The bad feelings don't affect me like they used to. Not nearly as much and hardly as often. When I was younger, my skin and mind were tender like the soft underside of a newborn cow. The words, the blows, the aftershocks used to reverberate through me for days, spiraling into new disasters and breakdowns. It took me a long time to recover, and I'd find myself placing part of the blame on myself.
Lately, as of two or three years ago, my skin has hardened. I've developed a thick outer layer, maybe even evolved to grow a shell, like an insect. Whenever I feel something rising up inside of me, a small hand reaches out from within the depths of my body, snakes its way up my esophagus, and snatches the feelings away. Sucks them down within me, and swallows them. I shiver, I shake, and in a few moments it's all over.