The Lives of the Dead

Some of the most interesting people I meet are dead…

The Demons Inside

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voices in head

Do

Even as a child, I could not bear the weight of my own emotions.  I bore the brunt of everything with maximum intensity.  It was both a gift and a curse. My attachments were obsessive. My pain, unbearable.  But my soul went deep.

I’d be angry then sad then joyful then angry and sad again, sometimes in the course of an hour.  I had no control, and nobody ever taught me how just be.

Over time, I developed my own coping skills. Not all of them proved successful in the long term.

For example, I discovered that if I hurt myself physically, I could temporarily relocate the pain outside my head to a place where I could attend to it. To me, that felt like control.

My feelings clanged against the bars of my internal prison. When I immersed myself in loud noise,  when I  filled my head with sound (sometimes it was my own screaming), it drowned the sound of my own noisy emotions.

By the time I became an adult, there were treatments.  While they helped dull the clatter,  they offered their own problems.  My choice was:  anguish and fear (which were feelings at least),  or numbness.

Initially, the numbness was welcome. Imagine being pulled from a crazy, loud, verbally abusive family and dropped solo on a deserted island.  Oh, to have peace and quiet in my own head for the first time!  But it became quickly clear that this was a bargain with the devil.  I missed my own mind,  as damaged as it was. I felt isolated, even from myself.   All my life, because of how I was, I’d interacted with the world in a certain way, and from that experience I’d learned all my lessons.  And then I wasn’t that person anymore and none of my lessons applied. I had no idea how to be in the world,  how to exist inside my own body.

And so I ran away from the treatments and the doctors and good-intentioned family members who wanted the best for me, but also for themselves.  As myself,  I disrupted all their lives.  As not myself,  I had no life.

I suffered,  not because of the voices or the feelings,  but because I didn’t know how to co-exist with them.  I never learned to make peace with them.   It took enormous energy, which I didn’t often have, not to let them dictate my mood.  I would command them to stop, and sometimes,  for a while, they would.  Eventually however, I lost the strength and will to fight them.

I could have continued the treatments and lived what would have seemed,  from the outside, a normal life but I believed that was the cowardly way.  These were my demons to tame,  and if I lost the fight, at least I stood up to them.

In the end,  the demons did me in,  but I fought nobly and remained in possession of my soul to the end.

—-

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-Adrienne

 

image: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/image/5117230-1×1-700×700.jpg
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2 thoughts on “The Demons Inside

  1. Janet Pipes on said:

    I’ve read about people who cut themselves so that they are able to feel alive. This is an incredible representation of what a person’s life may be like who has this type of mental disorder. Thank you

    • Wow. Look what I just saw in the NY Times today! I recieved this about a month before publication date and I honestly had no idea this was a method of treatment. But it’s very interesting in light the narrator’s claim, “I suffered, not because of the voices or the feelings, but because I didn’t know how to co-exist with them.”

      This article speaks about nonmedical treatment to help those who hear voices.

      http://nyti.ms/2b4q2j5

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