One of the lifelines I clung to throughout my life has been that as much as the abusers seemed to have made it their goal to destroy me as slowly and painfully as possible with whatever means of torture possible, I must have at least meant something to them. My theory was that if they really wanted to spend so much time and energy on hurting me, then I must at least be worth something to them, irrespective of how warped and fucked up that worth was. At times it has genuinely been the only thing that’s kept me surviving – wanting their worth. Sounds mad doesn’t it? But I didn’t want to believe I was just an object to them because that would mean accepting how senseless and evil the torture really was. If I could kid myself into thinking there was sense and meaning behind what they were doing, that they recognised me as a person and not a number, then I at least hadn’t lost my identity as a human being. If they could still see me as a human, then so could I, and so my self-worth rarely got so bad that I actually lost sight of the fact I am human, and not a number or an object.
The fact of the matter is, of course, that this is all bollocks. I may well be a human but to the vast majority of them I was just another toy. That’s all. I had a number. I didn’t have a name, or I did but I had to answer to my number most of the time, my name only used to taunt me and even then I had several different names at various times. I had to tell them my number when they were checking us all into another room in that blasted place, me staring at the floor, so that they could tick me off on their register. No escape. But the signficance of this is something I had never really thought of before. The sickening realisation that I never was more than a number. A number or toy that didn’t perform how they wanted it to, so they threw a few tantrums and kept trying to get the toy to play how it was supposed to. Whether I like it or not I connected with most of the abusers, some of them quite deeply, as even though they terrified me they also were the fathers of my children, and the ones who I relied on to feed me. That connection is not mutual, and I wouldn’t want it to be. But I don’t want to just be an inanimate object either.
And that, I think, is the only way they were able to do what they did. The only way they could just snub out some innocent child’s life without a care in the world, the only way that they could tie me and others up, or chain me to a wall, and torture us for hours on end…masking it to look like an interrogation but in truth that was bollocks too…they just wanted to break me. They just wanted me to give in and tell them enough. I cannot comprehend how anyone could continue to torture a child who’s chained to the wall, screaming in agony and convulsing in pain. Sometimes when I look in a mirror and see my eyes, I think…how? how did you do it? how did you see the terror and pain in my eyes, hear my scream, see the damage you were causing, and yet continue with such ease and pleasure? how? In more recent years I’ve at times been so utterly frightened and in extreme pain that I’ve instinctively screamed out for my friends, even though rationally I knew they’d never hear me, but I was so desperate and thought that even if there was the 1% chance of them being nearby and hearing, it was worth it to scream for their help. I wonder what the shitheads thought. Were they angry? Were they even angrier that I had defied everything and spoken about what they did to me? Were they scared? Could they hear how frightened and in pain I was, how desperate I was for a safe person to get me out of that hell? If so, how did they carry on with what they were doing? Just for pleasure? Really?!
The answer is no, not really. It wasn’t all for pleasure. Some of them were forced to do what they did and they have my every sympathy. But some…some just saw me as a number. An object. Just another one in such a huge global system. My fear and pain didn’t bother them because they didn’t see it as fear or pain. They saw a toy responding how they wanted it to respond. They saw one number on their vast list growing weaker, but no worries, there’s plenty more where that came from…they could replace me if ever needed. They’re scared and angry about me speaking out not because they fear me but because they don’t want their system to start breaking. They don’t want their toys to malfunction, as I am doing. Because then they’d be bored, as a child is when their toy breaks. I can remember being tied to a table, after some animal sacrifice and being forced to lie on the dead and open carcass. They then took it in turns to rape me and smear the animal body liquids all over me, and then….completely madly….were able to sit around the table, drinking, laughing and catching up like old friends. Talking about completely different topics. I was invisible to them. I was just an object. A decoration. It was like when a group has a dinner party, and they focus on eating their food, and then leave the leftovers on the plates and talk and laugh with their friends or family, never again thinking about the leftovers or empty plates until someone clears them away. That’s exactly as it was. They fed their hunger, left me lying in that mess and in so much trauma and pain, and they laughed and chatted away, until someone decided the table needed clearing.
I’ve had this memory for months. Why is it bothering me now? Because I’d never seen it in such a way. I’d just been shocked and traumatised by the sickening horror of it all, but now that shock has worn off, the actual underlying meaning from the whole thing is hitting me. I was nothing to them. What I went through meant nothing to them. They cared as much about my feelings as one does when they tuck into a steak.
And why should this bother me? Why should I want their care? I don’t. Not really. But being an object or a number or a toy or just a means to satisfy their twisted hunger makes the pain and suffering of what I went through more harrowing somehow. Okay so it wasn’t all black – the children and I did have silly giggles. But undeniably there was an incredible amount of physical and psychological pain, and whilst it was never excusable, believing that they at least recognised me as a person and the pain had an actual reason to them is what made it just about manageable. Now I’m beginning to realise just how senseless and meaningless it all was, how so many of them came up with warped story lines which had been fed to the generation before me and probably the generation before them. They pretended to act as though I was a person with feelings and that as a whole was important to them, in a twisted way. In truth, me and the other children and everyone else involved in the system might as well look identical, because that’s really how they see us. Not as individuals. Not as people. But as toys or objects. Cattle.
The way they objectified me is harrowing and hitting me hard. In a sense it empowers me because I can just refuse to play their game and be their toy. But that doesn’t make the realisation of what I really was – just a part of a system, easily replaced and fun to play with while I lasted – any less difficult to come to terms with. Now I’m too old and fat to be as much fun to them, so the next stage of the programming has been kicking in – trying to force me into suicide or alternatively become one of them, to start onto the next generation.
As with the empowerment of realising I’m just a toy goes, I can just choose to do neither. I want the former but I don’t want to keep playing their sick game.
But it’s very hard, to have been the focal of their (one small ring in a vast system’s) attention for so long, to now not be really wanted by them at all, and just discarded as waste. That’s incredibly hard to cope with. I’ve heard of Stockholm Syndrome and fully believed I’d managed to avoid any part of that, not touching the spectrum at all. It’s not true of course. I desperately want them to want me. I don’t love them, but I can’t bring myself to hate them either. Their rejection and objectification of me, when I believed I meant something to them, is really breaking me up. Which in turn is making me feel ashamed. Dead or alive I’m just an object to them, and they don’t massively care which way I fall I’m sure…they’re just comfortable with believing I’ll either commit suicide and take my story to the grave, or become one of them in a way of trying to ever cope with the aftermath.
Your system’s fucked. I ain’t playing. I’m not being an object anymore.