First off. I did manage to finish A Swiftly Tilting Planet yesterday-- as it turns out, the section I dreaded re-reading (the part when Charles is Within Brandon Maddox, in the witch-hunting times) was extremely short, and did not take up the majority of the book as I thought it did. After that ended it was easy. The book did hold several important points that rang just as true as they did originally-- most of what Gaudior said, actually-- but there was one part that jumped out at me louder than it ever had before.
Pages 197 through 200. Charles is Within Chuck Maddox when the boy suffers a traumatic brain injury, and loses his ability to stay rooted in physical reality. A voice calls to Charles then, from within the blackness of pain, and tells him that it's time to leave Chuck, he can do nothing now, come out. It claims it is a unicorn, there to help, there to aid him on his mission, speaking gently and kindly. "Time is of the essence... if Mad Dog Branzillo is to be prevented from starting a holocaust then you must not delay." "There's a terrible urgency about what you are about to accomplish... you were chosen because of your special gifts, and unusual intelligence... you are in control of what is going to happen."
And then Charles Wallace says no.
"It was trying to use my high I.Q. and trying to control things that got us into trouble in the first place. I don't know what I'm supposed to use, but it's not my intellect or strength... and I've never come out of Within on my own. It's always happened to me. I'm staying Within."
And with that, the Unicorn shrieked, flying away with a howl, an Echthroi in disguise.
That made me wonder. So much. Am I being misled? I believed that Echthroid-unicorn too, right up until Charles spoke. Am I that dangerously naive? How do I know when I'm being led astray? How can I trust my own judgment?
I have this nagging and upsetting thought that if I tell my therapist this, "I want to just let it all go and forget," her response will simply be "okay, do that." Which bothers me greatly.
I don't like unquestioned support or agreement. I've had that happen in a malicious manner too many times. Ideally, I would want her to respond by asking me what brought me to that decision. Why is that the one decision I landed on, as opposed to the other possibilities? And I would explain to her, how I feel all my past suffering is not only fake and stupid, but irrelevant, and how I can't stand feeling trapped by this "mental disability" that has haunted me for a decade, and how I just want the symptoms to stop, because they DON'T stop even when I do everything in my power to ignore them and let go of everything tied to them.
I don't want her to just agree with a decision of mine JUST because "I" made it. It might be a stupid, ignorant, uninformed decision. I would ideally want her to help me test that decision in ways I couldn't have thought of myself, to see whether or not it held up under such scrutiny. If it collapsed, then fine, let's fine a more beneficial, wiser option. If not, then let's start working towards it.
But don't, please don't ever agree with me without testing me first. I don't often trust myself to be right.
I've been weirdly dizzy these past few days, to the point where it sometimes feels like the house is sliding out from under me. My exercise schedule has been thrown off by that, too, plus the oddly pervading weakness I had last week. I really don't like this dizziness though. I can't see straight, it makes me feel sick. Everything is blurry and I keep dissociating because I can't get my eyes to focus clearly enough to look out a window without feeling like I'm looking into another dimension. I keep getting headaches and wanting to throw up, the room keeps spinning, something is wrong, I'm scared.
I got really sick two nights ago, I think. My brother was watching Attack on Titan, because he kept talking about it when I was trying to eat and that made me dissociate, so I lost about two hours of time. When I came back, I was nauseous and in a lot of pain, but I couldn't remember what I had eaten. I got so distressed over this that I guess I went to my room, because the next thing I remember (secondhand) is lying down on my bed, sobbing hysterically and repeating "I'm sorry, I don't want to be a worm, I don't want to be the whore of Babylon" over and over. I don't know how long that lasted and I have no idea what happened afterwards, because my memory doesn't pick up clearly again until last night, when I started reading Many Waters. I think? The locations are all impossibly off, I think I'm really remembering last weekend... but you see what I mean. My memory is in all these chopped-up little pieces and it's scary. I never know what's going on anymore. I try so hard to push through the day normally, but how can I fake normalcy when I don't know what "normal," or "healthy," is for me?
