Mentally, I am not in a good place, and haven’t been for almost a month now. I hadn’t realised it had been so long, until I looked through blog posts and saw for myself – I’m a mess. There have been moments of improvement, and certainly suicide no longer feels like absolutely the only option, but even so; for various reasons, I’m a mess. And I hate that. It eats at my self-worth and I often think, you have no reason to be like this…
But I’ve been trying to think of an actual event, an actual physical event I can compare this type of emotional exhaustion and pain to; so that it makes sense to me but also is easier to explain to those who may seem perplexed at why I’m struggling. Maybe they think I don’t want to pick myself back up. Maybe they think I like being a victim. Maybe they think I have no reason to be like this. Maybe they can’t understand why I would tell myself I’m so awful, when I’m clearly in so much pain anyway…
So here’s an explanation, here is an actual event I lived through which can best portray the state of my head, at the moment….
I was strong. It had been a while since I’d been taken to the ring; I’d had a few weeks to build my body back up and rejuvenate my mental health. I’d had some time to recover, and felt much stronger. I was ten years old. I was being abused at home but had school to escape to. I felt bigger at ten years old. I worried endlessly about the children in the ring, but took the time to build myself up. I expected that I’d get taken back and have a couple of days to readjust – just like normal. I expected warning signs to show me when I neared going back. I didn’t expect out of the blue extreme trauma.
But that’s what happened.
I wasn’t even taken to the place I knew. I was taken to a stables, and my arms tied to an overhanging beam. My entire body weight was hanging by my shoulders. I cannot describe the insane agony this causes; within minutes I was yelling at the top of my voice, screaming for the pain to stop, certain my arms were just going to rip out of their sockets. The rope around my wrists was cutting in, burning me, and I could no longer feel my fingers.
But this was just the start of it. They didn’t start with “gentle” torture (as far as torture can be gentle). They went straight in at the deep end and then just toyed with my broken body afterwards with their defined “gentle” torture. I hung there as they beat me black and blue with various objects. Whips, canes, sticks, bricks, boots, fists, metal rods…all sorts. It was like those games where you bash the toy horse until it breaks and the sweets come out. My body swung on my wrists, and all I could do was scream as I was subjected to extreme torture. The corkscrew was used, of course – I was completely naked. Two men held my legs still as I was sexually tortured, whilst hanging from my arms. They then pulled down on my legs to increase the already incredible pain in my arms.
Exhaustion overcame me quickly. And this is amount of pain, I needed to blot it out somehow. I needed the pain to be justified. I needed it to make sense. I needed it not to be “abuse” but a direct punishment for something I must have done, because otherwise the pain was simply unbearable. I had to blame myself so I had some degree of control over it. I convinced myself within minutes that I was a terrible person. I was a terrible, hideous child that was so horrible that only this kind of brutality and pain could possibly justify what I had done. They weren’t abusing me, they were justifiably punishing me for how awful I was. This kind of treatment was needed if I was to stand any hope of turning into a good person. This I managed to convince myself with ease; they’d been telling me this for years. By convincing myself of it, the pain seemed more bearable. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking “WHY?! WHY DO I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS?!” Suddenly there wasn’t despair, there wasn’t emotional agony. There wasn’t desperation and there was no longer a sense of hopelessness. I had more control over the pain.
I decided that they were the more knowledgeable with this, and that they would stop once the punishment had been deemed enough. I decided that they were simply adults disciplining a child, and therefore any emotional pain was numbed.
I don’t know how long I was hanging there. At one point they just stood around me, laughing at my broken self. I had no dignity, and there was nobody to rescue the poor girl who hung by her arms. I stared at the floor, barely conscious, and noticed blood dripping off of me and staining the ground. I tried to lift my head to make breathing easier, but I couldn’t. I was simply too exhausted. I wanted to fight back but every time I did I was punched, or kicked, or bitten…or worse. To keep fighting meant I was in more pain. To fight back meant I must to some level believe the treatment was wrong, and therefore it wasn’t a punishment, and therefore the emotional agony would return. There was no way I could handle this. So I stopped fighting, and just watched the blood, and cried silently due to the pain, and just wished I could die so the world was rid of this horrible person who needed such brutal punishment.
THAT is how my head is currently. Events happened so close together, and some were extremely traumatic and emotionally insanely difficult. I’d had a few weeks, generally speaking, to relax. The shock to my system after being somewhat relaxed was unmanageable. I couldn’t and cannot cope with the pain. It was too much. I felt like I was hanging my arms, and being beaten with emotional torture. I felt like someone trying to crawl, but everytime they did, they were beaten until they collapsed. I didn’t understand why I had to be in so much pain; I didn’t understand why I have had to go through so much in my life, and why at the age of 20 I’ve known more heartache and despair and grief and trauma and hopelessness than anyone should ever have to experience. The emotions were simply too difficult to cope with, and trapped me in a pit of despair and in a place where I couldn’t function; I was just hanging and screaming, but with nobody around to hear my screams. The despair would kill me. The despair would have pushed me to suicide.
So I swapped. Without even realising it, I stopped questioning why I needed this pain, and instead decided that I must deserve it. I looked at my life and could see immediately all of my faults, and all of the hideous things I have done. I could see how much stress I’ve caused my friends. I could see how much chaos I’ve caused. I can only see myself as a bottle of poison who has spread to anyone and everyone. Feeling like this took the edge off of the pain. I was now at a level of pain I could survive with. If this pain was just a case of me being punished because of how hideous I am, then who was I to question it? Suddenly there was less despair, and less hopelessness, and I knew it would be easier for me to resist suicide now.
Except I need to be punished, and that’s where this mindset traps me. If I’m not being punished and can’t see for sure I’m being punished, and that the person punishing me shares my mindset and wants to punish me and turn me into someone good….then the emotional pain will be back before I can take a breath in. Back I will be in the pit of despair, and agony, and hopelessness…and I won’t survive that.
I simply won’t.