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Das Wartezimmer

“Underneath my outside face There's a face that none can see. A little less smiley, A little less sure, But a whole lot more like me.”

- Shel Silverstein

"Time heals all wounds" - everyone has heard it, or worse, said it. Even those who say it hate it. Probably especially those who say it. What am I supposed to do with it? "Mrs Trautmann, why don't you take a seat in the waiting room, grab a Sudoku and wait for that one magical day when you open your eyes and say: Ha, healed!"

"Time heals all wounds" belongs in the category: top 10 phrases you use when you don't know what else to say, right behind "You'll be fine" and "Don't worry, be happy".

Some wounds just stay open. And instead of emotionally bleeding all over yourself every day, you accept it, carefully wrap it in bubble wrap, put it in a mental moving box in your head and label it "Caution, fragile, please do not open or put salt in it". And there it sits for maybe years in the limbic brain basement, and you put bookshelves in front of it or Tinder contacts or Christmas decorations. And you live as if nothing is happening at all, blissfully unaware. Until, at some point, some idiot in our lives, for whatever reason, gets the idea that we could clean out. And he or she, of course, finds that very box. And then, when we're hyperventilating in a fetal position, the idiot sits next to us, holding the box in one hand and tenderly patting us with the other, and says: "Don't worry, time heals all wounds."

And I'm only talking about wounds inflicted by others. The wounds we have to inflict ourselves are of a completely different calibre - heavy metal boxes, behind bars, fat locks on them. Secured with laser detectors and complicated exit-game puzzles so that no one can get to them. Well, except ourselves, of course. Because, let's face it, our brains are sometimes just sadistic little pieces of shit. Because when we're lying on the floor, still hyperventilating with the idiot next to us, our brain comes and whispers, "You, um, I know you're not doing so well right now, but um, I thought while we're at it with all the negative thoughts and feelings and stuff, I just wanted to remind you, um, we had a box of self-loathing in the corner and well, I thought maybe you'd want to just open it now, fits somehow....

The stupid thing is, we can't escape this sadistic little piece of shit. We can't hide from it under the covers or take a relationship break. It's always there, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and looking at my average life expectancy, probably about 52 more years. All right, so what do you do? Fall into self-pity, wait at home for time to heal all wounds? Mmh, maybe wait comparably at Hamburg harbour for a bright red rubber boat with Johnny - possible but highly unlikely.

Well, another idea, how about way.

Well, when you force yourself to go down that road, it can tear you up inside. It tore me apart. Because I had to realise that behind habits, excuses, repressions, comparisons, childhood traumas and so on and so forth, one fact was undeniable: I am also a perpetrator. I have inflicted pain. To myself and to others.

Time for clever phrase numero 2: "You have to love yourself before you can love others." Cool. Does about as much for me as the first one. How do I love myself? How do I forgive myself? Can I do that? Can I? I cling to my heavy metal boxes, unwilling to let them go for fear of not knowing who I am without them. I can't forgive myself. Especially not love myself.

Phew, that would be a really fucking depressing ending. But what else can you say when you don't know what else to say. Don't say it ... don't say it ... "Time heals all wounds"?

I'm still sitting here. In the waiting room with the Sudoku. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just need to open my eyes at some point and then -

"Jamie, the time is ready now."


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