Weird intrusive thoughts keep happening. I don't know if they're just thoughts or people, because they fight with each other and they talk to me and they try to move my body. I end up talking to them without wanting to, just to get them to be quiet. Then I feel awful because "you're not supposed to acknowledge them," but then the angry zealot ones start condemning me for it, "suit yourself, choose the sinner's path by ignoring us," and get me on such a paranoid guilt-trip that I end up doing whatever they say even if it's begrudgingly, even if they snicker and laugh when I obey, even if things go badly for me and they roar with laughter and say it's "God's will." It's scary. This is worse than it was when I was younger and I didn't think it would ever come back.
Last night when I came home, I do remember that my grandmother's friend was visiting to talk, as he always does on Sundays (he's lonely and likes company). And for whatever reason, something in my head started hissing, "not that bastard again, I swear I'll kill him, get him out of my house." I was horrified, I asked why in the world they hated him? He did nothing wrong! But the reply scared me, as it made sense, in a twisted way.
"He doesn't let us do anything." That was answer #1. Since that man sits in our kitchen to talk, and we were hungry but have severe problems with eating in front of other people, that voice concluded that he was in our kitchen specifically to bar us from eating or drinking anything. They saw it as a malicious act.
Answer #2 was worse. "Why do you want to kill him," I asked. The response I got wasn't verbal, it was emotional, psychological, physical. And it frightened me. Here was an old man, in our kitchen, and when I walked in he'd look at me. Just a look, "who's at the door," then go back to talking. But the voices interpreted that as a lecherous glance, or worse, an actively malevolent one. "He's going to abuse us!!" they screamed. "He KNOWS, he knows what a whore you are, he KNOWS you want him to hurt you, so he will if he ever gets the chance!!" And that is how they see him. As a permanent potential threat. Just like they see everybody else. "Kill them before they kill us." It's sick. It's so sick and they never shut up. I wish I could go out in public without being crushed by their fear, but it scares me too. I shouldn't be, but I'm more scared of the way I can't "see" people. I only ever see facades, acts, masks. If I walked up to a stranger and tried to speak with their soul, I would be stopped by an ego, or a defense construct. It's so hard to reach people. And that's what scares me. But they, the other people in my head, they hate those barriers. They hate the dark parts of people that lurk below the surface, the animalistic instincts and programmed drives, the shadows that everyone holds, that only surface in times of desperate survival, blinding rage, or maniacal fear. The voices in my head hail from those same places, but they hate themselves too, hate their cursed existences, and they hate everything that keeps them trapped there. It's so sad. It really is.
Yesterday evening was weird and worrisome. I walked into my room and looked at my workspace, again realized how it doesn't get much light from the windows, it's stuck in that dark corner. And it's been there for several months so I needed a change badly. So I took everything out of it, and rotated it, trying to find a better position. The problem? There's a space between the windows and the right wall, where there is a corner that shadows get stuck in. And no matter what I did, I couldn't escape that shadowy corner. Turn it one way, the desk blocks the windows and the corner shadows my workspace. Turn it again, now I'm stuck in the corner and there is no light on the desk. Again, and the workspace overshadows my bed, while I am once again in the corner. It was driving me nuts, I was frustrated to the point of tears. All I wanted was sunlight on my work desk, couldn't I get that? Why was that shadowy corner so loathsome to me? I turned the desk so that the right corner fit into the wall corner, and I had one window shining onto my work desk, BUT in doing so, it left a 30cm space between the desk and the wall, with the shadowy corner leading into that space.
I am dead serious, when I saw that I started weeping like a panicked child. That passageway by the dark corner terrified me, and I didn't know why. I tried to explain it to my grandmother and she told me to stop acting like a baby and just leave it there. But I couldn't, it was scaring me. I asked myself why, why are you so scared? And a voice replied, "the demons crawl up from those shadows." I got a fleeting mental image of a trapdoor leading into a basement, right in that shadowy corner, and awful devils emerging from it to enter my room. The fear was tangible, and I hurriedly shoved the desk back against the wall, but now my workspace no longer had light on it. I think I actually sat down and cried for a while, I know someone began screaming "just burn all my work, I don't deserve this, I'm doing nothing but hurting everyone else." For a time I was convinced that, since my workdesk was always in the way of the windows, I was "stealing everyone else's light" for selfish purposes, like some evil creature. Putting my desk in front of the windows was doing nothing but preventing others from receiving holy light, while I sucked it up like a thief, and that dark corner poured evil into the room. I was distraught, really, it's scary to look back on.
