Wednesday, November 8, 2017
The Bear Trap.
Babies and animals have similar characteristics. They eat if hungry, roar when angry, and hide if frightened. It is instinctual to burrow into a corner and play dead when under threat, the action further verified if it works—the attacker leaves or is unable to do further harm. A baby, just like a prey animal, will carry these types of instructional memories with them as they age, running from predators, hiding when possible, fighting if necessary, and burning the experiences into the reptilian part of the brain to further enhance survival skills. By the time the baby becomes a teenager and morphs into an adult, this is no longer theory, but a hardwired truth. A + B = C. More easily grasped minus the algebra; if a bear trap snaps on the neck of a young girl and it finally releases after decades of existence, there is no understanding of being set free. The sharp talons of the mechanism feel embedded even when they are gone, nerve endings still sense danger and pain, terror coiled into a corner under a bed in the dead of night for eternity.
A bear trap is used for hunting a prey animal, not to kill but to maim. The reason being that if a trapped animal dies too soon, the body will decompose and the meat will be useless. Similarly, an abuser ensnares a child and sets them up for repeat offenses. It is a bear trap snapping around a child’s neck, the pronged collar keeping them pinned for future use.
Fingering the throat, an ache of decades of restriction is sensed from distant and unfamiliar places. We are still for a very long time, waiting for the sound of the snap to stop echoing in the wind.