I have lost my mind. I left it somewhere else quite some time ago. I’d like to imagine it in a forest shrouded in fog, nestled with the ferns and the fawns. I’m not exactly sure where I left it, really. If I knew, it wouldn’t be lost!
For more than a year, I’ve been wandering aimlessly, putting one foot in front of the other and walking to a grave site I wish was my own. Alas, I am not to be given the gift of taking my last breath any time soon. I was just recently turned away from the hereafter. I’m not even sure what earned me another chance.
Do I really get another chance? Am I here for a purpose? What could I have left to achieve that makes me a valuable member of modern society? Am I destined to be someone noteworthy again? Will I make an important scientific discovery? Or will I fade into complete mediocrity, just as I did before my first life expired? Will I get nine lives, like a cat?
What can I do with this chance? I think I’d know if I had any vigor left. I’d know if I had the will to live. I think angels save people at random and then let them run amok in a depleted state. Angels, indeed. More like… weeping angels.
Of course, it would be convenient if there was a statue to fixate on. Then my torment would have a physical representation. Something tangible, something touchable. (Has anyone tried phoenix down on a weeping angel yet? What if they’re misunderstood…?) If I could touch fear, then I could punch it in the face.
Fear is not something I can hold or scold or even glare at. I can try to tell fear to go to Hell but I doubt it’d listen. It’s there for everyone and comes in different shapes and sizes. It comes in different colors. It’s nearly as variegated as the colors in a candy store. I own my fear the best I know how.
Today my fear is being alone for decades as I am forced to continue striving, keep moving, keep trying (in vain) to fix myself. Today it led me to scream at shadows and throw things. It let me to beating my head, first with my hands and then against the wall. Have you ever smacked your own forehead with your hand hard enough to see light patterns in your ocular field? You know, when you’re in the dark, with your eyes close, and you hit yourself in the forehead so hard you see stars? Yeah, I did that. It’s not the first time, either, which is why on this occasion I was moved to forcibly smashing my head into a door jamb.
Sure, it hurt. Not nearly as much as the mental anguish I found myself in. My inner critic would not let up. He’s a jackass, for sure. He delights in telling me how I failed this test or that. He delights in telling me that I am not enough. He doesn’t use those words! No. Then it would be obvious that he’s trying to damage my self-esteem. That he wants to lead me into a dark alley way on the shady side of my brain and leave me there to rot.
He always says he’s sorry, too, when I point out that he’s been excessively critical. I’d like to get critical, myself. Something along the lines of a critical strike! Let me roll the dice and see how good my luck is…
But he’s intangible. There’s nothing to vent the severe and excessive frustration and anguish on. There’s no outlet to dump ballast, to let out steam. He doesn’t stop, even when I inform him politely that I have reached my limits. He doesn’t stop when I get angry and shout at him to get out of my head! He only stops when I hurt myself.
One day, I am almost certain of this, I will go too far to quell the critic. I battled him into submission in my first life and now I have to figure out how to do it again. He says he’d love to get away from me, as well, which makes it all the more painful: even my own brain wishes to abandon me.
Nobody ever stays, least of all me. I keep trying to get along with people and they always do something (or I do something) that drives us apart. To create rifts and distance. Something happens to make the relationship cease to exist. It’s really a shame, too.
I know sometimes I choose to exit the relationship, be it romantic or platonic. I usually leave because the words they use on me evoke emotional reactions that are not constructive to the relationship (or me) for an incredibly long time. I do not know how they can sustain this for the literal ages I wait for better treatment.
Now, I will no longer wait for improvement. I have lost all my patience with that first life. I want it now. (What is it, as Faith No More might ask? LOVE.)
People do not listen to what I say. They do not think about my emotions very often at all. I go to great lengths to groom them in private because of this. However, I am no longer alone, thanks to the critic that is currently moaning and groaning about how late it is and that I should sleep. After he threw my career away, of course, robbing me of the only reason I’d need to be on a schedule. So now I sleep, eat, clean, and… sit still, holding court with myself. Having logical debates. Arguments. Fights.
There is no privacy. There is no “me” time. I am never alone with myself anymore. Instead, that critic makes me remember how my older sister called me a stupid fat bitch with such vehemence that I decided to never tolerate the word “bitch” ever again. He’s like that, slinging stones at my glass house. Boulders, really. The only thing that makes him stop is extreme duress expressed either with tears or self-harm. Hysterics.
Even now, he’s doing his best to alter what I write, insisting I name him Sebastian and that I am getting hysterical because of his callous attitude and relentless criticism. He is a bully that will stop at nothing to get his way. He makes me dream of suicide. I want out of this unholy union. He should call himself Satan — I hear he’s a pretty nice guy, just like Henry.
What Sebastian does not understand is that I must write — if not spend time alone — to process the events that happen to me. I must take the time to tell myself all the things I wish human beings outside of me would tell me. Things to assuage fear and reduce confusion. Things to reassure me as I strike forth blindly, looking for a path that I might like to follow.