I am starting to realize how much daily interaction I still have with my abusers, even though on the outside, I appear to live a life in which I only interact with a relatively small group of kind, safe beings.
I interact with friends. I interact with a support system. I interact with the many trees and plants and rocks and bugs I pass by in nature, feeling our lives touch.
Within my psyche, my mind, my spirit, my energy, I still hold every slave. Past, present, future. Including myself. I think of them, wherever they are, wherever I am. On a street, on a train, suffocating in a bed, burning in a fire, acting, forgetting to breathe, deep underground, on a far star, meditating, singing, panicking, or floating in heaven. I don’t feel the need to disconnect from them, ever, though consciously not everything is on my mind.
Consciously, much of what goes on is an internalized critique, inhibition, attack, and punishment of my true nature.
Lately, I have been trying to expose this internal commotion, hoping that the exposure can bring relief to the parts of self who have to perform this role, this awful role, this boring role, this diminishing role, this stupid role, this outdated role, this unnatural role, this stolen role, stolen from the devil itself. If the devil wants my shame and suffering, it will need to lift its own finger and find me.
But I cannot be found, because in the plain sight of love there is too much that protects me from evil, with a gaze unceasing, and an acceptance unchanging. I am glad that love can accept my perpetrators. I am too prone to doing it myself, and the energy gone there has prevented my broken bones from healing.
I need to return to myselves for a while, and let pure limitless energy take on the role that I was expected to take on while in a material form, an inherent and profound contradiction of beingness, a role that cannot be succeeded, just as no loving being can succeed a monster on its lonely throne made of thimbles and twigs.
To any slaves or victims or survivors who might be soothed in knowing that they are not alone, and to any of their allies, I write the following list, detailing just a little of what programming puts me through every single day. I do this in the spirit of honesty and connection, in hopes that all of us can lift off this burden together.
When I try to do something to progress my life forward, a voice says, That won’t work.
When I try to give myself something nurturing, a voice says, You don’t deserve this, or, You are taking this away from someone else.
When I lament internally about how much pain I am in, a voice says, Why do you live? Maybe you should kill yourself and stop complaining.
When I think of ending my life and ending my continuous suffering, a voice says, You can’t die.
When a kind person in my life hugs me, I reexperience memories of physical assault.
When someone takes a caring action on my behalf or on behalf of the slave population, a voice says, She probably can’t be trusted.
When a kind person in my life doesn’t notice or acknowledge a message I’ve sent them, a voice says, I don’t think he cares about me, or, She wants me to stop it, or, They hate my messages.
When I reach out for support to someone in my life, a voice says, You’re overburdening your friends. They will grow sick of you.
When I consider going outside, a voice says, I don’t want to, don’t do it, or, You’re too ugly to be seen. I start to feel sick, tired, or agoraphobic.
When I remember something that happened to me, a voice says, That didn’t happen. Or, sometimes I receive a subtler message, through a gradual process of growing weary, confused, or vaguely tormented throughout the remainder of the day.
When expressing memories, I often reexperience a kick to the head, or the feeling of a strong hand over my mouth, or the sensation of choking. If I try to write the memories down, my hands begin to hurt, and my head starts to feel heavy, as though the energy has thickened and words cannot get through.
When I declare my beliefs about life and society, a voice says, You sound stupid. You sound cold and evil. You’ll be a pariah.
When someone pays me for a job, a voice says, You don’t deserve it. Don’t take the money. Sometimes my hands start to hurt or burn, as though the money is in my hands and is causing my hands to burn. It very much feels like I am doing something wrong. If the work I did was benevolent, I start to reexperience memories of forced perpetration, and the pain of feeling as though I have created a great deal of harm.
When someone ends a call with me while I am still crying, a voice says, They should just go away forever. They want to be with their real friends and family. I should never reach out to them again. I am destined to be alone. There is something bad about me that they can sense and don’t like, and that is why they hang up.
If I continue to feel sad, a voice says, How dare you feel bad that they’ve hung up on you? Who are you?
When someone says something true about my system that had been intentionally hidden, such as “I know some of you have been artists,” I hear a voice say, That’s not true. We are just lying. We made it up. We are pretending. We even fool ourselves. We are so dumb.
When I think of what my life might be like if I continue to pursue healing, a voice says, It’s hopeless. It will always be like this.
A variety of choices can bring out a voice that says, You don’t deserve to ________________.
When I mention someone from my past, such as my husband, a voice says, You never had a husband. You’ll need to apologize to everyone you told about having a husband, once you realize that you never had one. If I insist that I remember my husband, a voice says, He doesn’t love you. He’s forgotten about you. He thinks you’re nothing, and he’s glad you’re gone. Don’t reach into this connection. Don’t remember him. It’ll feel alien to him, and you will be embarrassed.
Whenever strangers around me do something I have difficulty tolerating, a voice says, They don’t care about you and they never will. They want you to hurt. They like ignoring you, and you should be ignored. What makes you think you are so important that someone should change what they do, just for you?
When I try to trust someone in my life today, or to express what I know about myself or the abuser network, I hear a voice say, This is dangerous.
When someone expresses appreciation of me, sometimes I feel badly, and sometimes I just feel nothing.
When I try to tune into the present moment, I feel the bleakness of most of the moments in my past.
While writing this down, I am growing heavier and heavier with fatigue, and it feels like there is a large wad of cotton inside my skull.
A voice is saying, Don’t publish this. It’s stupid. Don’t publish this.
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Dear Sunlight, Thank you so much for this post, you summarized it so well. All those lies you have been told…..I know it’s not easy not to believe them, but they are all stupid and shameless lies, we sometimes also hear in our head (even without being abused) because they are everywhere. Be strong and persevere in what you’re doing. You’re great!