The Voice in Your Chair

She says to me ‘what would you say to the voice inside your head if it was sitting in that chair?’ and that is stupid. STUPID. There is no voice that can sit in a chair. Another chair, a physical space between me and it? Impossible. We are the same person. That voice is me. I am speaking. I cannot sit in two different chairs.

I can feel it in my heart. The sickness spreads from my heart, you see, that is always the beginning. Then my throat, almost full of threats to overflow. And then my stomach – but my stomach is not quite right, because it is actually somewhere deeper, like the stomach of my soul, the inside of my insides. And it is me. My heart, my throat, my insides. They cannot sit in another chair.

It is not an opinion. I know there are no facts, but this voice is as much a fact as any of the other things I know for certain. These are not arguments, or points of view, or optional negative trains of thought. These are the truth. As true as the truth in being a life, in breathing and seeing. They are intrinsic to me. But intrinsic is not quite right, because actually it is even deeper. You cannot sit separately from the deepest truths.

The easiest card to play is the nine of cruelty. An old trope: I know that I would not say these things to other people. But it is not mean. This doesn’t count as mean. This voice – this me – is telling me what I should know. Full of fairness, the hand is dealt, and it snatches my confidence. Reality has a weight. You cannot sit justice in a single chair.

A different she (and maybe a more important one) says to me ‘self-hatred is a sin’. I am God given, and I should not hate what God has given to me. But God has given me to me. And the me is self-hating. Does that make my self-hatred God given? Probably that is a sin. There is not another voice, there is not another me. I am the only one I have, and I am sitting in both chairs.