Thursday, May 28, 2009

The ache of the darkness...

Every day you wake up and you feel it, there, within you, that implacable ache. How do you explain the pain? A shot or pill doesn't make it go away. You suffer it. It consumes you, the dark loneliness. You look in the mirror, run your hands over your body and are surprised to realize that you can't see or feel the hole you know is right there. All day long it dogs your steps, mocking you as you try to ignore it and move past it, or around it.

Not understanding how to battle it, controlled pain gives you a fleeting sensation of triumph. When you are dealing with the pain of an empty stomach, the burning in your throat from the purposeful vomiting, the pain of bruised and lacerated flesh, the dark ache is forced to the background. You have triumphed! You are tough!

You feel invincible as the shadow has been made small and been put in its place- all by you. You begin to feel that if you can sustain the pain, the silhouette will be forced to retreat forever. But like any drug, it begins to take more and more pain to win the battle.

You find yourself losing track. How long has it been since I last ate? Where did I put the razor? People talk to you and you don't really hear them, you’re so focused on your own internal battle. Everything starts to seem far away, as though it isn’t really happening to you, but a character on TV.

It has tricked you and all you are doing is nourishing it. Feeding, nurturing, encouraging it to grow. With each of your attempts to erase the darkness from your spirit, you are giving it the ultimate control. Each act of self-inflicted pain is fostering the next, weakening your spirit and allowing the darkness to fester. Your technique of starvation doesn't work any longer because you can't feel the pain, so you move to cutting, purging, thinking that it will bring back that sensation. The darkness cackles with amusement at your foolishness.

Each day, your body grows weaker, less able to sustain you. Your physical power is depleting along with the power of your spirit. The world is losing color and you begin to ignore it. The battle inside has become all consuming and nothing else exists. You feel sure that the next time you will defeat it. Everything around you is the darkness, the pain, the hole in your heart has engulfed your whole being and you need to fill it. Because of this, because of your knowledge of the battle, of the strength it requires, you stop listening to the weaker individuals around you. They have no idea and couldn't possibly understand what you are dealing with. They have no idea that you are failing! You are losing this battle and nothing else matters.

How could they like someone as incompetent as you, let alone love you? You can't even manage to handle something as simple as this little hole. Your spirit has weakened. What's left? You are physically and spiritually weak, possibly dying, and you still have yet to achieve your goal. The belief that sustained you, the belief that you could create enough pain to banish the shadow, is fading. Yet, you continue to hang on to it. You need to get to that place of perfection… If you can just get there, you think you will be whole again and you will finally be worthy of love, worthy of the admiration and respect you crave. You will wage the battle in silence, never letting anyone know, so the victory will be that much sweeter, the love and respect more worthwhile for the extra effort required to earn it.

You keep telling yourself that soon you will be able to walk in the light not realizing that your resources are depleting quickly. You have become trapped. You can't escape. The light is so small now. You know that the end is coming.

Do you wait for it? Do you let go and die? Do you do the unthinkable and ask for help? Both options are unpalatable, as they require an admission of failure, the admission that you could not conquer the darkness on your own. An admission of how weak you really are.

The first is the easier option. You let go and let the darkness wash you away. You never have to face the ones you have been fighting for. You never have to see their disappointment in you. It is the cowardly way. You have avoided your punishment for failure. It is the end, the ultimate surrender.

Or, you face them, the ones you have tried to impress, and admit to them that you lost. This is the true test of your determination, to admit your weakness and ask for help. This is a true sacrifice. To face them, knowing that they won't understand or they may not care. The pain of opening yourself up is more painful than any bruise, cut, or empty stomach. You have to face all that you fear. All that you have been fighting and more, you face the total destruction of your spirit, a total loss of who you are and the loss of the world as you know it.

Your first true combat with the darkness begins. You feel alone… you feel stripped and naked. You feel fear. You have bared your soul, you have admitted defeat.

The real battle has begun.


  1. Grace, you are STRONG and you CAN do this. Your family loves you for who you ARE. Not for the "perfect" you that could someday be. You know this. Because when your kids screw up, you don't love them any less, right? You don't expect your loved ones to be perfect, and they don't expect it of you, either. We're all just people, doing our best to get by...

    Sometimes when I can't convince myself to do something healthy for myself, I can convince myself to do it for them. Does that work for you at all?

    Stay strong! Sending more support your way...

  2. Dear Grace, you have more power than you think! I know, because I am amazed with myself and what I can do! You are strong and be gentle with yourself dear one.

    ((((safe hugs))))

  3. You are not incompatant, you are just climbing the enormous, Everest-sized mountain of trauma. Anyone would be daunted by the task. I'm so sorry it's so painful and so hard. (((((((((((Grace)))))))))))) safe hugs always.

    Also, I wanted to let you know right away that I'm having some comment problems with Blogger and I went to "moderate comments" and found one from 5/15 there from you that didn't come through to me. I hope you know I was not ignoring you and I would ALWAYS appreciate your contributions to the blog carnival. You have lots of brave, honest posts that I think would be powerful and touch other survivors through the carnival.

    You are not alone. I know at least some of how this all feels. I care.