+ The Paradox : I’m A Monster +

By: Apathy

Date: 30th Jul 2021

They say. freak ,she .can’t .be .anything

Hopeless. depressed. she has lost everything

They say freak she can’t be anything

Hopeless depressed she has lost everything

I’m a monster

She Is We – Monster

 

++The room was dimly lit. Sweet seclusion. I sat on the couch in my living room, legs crossed beneath me, as I sat silently smoking a joint. My head tilted back and I let the healing smoke consume me. My hair hadnít been washed in a few days. I clipped it up in a hair claw and couldnít be bothered. Empty liquor bottles were set around the immediate area. My head ached. Closing my eyes only made it hurt worse. I sat forward, leaning in and washing my free hand down my face. That was when I looked down and saw it sitting there, as it had so many times before. Placed directly in the middle of the coffee table, a 38. From the corner of my eye I saw the screen of my iPhone light up. It had been on silent for three days. I just turned away from it. I just wanted to be left alone. My demons and skeletons wanted some private time and I had to oblige. I reached and grabbed a half empty bottle of vodka and took a swill. As I tilted my head back, pain shot down the back of my head and into my neck, causing me to almost drop the bottle. My hands were shaking. Every joint and part of my body ached and burned. The pain made me whimper. As I finished my joint I lurched forward, running my fingertips along the cold blue steel of the gun. Some of the nails had been chewed at, worn down. The paint was chipped and missing. Who cares? Thereís no cameras here. I give them enough access to my life. I put myself on display week in and week out. The shadows and bad memories were mine. They didnít need to know all the secrets. I sat staring at the gun and closed my eyes again. I hadnít taken my shots or meds in three days. The pain was so prolific that it was making me physically ill. I reached around to the back of my head with my left hand and pressed the fingertips against the scar. I felt a spasm begin in my hand muscles and my arms lost their strength as the hand dropped, flopping onto my lap, twisted and contorted. My head was twitching, like I had a nervous tick. I was in a bad way. The pills I had taken not too long ago were beginning to have an effect. Everything around me seemed distorted and ominous. As the seizure took control I had no choice but to sit there, limp and conscious and endure it. I closed my eyes gently, tried to steady my breathing++

 

“MONSTER!!!”†

 

++The emotional marionettes in my head had begun their work. Who was I to deny them? Who was I, indeed. A sick feeling started to overcome me and I felt like I was drowning. The pain had become persistent and was escalating in intensity. My head was throbbing. The back of my skull felt like someone had drilled a hole in the back and poured acid inside. It burned and stung. The wraiths of my misery came calling. They had come asking me to stand before their council and stand judged and accused as they replayed my regrets, nightmares and anger like a home movie++

 

“MONSTER!!!!”

 

++Again those words rang in my head. Except the voice was my own. Tonight they had chosen to make me face my own worst enemy. Myself. Between the mary jane, the valium and dilaudid, I had left myself open to their performance art. I was at the mercy of a mind that was a cruel mistress++

 

“MONSTER!!!”†

 

++The glass of the mirror shattered as I threw a nearby object into it. My body crumpled on the floor, mascara and eyeliner dripping down my pale face. My legs tucked up under me as I became a heap on the floor crying and screaming. I just wanted to die. I hated the sight of my own reflection. I hated the sound of my own voice. As I lay there on the hardwood floor, crying and screaming at no one and everyone, I reached and grabbed a broken glass shard. I felt dead. I had forgotten what it was to be human. That is the downside of people like me. We go until we hit the wall and then crash and burn. We become disgusted and bitter at everything around us, everyone. The shard cut my hand as I grabbed it, I felt nothing. I saw the blood pooling but felt nothing++

 

“You are filth. You are shit. You donít deserve the air in your lungs. Youíre already dead SO WHY WONíT YOU DIE!!!”

 

++But I wanted to remember what it felt like to be alive. To feel. I kept squeezing my hand around the shard of glass, cutting it deeper into the skin. I lied there, curled up, watching the crimson stream flow from my hand, down my forearm and pool on the floor by my elbow. I just sat, staring in awe, like a small child seeing the circus for the first time. I forgot what I took that night. I only remember waking up in a small square room with scratches and dents on the walls. A single door with a small window on it. I was in a hospital gown and groggy. I was 14. It was my first inpatient mental health stay. My “mother” had found me unresponsive and she signed me into the hospital. I spent six hours in that room. I could still tell you every scratch, dent and scuff mark. I could see where those who came before me clawed like animals. Now I was the caged animal. I laid on the hospital bed, staring at the ceiling, catatonic. I spent the whole night, unable to sleep, terrified by the cathartic screams of another patient. Ronnie. He was criminally insane. Slipped through the system. Abandoned by his family. I could relate++

 

“Ms. Devereaux, your daughter is suffering from BiPolar Disorder. If we donít begin aggressive treatment soon I fear she may begin manifesting traits of other mental diseases. If we could just treat her with medication, intensive cognitive therapy, I feel her status would improve and she could lead a normal life.”

