Into the fog, into the abyss, descent into madness, however you want to call it

To anyone who might make it through the rambling below: This is basically an exercise in free association. I wrote down whatever went through my head. It is random, helpless, disturbing and incoherent. It is a silent nervous breakdown. I feel like I shouldn´t be posting it. It seems incriminating, compromising, like it´s going to get me into trouble, like it´s going to turn people against me. I feel like I need to post 1) a trigger warning and 2) a disclaimer. So, first the warning: I´m talking about a nightmare I recently had and that nightmare deals with violence against children. Then the disclaimer: As far as I remember I also talk about suicide. I have no intention to kill myself, though. It is just another fragment of free association. An escapist dream to deal with the anxiety that got me scrabbling down all this mess in the first place. Fine. And now I should stop trying to take back everything I wrote by explaining it.

Five days. Five days that I´ve constantly been feeling sick. None of my usual tricks work. Can´t take it anymore, can´t take it anymore, someone please help me. No one sees I´m not alright. Or if they see it, they look away. Or far worse, I´m simply withdrawing. I´m not letting it show, I don´t dare ask for help. I wouldn´t get what I need. What shall I do?

I mistake the Internet, a collection of words by strangers, for affection, for points of reference, for something to keep me oriented. It is my world, because outside of it everything is falling apart.

I´m about to throw up, I just know it and I hope that writing will somehow make it easier to take. Something terrible is happening, is about to happen, I don´t know what to do. Just fucking help me.

Take this out of my hands. I can´t bear it anymore, it is none of my responsibility, please take over for me. Take care of me. Hold me, assure me that you will move heaven and earth in order to cure me. Tell me you´re here, you´re with me, I´m not locked up somewhere inside my body all on my own.

Why do I even have to hold back my tears? So nobody sees them, asks what is wrong and I can´t answer that because I don´t know what is wrong?

Suicide. How is that for an answer.

I´m really serious about running away. Death seems more bearable, more welcoming than whatever horrible, destructive feeling it is that I fear so much.

Maybe I´m making myself sick on purpose without knowing it. Just to break down the walls between me and others, me and the world. In the hope that I will seek affection from others, that I can accept and feel it.

My feelings are just weird splinters, sometimes I lie them onto someone else. I am so disconnected from this world. Have I ever really been part of it? Have I ever really been there (“THERE!” NOT “HERE!” Doesn´t that say it all???)? No one has ever heard me. They all say I´m normal. They don´t get that what I describe is a little, subtle, fundamental difference to their world. They´ve never been this locked in, this LOCKED OUT, this unable to emotionally connect. They think I´m whining about stuff everybody has to deal with.

Rage might be my only connection, and I´m trying to shut it out because I was starting to feel something like an emotion. I was able to feel sad for myself. Maybe almost able to cry.

Please help me! What have I done to this world that I don´t deserve the most basic support?

When someone hugs me, I walk away internally and I try to take that being hugged with me. I make it part of a dream, a fantasy in which I´m being taken care of. I´m so unable to love anybody I´d deserve to be left alone and yet I cling onto people, I couldn´t let them go.

I walk away from this world, I try to empty myself, curl up to a ball and I can imagine so vividly my killer coming up to me, softly turning me around so he can stab me cleanly in the heart, and I can let go, I can connect with him because I will die anyway, so nothing bad, nothing painful is going to come off this. I won´t fall apart mentally, my sense of self won´t be blurred, it doesn´t matter that he is swallowing my mind as long as he kills me before we merge because otherwise I would stay alive even if he killed my body.

Can I somehow absolutely, absolutely erase myself? Make sure not some other part of me is there to pick up when I fall asleep or retreat into nothingness? I have to stay, I mustn´t think, as soon as I start thinking that voice returns, that voice I´m limited to, the stupid stupid thought-voice who is running through a dark forest at night and believes it´s bright daylight. I´m sorry, I´m sorry poor thing, nobody loves you and that is so sad because you sure just want to be loved you don´t know what else to do you´re just being yourself. And that poor little girl who had to love every thing so it isn´t sad because it is all alone and abandoned and unloved. Like I had the power to do that. It´s this little girl who is crying inside of me because every thing has been abandoned by those who loved it, and maybe they didn´t even want to but they had to; maybe they just got into their car and went away and the things left didn´t even know yet they had been left, abandoned; so they are still smiling and they still love the ones who left them and believe they, too, are being loved by them. They think the ones who left them still love them and think of them and plan to return, and the little girl finds that so heartbreakingly sad she decides she will be their mother, and she will love them and take care of them and never throw them away.

