The scratches are numerous on my arm now; like notches in the belt of a manwhore counting his recent conquests. There’s no blood. I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut that deep. It’s just the surface, red and raised, with little flecks of skin sticking up like tiny stalagmites.
Counting these parallel lines is oddly comforting. Seeing these soldiers of my psychological battle lined up, ready to take the pain, makes me feel peaceful – like I have an army in my corner.
What a fucking load of shit. I know that, deep down. I know it’s a crock, that these scratches aren’t doing anything but hurting me, but who cares? No one; hence the scratches. It’s not that I find pleasure in the pain – it’s not some sort of masochism, providing sexual gratification. No, it’s not that at all. The pain feels good – because it stops. It’s the only pain that stops and I need that. I need to know that a pain exists that isn’t endless. I need to know there’s a reprieve.
There’s a remission with these scratches. The pain is instantaneous… then it’s gone, it’s over, and there’s relief. Relief. Pain to take away pain. Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But then again… The treatment for cancer doesn’t exactly feel good.
Maybe that’s what this is; rudimentary chemotherapy for this cancer that is my depression, anxiety, and pain. The worse before it gets better.
Or maybe I’m just fucked up.
This morning I woke up in pain so bad I couldn’t move. Yesterday my body agreed with me. Today it rebelled against me. It’s a level of frustration I can’t always put into words. Sometimes I think it would be better if I was incapacitated all the time – at least I would know what to expect.
That’s all kinds of fucked up, isn’t it? To wish for an illness that was constant instead of one that comes and goes? They say I’m lucky to have the “good days,” but sometimes I wonder. Yeah, it’s nice to have good days, but they aren’t really good, they’re just days where I’m able to do most of what I want to do without too much pain. The problem is, the good days ALWAYS lead to what I call “punishment days.” The days like today when I am totally debilitated and all the plans I made to continue what I was doing on my good days are out the window, which makes me feel like a waste of oxygen.
At least if every day was a bad day I’d know what to expect. I could learn to adjust myself to the pain and limitations. Instead I spend my good days doing all the things I want to do, feeling like “hey, maybe it’ll last this time,” only to get the rug yanked from beneath me. I fall flat on my ass while every nerve and bone and muscle screams out for help. While my mind tells me I’m useless, to “buck up,” to get up and do things – it’s not that bad.
So not only do I spend my bad days physically immobilized; I also spend them feeling overwhelmingly guilty for it – and then projecting it onto my husband. Bless him, he takes it – and he takes care of me. It’s a terrible, terrifying feeling – uselessness. It takes away every last ounce of pride and dignity and leaves you in a pile of humiliation and doubt, tearful and tired and helpless.
I try to focus on the things I can still do when I’m in that state – but to be honest, some days there isn’t much I can do. The pain makes my vision jumpy and blurry – which then makes my headache worse and causes nausea, like seasickness – which then leaves me with only one option – doing nothing but sleeping. See? Useless.
Not every bad day is THAT level of bad. The intensity of the awfulness of the bad days is in direct correlation to the number of good days and the intensity of the things I did on those days. Could you imagine having to decide whether to spend the day walking around museums or a park, knowing the trade off will be a physical and mental depression so deep it could make your soul hurt? Welcome to my life. Living, anecdotal proof of the phrase “take the bad with the good.” Because every single good thing that requires me to be physically or mentally active in any way is followed by the infliction of pain by my body and mind. Everything has a punishment, a price. Every stitch of fun has time limit that ends with the inability to function for a period of time. Every. Single. Thing. There is no simple joy, because every joy, every passion, every action, every bit of living is not only temporary, as it is for everyone, but it’s also sin – a sin for which the penalty is gut-wrenching. Try, for one moment, to imagine how that feels.
It’s exhausting; so very exhausting. Down to the core. Down to the soul.
I don’t know how much longer I can do it.
I think about the comfort of death all the time. Not suicide, but death. I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to pull the trigger – but sometimes I think it would be such a relief if someone else did.
