Random twinges of anxiety, like faint echoes of past warnings, nudge at the edges of my awareness. They always leave me with a nagging worry that I’m missing something important. I try to dismiss them as irritating noise, meaningless flotsam washing up from the depths of my malfunctioning subconscious. Just chemical leakage from the wrong gland, or ripples of past electrical discharge converging purely by chance in a structure encoding some partial memory of fear or misfortune from long ago. I try to convince myself it’s merely signal bleed from some other process in my head. Shrug it off and move on.
However, the fearful child in my head, hiding in his pillow fort from the monsters in the closet and the promise of angry voices in the shadows, he’s not willing to take that chance. He still believes in magic and demons. He still thinks that intuition is just the quiet voice of wisdom from some higher, omniscient self. Those gossamer, drifting breezes of disquiet could be the omens of disaster. This might be the only opportunity to avoid some terrible future. He has to listen to them. He must understand what they mean. His safety is more important than anything.
I’ve grown to hate that child. It’s like he burned his hand on a stove once, and now somehow believes that every surface everywhere he goes is made of lava. Don’t touch the floor, you’ll burn up. Don’t touch anything, it’ll hurt you. Someone hurt your feelings once? All people are cruel, you shouldn’t ever talk to any of them again. Yet, that child is me, so I’m hating myself. I shove him into the furthest hidden corner of my mind like some embarrassing relative we don’t talk about at parties. He hates me in turn for not listening. He just wants to keep me safe, prevent the hurt, not let us die. But I won’t listen. Adults never listen. Not even when there really is a monster in the closet. One of these days it will eat us, and they’ll finally be sorry that they never listened.
My brain hates me, and I hate it right back. Stupid brain.