I´m not a whole person. If I was, then I couldn´t fall into that grey pit of nothingness, I couldn´t fall apart. No matter what would happen, I´d still have myself. Okay, that wouldn´t be much use if I was bereaved of everything else, like my partner, or, if I had any, my kids. But the way it is right now I´m constantly in a state of crisis and shock and disintegration. And I refuse to work, I refuse to do anything because I am actually screaming: Please, please, please help me. I try to destroy all my outside life (not working for uni, not looking for a job, not doing anything at all) so it is in line with my inner life and SOMEBODY FUCKING NOTICE IT`S NOT ALRIGHT!

But they don´t. They just let me slide away. And I don´t know where that slide ends.

Somewhere in a sea of grey, I believe. I might soon be a welfare case, just that nobody is going to believe anything is wrong with me because since when has anybody ever believed me? And I can be so goddamn functional, you know. Suddenly there is a younger version of my mother popping up where I used to be, talking to people in a confident, polite manner. She´s a good mask, but masks don´t provide much motivation. She´s just a set of behaviors I´ve learned, she´s not me, not anything that can tell me what to do or provide me with any sense of safety and stability outside the presence of others.

I withdraw from others, I wouldn´t let anybody help me if they tried; I drive people away, I instinctively say I´m alright or I play down my problems. Another set of behaviors? Well, I do enter a different mindset straight away. If I don´t, other people are just a nuisance, they distract me, hearing them talk sometimes hurts physically, increases my nausea, no matter how well they mean. How can anybody ever help me? I´m only writing down here whatever pops up in my head, look at how incoherent it is. Have you figured out yet what is wrong with me? I couldn´t tell anybody what is so wrong with me because I simply don´t know.

I feel like I have no self. There´s just something empty filling up the place where it should be, where I should feel at home, where I should be recognizing something, my self. Sometimes it´s like a deep, scary abyss into which I´m falling, sometimes it´s like a flat wall, just surface, nothing below it. Am I falling apart? Am I nothing, not even a real person, nothing even remotely likeable?

What is this weird state I´m in, is it another fantasy, another make-believe story, another make-shift identity? I only know that spitting it all out here makes the nausea go away. I don´t know, maybe I deserve to feel nauseous, maybe I´m running away from the truth right now; or maybe I´m spitting out the truth which is usually so well hidden from everybody including myself. I try to push away the thoughts others might have about this, but somewhere inside of me a calculating little voice tells me that everybody will find this disturbing and dramatic and finally understand how uniquely fucked-up and weird I am.

But is it really so evil to wish to be recognized for what you are?

I can only ever translate the madness inside of me into words. Madness doesn´t speak in whole sentences, it speaks in feelings and snippets and fragments of thoughts. I try to turn them into something you can read. Most of the time they aren´t even accessible enough for me to translate them. They shy away from my voice, I feel hated and unwanted. I feel like, in the universe of my psyche, I´m my mother. Resented by the offspring of my brain. Like madness was there to serve me, to have no will of its own; as if I had to control my thoughts and feelings at all times. Couldn´t let them be persons of their own.

I hate to dissect where my intuitive associations and sentences are coming from; “apparently I have read too much about…”. I disown my thoughts at all times. Make them combinations of other peoples´ ideas and writings, as if I was interpreting my dreams. It is another thing my parents have always done. I somehow tend to do this in their voices.

I´ve had nightmares for the last five fucking nights. Something terrible was always happening and I was coping with the silent terror and resignation of knowing I´d have to live with this from now on. In the first dream I killed a little girl from the kindergarten where I volunteer. She is my favorite; earnest, mindful of other peoples´boundaries and feelings, and I´ll be damned if she isn´t gifted in some way or the other. Creepy thing is that sometimes I believe she knows how I´m feeling or what I´m thinking, and I believe that she will soon reject me because she´ll find I´m actually completely rotten and, oh fuck, I guess she triggers memories of Athena

Now it makes sense.

