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By Nancy Cecco


I can barely feel you sneaking up on me …

A flash of recognition and then all at once, you’re here.

The tightening of my chest, the pressure; my heart….closing.

Oh, the weight of it…the weight of you…is…unbearable.

Now I feel you at my throat, I can’t breathe, I can’t speak.

Then my eyes. I can’t see clearly – everything is foggy.

I am blinded by you.


Oh, how instantly you consume me – blanketing my mind …

I can’t seem to feel anything but you…blame, anger, hate…oh, God, such hate

I can’t seem to breathe anything but you; I am drowning in you

I am reduced to raw nerve endings; I am a caged animal … there is no reasoning …


Somewhere, deep inside, I want to scream, “GET OUT! You’re not welcome here.”

But the doors that I closed tightly to keep you out have locked you in.

I have no choice but to fight! Scratching clawing swinging fighting…

Until all I can do is heave you out into the world and Scream!  AHHHHHHH!


Something happened? What happened?

I am so weak.  I tentatively open my eyes. Are you gone now?

Then, I see it; it is my own hands that clutch my throat;

My own hands that are pressing against my chest – still pressing the breath from me.


Now I can see the destruction that lay before me … MY destruction

What’s the sound?  Is someone hurt?

Oh, dear God, what happened?

What did I do? Oh, my God, I’m so …


Impulsively, I push my hands from my chest and throat!

I stand tall! My eyes are open wide!

I gain strength from you!

You will protect me!


And I shout, “Can’t you see?

Did you see what I was facing?

Did you see the pain I was in?

I had every right to do what I did…..”


Wait! Wait!  There you are again!

This is how you got in!

I welcomed you; I thought you would protect me

I trusted you; I thought you were me.

I let you in….


I suddenly remember to close my eyes.

If I open my eyes, I am blinded by your darkness.

If I close my eyes, I can see the light.

I see light.


I breathe.

I’m so sorry.


I can feel the soft flutter of my heart opening again.


Tentatively opening…


I breathe in light


I release you….