 

++Vanity reigned. No child of hers would be a mental misfit. Instead it was being hyper-critical. Nothing I did was ever enough. She slut shamed me mercilessly when I got pregnant with Fionn. I was never good enough. Her greatest failure. Her biggest shame. I remember the tipping point. We were in Boston at a private event for my cousin. His political career was just beginning. I felt so out of place, so wretched and worthless. All my inadequacies were making my head spin. The walls felt like they were closing in on me. Surrounded by fake smiles and judging glances. Passing political hyenas and established families, hearing their whispers and snarky giggles. I felt like they were circling me, waiting patiently for the wound to bleed so they could close in and feast on me with delight and satisfaction. They were my betters, and I was a social pariah, on display for all of them to see. I needed a safe place. I needed a place to shut this world of money, power and elitism out. I was found by a waitress in a bathroom, passed out in a stall. If there is one thing you can find easily at a political gathering, itís the pretty white powder they spend tax dollars on++

 

“What is wrong with you!! WHY CANíT YOU JUST BE NORMAL!!!! Youíre a fucking embarassment!!!”

 

++Nevermind she would snort anything, pop anything, FUCK anything. It was okay that she lived her life to the excess, but her daughter that she never even wanted, absolutely not. Appearances are everything donít you know? To the world we must look like shining examples of the American Dream. We must bask in our superiority. Whatever happens behind closed doors should stay there. I brought her shame and disgust. Yet what WAS normal? Nothing about my life was normal. I wasnít even brought into this world under normal circumstances. I canít be something that I have never known. I also didnít want that Stepford life. I knew what real pain was and it was eating me alive inside. My demons and delusions festered in my head, rent free, like a cancer deep within the tissue. It throbbed in my head every day. Everyday I woke up, wanting to die. Iím sorry I couldnít be what you wanted mama. Iím sorry Iíll never been good enough. Iím a fuck up. A failure. Godís little joke++

 

“I just canít deal with you anymoreÖ..”

 

“Why do you always have to overreact!!!??”

 

“Youíre a fat psycho bitch and I am done with this!”

 

“Garbage. Filth. Garbage. Filth. Garbage. Filth.”

 

++The menagerie of mental reminders continued to play in my head. Lover after lover, friend after friend. Every relationship I sabotaged. Every friendship I ever destroyed. My mental facilites forcing my weakness as a woman, as a human being, down my throat and me powerless to stop the film. The reminders were like cockroaches, scurrying in my brain. They picked up crumbs of times, places, things and people I had long since forgotten, or buried deep within the core and they brought them back to the council of sanity, working against me. The seizure had subsided, but my soul was weak. Humanity had long since left me. Replaced by an intricate patchwork of manipulation, rage and self doubt. The goodness in me, caged and locked away. I could still hear her faint cries for mercy, release. Desperate to try and reason with me, to show me that all was not lost. Somewhere deep inside I was still a good person. I could barely hear her these days. My eyes were filled with sanguine visions of hypocrisy. Eliteism. Corruption. Themes so familiar. Those same words kept repeating in my head; “Garbage. Filth”. They boomed like thunder, echoing in every crevice of my mind. The louder they got, the more my head hurt. The more my blood boiled. The more I started to slip. I hadnít realized my dexterity had returned, or that I had sat up. I was trapped inside my own mind++

 

“Do it! DO IT! Do everyone a favor and do it now! PULL IT!!! GARBAGE!!! FILTH!!!! DO IT!!!!”

 

++I never realized I had picked up the gun and slid my finger around the trigger. I was disconnected from reality. The barrel was at my temple. Everything had turned black and I felt as if I were in an abyss. Death felt warm and comforting. Like a long lost friend. I could feel her embracing me. Calling me home++

 

“FUCK!!! Eric grab her!!!”

 

++The embrace of sweet beautiful death was severed instantly by being tackled to the floor, and the sound of a gun skidding across the hardwood. I still wasnít in the present. I was disoriented and groggy. Slowly the feeling began to return to my body. I could feel someones hand petting my head, it resting in someones lap. I didnít understand. I just wanted the physical and mental pain to stop, was that bad?++

 

Eric: My dude, she is loaded right now. I donít know what cocktail she mixed but bro, sheís on a whole other fucking universe. Was she going toÖ.