Death is a complex thing. I don’t fear it, really. I guess what I fear is the act of dying – not the reality of being dead. I’m not scared of being dead, of no longer existing in this world, of the seductive, terminal rest of the grave. What I fear is the pain of dying – of gasping for breath or feeling excruciating pain. I’ve had enough pain in life, I don’t want that kind of pain in death.
I just wish for eternal sleep. For the ultimate respite – no longer having to feel like my heart is breaking every day. For the disappearance of the petty, everyday barrage of negativity that seems to surround me at the most inconvenient moments. For the deliverance from the abyssal loneliness that takes my breath away. For the cessation of this nightmare of ups and downs that comprises a life full of constant inconsistencies – of never being able to count on myself for anything because I never know what hell my mind or my body will be going through each morning when I wake up.
I want the daydreams of heaven. Of a place where I can be my perfect self, free of this burden of humanity and wrapped in the embrace of a God I know loves me – just seems to forget about me sometimes.
I have love here. I have the love of my life. But sometimes it’s so dark I can no longer see the love in his eyes or feel his warmth. It’s cold and crushing – and even he can’t save me when it gets that bad. He tries so hard and I feel so guilty that I can’t be better for him, but it’s not always in my control. Some moments the only thing that feels like it could save me is death, but it’s a cure I cannot impose upon myself. So I curl up and wait for it to pass, praying for someone to pull the trigger. Pull the trigger on this hell I’m in and send me to heaven.
Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops.
Long forgotten things rush back sometimes. They take over the mind when you least expect it. A pain you never knew was there fills your spirit and you wonder why you never realized it before.
I was little when my cousin started to teach me all about sex. He was young, too, but not as sheltered as I was. He knew what he was doing.
This was when my anxiety started. I remember it as clear as day… the panic attacks and overwhelming feeling of guilt. Only I was too young to realize what it was back then. I was so guilt-ridden that I “confessed” to my mom. She did nothing.
No, not nothing. She told me “don’t you realize that’s how you get pregnant?” I was too young for that. I was too young, too sheltered, to understand any of it. She told no one, so as “not to upset anyone in the family.” I spent the next many years of my life burying the whole series of events, fighting the memories when they did come back because I thought I was the one who did something wrong, and I didn’t want to feel the guilt.
Then one day I realized a few things:
I was little, and sheltered, and didn’t fully understand what what happening. I had no reason to feel guilty.
He was young, but older than me, and knew exactly what he was doing. He should be the one who feels guilty.
My mother failed me. She was cowardly and cruel – and it wouldn’t be the last time.
These revelations, when I allow them to, thrust me into that dark place. They also tend to keep me there when I spend too long focusing on them. It’s tough when you realize that the person you thought always had your best interest at heart really didn’t.
People are flawed, I understand that. But there is a difference between a good person who does shitty things once in a while and a shitty person who does good things once in a while. I realized recently that my mother is the latter. It was a hard pill to swallow, and I’m still not sure I have.
Memories are a heartless bitch sometimes.
So are realizations.
Some days it’s not so dark. Some days things are just fine. But then the darkness creeps in, slowly, until like the frog in the pot of water it’s pitch black and you’re boiling. It’s been like that recently – so very dark – and I don’t really know why. Sometimes I think it’s just that the whole ration of shit I’ve been dealt my whole life has finally reached critical mass and my brain simply cannot cope with it anymore, so it shuts down.
This is the worst it’s ever been. There’s a scratch mark on my arm. I’ll tell everyone “I must have scraped it on something,” but I know that it’s the safety pin I dragged across it in an effort to replace the pain I can’t control with a pain I can. I’ve never done that before. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again.
What I do know is that the light will come eventually. I’m just always afraid that the light will bring with it all the things I don’t WANT to see.
Is my darkness voluntary, perhaps? A coping mechanism because the light is too bright? Maybe we’ll figure it out somewhere along the way. For now, I’m seduced by it. Cuddled up in its oblivion. It’s warm in here – not boiling yet. I’ll stay awhile.