… to admit that you are owned by your demons.
There is a monster in the room. The room is my head.
The monster’s would-be corpse is hideous enough, a near abomination to be locked up with. Its name is probably something like Abuse, but it’s morphed to meanings beyond that shell. I don’t know if it’s still alive; the thought of actually examining it to make sure is so repugnant and frightful that it’s hard to imagine the situation being worse if the beast were actually alive and moving.
Like the horror movies: it looks dead, until you poke it….
It’s hard, in fact, to remember the situation being worse when it was alive and moving, because for years its whole point behind being alive was to promise horror and sometimes fulfill it.
I can’t wish it away, or push it out: by now it’s grown enormous, fat; embedded itself into the walls, rooted itself into the floor, unspeakable masses of skin and flesh plastered to the ceiling; ungodly hideous, even if it’s dead. And to tell the truth, it’s probably not completely dead. Every once in a while I see what looks like a twitch of supposedly dead limbs.
Usually I try to forget it. Wait until it’s finally, completely, thoroughly dead; so far it’s been the only strategy that seems to work. But there are days—which I also try to forget about, as if my subconscious would take no note of them—when memory comes back to life, when I am reminded of the thing in the room, and I wake up in the morning alongside cloying nightmares that do not blissfully tear you screaming from sleep, but hug until the mind suffocates. Reality becomes a difficult option to grasp.
I like to think that I’ve had moments of clarity, but in reality my reaction is to retreat as quickly as possible, as much as possible, for as long as possible. Deeper modes of thinking and processing carry me closer to the parts of the room that border the monster’s remains. This makes it difficult to do my work, which requires a creative mode as much as that of writing or art, for all that it’s a technical job.
I can just about manage to not burn cookies. I can manage the mechanics of making an ebook. I can easily surf waves of information and surface-process it.
But I think it’s safe (unlike this room) to say that interpretation of any kind brings pain, and makes the monster twitch, or seem to twitch, or whatever.
At this time the monster’s corpse seems to be shriveling again (it does that in cycles; shriveling and bloating, never quite dessicated, at times close to life) so there’s more free room to think and interpret. My dreams have been unmemorable since yesterday, which is a relief, because the staying awake strategy to alleviate nightmares tends to result in waking nightmares.
Of course, the monster is still here. Too large to shift as a whole; to get it out, one would need to cut it to pieces. To slice into tissues either dead or only mostly dead, an intimate act that you only see attempted to carry out in horror movies by the most survival-averse characters. It sounds like a good idea—or maybe get a little creative with a flamethrower—but the execution is one that will take years and years of work. Like I said, it’s just that big, that gross, and that dense. So many years that it might actually be the same amount of time in the end to simply wait it out, and less frustrating on a continual basis.
Also, have you fucking seen bills from psychologists/psychiatrists when your insurance doesn’t cover it?
So I wait it out.
There, I’ve said it: I have not yet and will not for a very long time come to terms with over 20 years of abuse. And sometimes the act of remembering is as potent—and unavoidable—as the original act being remembered.
I don’t know what to do the next time. Possibly there isn’t anything else that can be done. It’s only been a few years since it died, and apparently its memory is a long time decaying. Perhaps the only thing I can do is to budget enough vacation and personal time such that I have a continuous buffer, not to be spent on actual vacations, but to spend time battling this.
The sad part is that the worst month of the year hasn’t yet arrived.