But you see that one train of thought return: "I'm inherently evil, every action I take is causing intentional harm to good living beings." So I'm paranoid. I'm afraid to even get dressed in the morning because "what if these colors together will radiate bad energy from me to people??" I refuse to wear pink and black together, some blues are dangerous, I won't touch most yellows. "It's bad, it will make you sick, it will make other people sick, it will make THEM louder." And I'm so scared that I just wait for the voices to tell me what to wear, and then I wear it. I still can't shake the feeling that I'm a demon that incarnated, some awful loathsome thing, and this life is a struggle for me to try and overcome my own fallen nature, greater than that of any human. I KNOW and accept the doctrine that God's love is unconditional, even for me, "whether or not I deserve it." But then I think about what I've heard about that. Yes, God loves me as His creation, but didn't He place me here, then? Isn't my evil state HIS plan, His will? Wouldn't that make the angry zealot voices in my head 100% right, in saying that it is God's will that I suffer because I'm meant to suffer? That I'm NOT supposed to get out of this? I guess I could deal with that if it were for a greater purpose, but... see, there's a bit of a problem with that mindset I think.
Remember my old 2008 belief of being a "waste-lock," a canister for all the awful sin in the world, the fervent belief that I was the sole most evil person on the planet SOLELY because I HELD all the evil in other people? And if I died, I would take the evil with me, and everyone else could live in peace? But I couldn't kill myself or it would let the evil OUT and infect the world? Which is why I kept begging other people to kill me for a while. Always too scared to commit suicide because "that would be the single most horrible act you could do to the world, you'd be hurting other people even in your death, you bastard." Convinced that I was the focal point of every nightmare, every sin, every iota of corruption. And the sick part is that some days I really hoped that was true, I REALLY wanted it to be true... if all that evil was in me, then everyone else was safe. EVERYONE else could be happy. Once I died they would all be free.
That's what scares me about this "mental disorder," did you know? Because, everyone talks to me like "one day you're going to get better!" "one day you're going to be just like you once were!" and they don't realize what that means. "Get better" meaning... what? That I'll suddenly become whoever I was at age 7 again? I don't know who that was! But it feels like no one wants ME to get better. They want me to just go away, forever, and die, so they can have their mouthy 7-year-old daughter with the bad temper and selfish attitude back. She's long gone, I don't know how to tell you that, she's been gone for a very, very long time. But no one wants me to live. No one wants us, we're the "problem."
People smile at me and say "one day you'll be the person we remember." Whoever that was. And that's the point! They want ONE person to survive, the one person they decided they liked, and everyone else will DIE.
It feels like that childhood sacrifice, brought to terrible reality at long last. "You have to die, FOREVER, and forfeit all chance of happiness or salvation, so that this ONE person can come back to life and make other people happy." That's the sentence we get, every time someone else talks about our "recovery."
And the horrible thing is, I'm depressed enough to just say "okay, then let me die, I don't care anymore"... but... there are some days when I'm not. There are some days when a LOT of us are not. Sometimes I'll just sit outside and think, "the trees are really pretty today," or I'll hear Laurie or Knife talking about how cool it is to be able to walk, or hear music, or smell flowers, or look at Christmas lights. Sometimes I'll see one of the little kids out, hugging a teddy bear, or reading a book, totally happy for a second. Sometimes I'll feel like, maybe this isn't so bad, maybe we can all be happy one day, wouldn't that be amazing? Maybe all the pain we were born from can just go away, and we can all live together. Wouldn't that be nice.
And then someone says "I hope all your voices go away and you're back to normal" and it feels like an arrow to the heart.
"Normal" for them means shopping and movies and games and loud laughing. But we're not like that, we're quiet and gentle, why do people act like there's something "wrong" with us even when we're trying to be happy?
"I want you to be normal," they say, and it sounds like, "it doesn't matter whether or not you're happy." Our happiness doesn't matter. As long as everyone else is "happy." That's what matters, right?
"Would you die, to resurrect a child who is long dead," they seem to ask. "Would you integrate, and abandon any chance of life and happiness you may have, to make everyone else happy?"
Would I? Should I?
I don't know.
I'm feeling so sick. The nausea and dizziness are overwhelming, I want to vomit. I'm sorry, I have to go.