Julia, my astrology teacher, told me that the voice I hear might be trying to protect me from whatever it is that is making me anxious or stressed out. The voice might be coming to me as a barrier to those things that my body is not responding well to. It is filling up my head space so those nasty things that make me feel bad can’t enter. I am intrigued by this idea. I have always just perceived the voice as a nuisance and a neurological/mental/physical response to anxiety…because how could something so loud and confusing be protective? But I suppose this voice could be one other protective mechanism in the vast pool of a variety of ways people protect themselves; some mechanisms are deemed “healthier” and more “productive” and others are labeled as “dangerous” and “destructive.”
Julia suggested that if and when the voice comes back, I could welcome it by saying like “I’m open to what you have to say,” whether mentally inside my head or literally out loud. This might open up space for the voice to do its thing, whatever it is.
And who knows? Maybe it is nothing beyond a response to anxiety. Or maybe it is something residual from my childhood. Or, or, or!
Regardless, if the voice does come back, I will try to refrain from taking anti-anxiety pills to chase it away so I can give it some time in order to see what it will do.
I came across the name Kiyoshi Kuromiya a few days ago in the comments section of the latest Threadbared blog post featuring Alondra Nelson‘s newest book Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. I had never heard of this radical-sounding POC before and decided to do some basic internet research on him. After doing some reading up on Kuromiya, I decided to create a visual mind map to help me remember what this man was about. The drawing contains references to Kuromiya’s background as well as the work he was involved in throughout his lifetime. Certainly, this drawing is simple and simplified, but I find useful in remembering someone I am glad to have learned about.
I sat on the steps of the building I drew in my earlier post to do *this* drawing. It doesn’t matter which direction you look in New Denver, there are always mountains in front of you.
I used to hear this voice in my head when I was a kid. The voice sounded like a woman’s voice. It spoke very quickly and very loudly. It always sounded like it was in the distance, which made it difficult for me to decipher what the voice was saying. Because I never understood what it was saying, I never felt like it was telling me to do anything. The voice wasn’t a manifestation of my own thoughts (someone has asked me if I thought it was the case). This was something else.
I used to hear this voice at night a lot. I can’t remember very well, but I think it would appear when I felt stressed or anxious. I never knew what to do about the voice except to just bear with it. Eventually, it would go away.
There was a long period in my life when I didn’t hear the voice.
Sometime night during the last two weeks of me writing my MA thesis, the voice came back. This was around the end of August. I was sitting in the same place I am sitting in now – on a shitty vintage chair in front of the purple wall in the living room of my shared apartment. My roommate Meg was talking to me about some issues she was having with her relationship but I couldn’t focus on what she was saying because I suddenly started to hear that voice in my head. Side note: hearing that voice always makes me bow my head involuntarily, slowly and steadily. I do it because the voice is too much and my body (my head) curls as a response. Bowing in response. Very odd.
So it was the same voice. Yelling. Fast. But always in the distance. I still couldn’t make out what the voice was saying. I had to interrupt Meg to tell her I couldn’t focus on what she was saying because the voice had come back. I took an Ativan in hopes of calming down. I never take my Ativan pills because I am scared of them (even more than I am scared of my anxiety, I suppose). I popped the pill back and within a couple of minutes, the voice disappeared.
I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t taken the Aitvan. I wonder why the voice left for so long. I wonder if the voice is trying to tell me something. I wonder if the voice belonged to anyone I know. I wonder why my body reacts this way when I feel extremely anxious. Why a voice in my head? I wonder when I will hear it again.
Old drawing of view from the Villa Dome Lodge in New Denver, BC in August 2010. I remember really enjoying doing this drawing. It was one of the first drawings I did during my four day-trip there. Felt really peaceful with the pen in my hand, up against the paper. Steady, intentioned strokes.
Click on the drawing for a larger image.