I dreamed that I was on that kid´s birthday party as a babysitter, and we were all playing hide and seek in a little forest. I was the one doing the seeking and for some reason, no reason, I felt compelled to kill her. I planned on killing her as soon as I´d found her, but she wanted to accompany me seeking and she walked into the forest in front of me chattering cheerfully and I guess I just smashed her head in. A five-year-old, for fuck´s sake. It doesn´t matter that it was just a dream because my motivation was so fucked up it could actually happen to me. There was just this impulse, the “voices” told me to do it, and I felt compelled to follow through with it. It was the same kind of compulsion I feel when I buy two bottles of water instead of one because both seem to be simultaneously screaming at me: “Pick me!” – “No me!” – “No me!” …

I guess this is a typical OCD thing. And even obsessive thoughts about murdering someone, even kids, aren´t so unusual for this disorder. And typically those afflicted with it don´t follow through with those thoughts. But I cannot be hating a five-year-old who is running up to me and hugs me each week because she´s so happy to see me. I feel so sorry for her because she is not the demon I project onto her. She´s just a kid.

The dream went on with me hiding her body somewhere, then I went to some policemen who were standing somewhere outside that forest. I was wondering if I should really talk to them, draw their attention to myself, or if I should just quietly go about my business and pretend to not even have noticed the girl´s disappearance (it´s not like I´m the babysitter, right? So that wouldn´t be suspicious at all…). I really had to make myself talk to them, ask them for help finding the girl because she´d gone missing; and I realized very soon how difficult it is to lie all the time, I just hoped she´d be found so I wouldn´t have to worry about slipping up anymore and saying something I wasn´t supposed to know. I felt like the policewoman I was with already knew I had killed the girl. I felt like an idiot for even keeping up the lie; for even pretending I didn´t know. She was leading me around places which were emotionally connected to the girl, probably to put me under pressure to confess. Already I was wondering why on earth I had actually killed the girl; whatever necessity there had appeared to be didn´t seem to warrant the mess I was in right now.  I pondered on how quickly, how easily this had happened, how little it had taken to turn me from a normal girl into a sick murderer, and yet I felt just the way I had felt before. Or maybe not quite; there was this heavy burden weighing on me, a burden which, until an hour ago, had been just imaginary. And, of course, how little it had taken to turn that little girl who, until an hour ago had happily jumped along a small trail into the forest into something that no longer existed. Just one determined strike to the head. A movement of my hand. It shouldn´t be that simple, really, should it? It shouldn´t be so mundane. It is nothing that should be allowed to happen out of mere curiosity. I had killed her the way serial killers do. It hadn´t been real to me. Still wasn´t. I was still trying to grasp just how grave the consequences were. Starting with her being dead. With her never coming back. Never laughing again. I mean, had I wanted that? Had I hated her that much? No, not at all. I had just realized that I could do it and then I had felt compelled to follow through with it, even though it made me sick.

This dream gets me into a kind of panic, like: Oh my god, what if I killed someone when I was a child and I forgot about it and my parents decided to never tell me about it out of sheer kindness, but they cannot really love me anymore, so that´s why they´re treating me in such a weird, distant manner? It is so plausible it is frightening. But so was the rape story I got from another dream. I don´t want to make the same mistakes again, especially since much of the dream must have been inspired by Tana French´s In the Woods. Very likely I do not need to accept this dream at face value.

Now I´m starting to feel blissfully tired. I´m starting to hope I have “survived” another evening. Maybe I can just fall asleep and tomorrow morning – well, another day of borrowed time. In the evening it will be the same old terror, I guess.

I got this song stuck in my head, a mock lullaby by a German punk rock band. It is about a little child who is alone at home and gets eaten by a monster. I found it awfully disturbing as a kid (still do), and my sister somehow liked to listen to it for a while. I believe I had that song stuck in my head, too, in that November in early fourth grade. I would love to believe this means something, but I might simply be wrong about the time, so it´s a moot point. But even if it meant something, if there was some emotional connection, then what exactly would it mean? I´m clutching to straws, really, hoping I´m not as randomly, pointlessly and hopelessly mad as it seems. Hoping that external reality somehow corresponds with my internal reality so I´m not competely cut off from humanity. So somebody can understand me.

Your little bed

With blood is red

The sun goes up

And you are dead

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2 Responses to “Into the fog, into the abyss, descent into madness, however you want to call it”

  1. vicariousrising Says:

    Oh, lordy, do I ever relate. Heck, the stream of consciousness of this post even feels familiar.

    Listen, I may be just some stranger in another country far away, but I do care about you and worry for you.

    You matter. Hang in there. Keep writing. Give yourself time and forgiveness.

    You matter.

  2. Thank you.

    Damn, I´ve been trying to write a deep, clever reply for at least ten minutes now, but why don´t I just say it the way it is:

    I´m really moved.

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