Normally, even when I think the worst possible memory has surfaced and I don’t believe it could get any worse (have learnt not to say this now, as I’m always wrong) I can still find words to say how I’m feeling to my friends. I’m still able, somehow, to critically analyse my feelings and sit with my friends, pull it all apart, and re-construct the puzzle. See where the holes are. Logically work out why the holes are there, and explore possibilities. To that level, I’m still able to function…even if the de-constructing takes place via crying heavily, flashbacks, and god knows what else…
My line has been reached, crossed, and ran away from. I can’t even see where the line was anymore, I just know I’m way past it. One of my alters who’s job is to simply mimic me perfectly has done a fabulous job of leading my life for the last couple of weeks, with only a couple of people knowing. It means I can totally crash, but nobody need know. The emails are still answered, the meetings still attended, the essays still written. Meanwhile I can hardly breathe or move, but am least not stressed about the work in my life suffering.
But being so far away from the line of what is just about slightly bearable has meant I can’t say how I’m feeling. I have no energy, and at times no willpower, to sit and critically analyse what’s going on. When I do come out and give my mirror alter a rest, I don’t want to move. Mostly, I don’t. I’m in that type of pain where movement worsens it. If I just stay really still, and don’t make a sound, and just become a floppy nobody, then the pain doesn’t kill me. I jump from attempting suicide during the night to try and escape from the pain, to feeling I deserve this pain and should suffer like this for a long time to come – that suicide is the cowardly option for me. I deserve this pain. Then it gets too much and I try to escape it, then feel guilty, and so the pain comes back but even worse – extra punishment. And round and round it goes… I go back inside, my alter comes out and everyone thinks I’m totally okay.
Do I want the abusers to win? The events I’ve remembered….I know they want me like this. Somewhere….deep deep inside there’s a small flame of logic which never quite goes out, and it keeps flickering – they want this. They want you like this. Take your friend’s hand and let them lift you out of this hell… But it’s no use. Because it’s all very well me thinking they want this so I should defy it. But it’s not that simple. Not least because to a large extent, I want this too.
If the only way I can feel close to my daughter again is by living in the painful memory, then I have no choice. If the only way I can stop myself drowning in guilt is to live in pain that matches and exceeds the pain she lived through, then I’d rather drown in pain than in guilt. It keeps swapping. Drown in pain until it’s totally unbearable, so I try to soothe it…then the guilt returns, I drown in that for a bit until that’s unbearable, then put myself back in the pain. It’s like if I was in a very rough sea. Waves just battering me, sending me underwater, tossing me around so brutally that I’ve long since given up on trying to work out which way is up, which way the oxygen lies. I had no choice but to go floppy and victim to the harshness of this sea, no choice but to be sent cartwheeling in dark, salty water which burns my eyes and throat and leaves my chest constantly on the verge of explosion. No choice but to be battered painfully. If I fight, I use precious energy and drown faster. If I go floppy, at some point I might float… and that’s how it goes. Eventually I’m tossed to the surface, and can take a gulpful of pure air, relieve myself of the torment and hell for a half a second, before the next vicious wave comes crashing onto me, and leaves me victim and drowning again. That is my life. Only I no longer know if I want the half-second gasp of air that comes every once in a while. The pain is so brutal, my energy so low…and isn’t it right I suffer like this? If I drown here the pain stops. If I drown here I died whilst being punished. But if I drown too soon then I didn’t suffer enough.
So I come out and stand in silence as my friends say stuff which logically makes sense and I can’t imagine what I’m doing to them, whilst I lock myself inside and refuse to talk or even look them in the eye. I daren’t look them in the eye. What if they see, properly, the hellish waters I’m locked in? What if they see the waves which are holding me captive, terrified, broken and wrecked? I stand there, the pain in my throat so intense I fear I’ll pass out, the pressure in my chest creaking my ribs and leaving me breathless, and the ghostly echoes of screams stabbing at what’s left of my torn heart. I might want to talk…but I can’t. Because if I open my mouth, the whole tight statue which is containing the pressure might lose it’s grip on the insane amount…and then I’ll explode, and drown before their eyes, and crumple in a heap to the floor. I don’t want to drown at their feet. I want to drown in my head.
There’s too much grief, bitter poisonous grief. And there’s too much guilt. I could go poke a piano and write another song for one other person but it’s not going to solve anything. This is all too extreme now. I’m lost. Jumping from pain to guilt to pain to guilt… that’s my life. It’s what they want, the abusers, I know. But what else can I do? Just that knowledge alone isn’t powerful enough for a bounce-back. It doesn’t make the screams go away, and doesn’t make the sea stop crashing on me.
I give up.
All I want to do right now is walk through the streets until I find someone…anyone…who’ll just use me for sex. For their pleasure. They get pleasure, I get numbed. Or punished. Or both. I’m so desperate I can see an image of me grabbing a man by his shirt and pleading, into his face. It must be a memory. Another time when I was so desperate for a punishment which suited someone as bad as me, and a punishment which would leave me numb with adrenaline. – “Please…please… I don’t care where you take me or what you do but please I need you to help me…” I cried, shaking his shirt, almost hysterical…and sagged only with relief when he nodded and said “okay.”
It’s all I deserve. But if I go, others get hurt. So instead I’ll just remember the memories…punish myself that way. What else can I do?