tectonic flowing spasms. I taste the vomit on my tongue

How long have I been here? I press my face hard into sticky palms, trying to remember. Was it days, weeks? No, maybe minutes. It had to be minutes. I have to get out. I have to take control of the fear. Not allow it to control me anymore. I strain my arms forward. Sharp rocks quickly convert my flesh into blood hued trenches. What if I failure?  My nails claw into the layered sheets of time. Blind. I grope, an abandoned beggar tapping a sightless path.

There’s a voice, my mother’s voice, calling my name.  Calling me back from the pit, from the fear, from the dream, Alison, wake up.  Wake up. It’s only a dream. A faint silhouette shimmers through the fog in my mind. Hands, reach. Grasp my shoulders, shake me. I try to answer. My lips, a frozen granite seam, refuse to move. A dream, no it’s true. It’s all true. Mum. Help me! I’m falling. I’m falling into the darkness. It’s all too hard. I can’t do it on my own. I just want things to be the same as they were. I want to be your little girl.

I can’t hide forever. I have no choice. I must open my eyes, and stand face to face with my fears. I must accept the truth. The family needs me. I need them too. It’s the way it is now. Nothing can change it. Nothing will bring you back. I know it will take a long time, but I have to escape from this bottomless pit. Crawl from the darkness. Someday, a long time from now, the Sun will rise. A new day will flow into its light.  I’ll just have to cope, until then.