 

Eoin: I think so. This is beyond me Eric. We need to call that cousin of hers. But we sure as shite ainít leaviní her alone, yeah?†

 

Eric: No way dude. Iíll stay here. Grab her phone maybe? See if heís in there?

 

Eoin: Yeah, yeah good idea bro. Just keep her comfortableÖ

 

++Then the darkness again. No sound. No light. Just endless darkness and emptiness. It felt familiar and yet foreign. Everything from before had faded away. No more cockroaches, stirring for crumbs. There were no stalwarts trying to remind me of every awful thing I had ever seen or done. It was just a cold, dead silence. Not even an echo. Then the darkness was split by a sliver of light, it seemed so far away but it was beckoning me. The silence was soon dispersed by a voice. My voice++

 

“How many more times will you do this to yourself? To what ends does it meet? What does this torture you put yourself through, prove? Furthermore, why do you care how others perceive you? What are the opinions of those who are beneath you but propaganda against you? They fear change, they are programmed to hate anything that they donít understand. You know this. It is your truth. It has always been so and will continue to be long after you are gone. Stop crucifying yourself over the past. Stop shaming yourself for the urges you have, the words you wish to speak. Imbibe. Indulge yourself. Even the most primal of urges is normal. Embrace who you are. Yell it to the world. Your work is not done. Remember?”

 

“Where does reality end and madness begin?”

 

“RememberÖ.”

 

++I woke up. Eric was in a chair next to the bed, watching me, ensuring my safety. I began to stir and he called out to Eoin who walked in, joined by my cousin. My eyes were still fuzzy but I knew his voice. I would recognize it anywhere++

 

“Lizzy, itís been awhile since you had an episode like this. No meds? Hardly eating? Did something trigger this spiral or should I be concerned that you are deteriorating more? Talk to me. Talk to usÖ”

 

“The painÖ.”

 

“Ah. I understand now. Eric, stay with her while I talk to EoinÖ”

 

++I pretended to fall back asleep as the two had just moved to the doorway. I could hear every word. Eavesdropping had become a skill set when paranoia and mania are a big part of your life. Always wondering if they are discussing you, saying bad things about you++

 

“HowÖ.intimate are the two of you Eoin? Has she really gone into her personal life? Or only hand selected bits and pieces?”

 

“Sheís distant. I just knew something was wrong and that was why we came. Something felt off.”

 

“It isnít my place to really share the personal details about what she goes through on a daily basis, but she suffers from chronic pain. This situation isnít as simple as just having a mental breakdown. She will keep up appearances for you guys, but behind closed doors she self-destructs. Itís a vicious cycle that repeats but she hasnít had one this bad in some time. I know there was a situation that happened a few weeks back, one of your teammates and his whole family was found bloodied and piled. I think it triggered something inside of her. This latest episode tells me that the pain is increasing and is really becoming an issue for her. Liz is…a hell of a woman Eoin but she isnít made of stone. No matter how hard she tries to make others believe she is infallible. She is human, just like you or I but she has also survived, endured and experienced so many things in her life that she lost her sense of self. I want you and your brother to stay here with her. I will send the family doctor to take care of her. You have my number, if she slips into another episode or she starts hurting herself, please call me immediately.”

 

++Jason loathed me when we were younger. He knew the extent of the lie I was forced to live. I think, strangely, that whole situation is what pushed him towards politics and social justice. I heard the heels of his shoes walking away and fading with each step. Eoin came in sitting on the opposite side of me. He looked weary and concerned++

 

“We have to make sure no one else finds out about this, understand Eric? We have to protect her, from them and from herself. There is too much at stake. Iím going to go order some food, maybe some soup for her. The cousin said light food for the next 24 or 48 hours. You just hang out here.”

 

++I was beginning to slip between consciousness and sleep. I was afraid to sleep, afraid to dream. I wasnít safe inside my own mind. It was attacking me. Or was it? Was it attacking me or preparing me? Was I fighting something that was meant to inspire me? Had I gotten it all wrong? Was I myself afraid of something I did not understand? Was that the lesson? Embrace it? Let it in? My head ached with confusion but I was losing the fight to stay awake. I continued slipping into slumber. As I started to drift away I said aloud what my subconscious was thinking++

 

“Iím a MonsterÖ.”

 

++I wished I could have seen the sad, concerned look on Ericís face as those quiet words passed my lips. The last thing I felt was Eric grabbing my hand and squeezing it, trying to comfort me++