"The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide." - Charles Horton Cooley
It's a tired old tape that runs over and over again. It calls you by all kinds of names - moron, idiot, failure, dufus, retard, stupid, loser, freak, freakazoid, ignoramus, blockhead, dimwit, ninny, dork... the list goes on. It doesn't shut up, not even when I yell at it. It's a raging war in my head, and both sides relentlessly battle on and on. No sleep, no rest, not even to lay down its bloodied heads. In dreams it attacks so that by dawn, my pillow is wet with tears.
Late at night, as I lay in bed, I think of my running and my running route. I think of the fluid movements of my body, feel the push and pull of air through my lungs, in sync with the rhythm of the crunching gravel beneath my feet. I think of that brief moment when neither foot touches the ground, as if I am lifting off in flight, and I long to take off higher than the trees, higher than the clouds, perhaps to a place where the heartache can no longer touch me. And yet those dreams still haunt me, those names follow me and like a spreading stain it etches itself indelibly on my soul.
Self hate creates such rot. It erodes memories and dreams and hopes. It gnaws away the will power to remain alive. It takes away such basic instincts to survive, to thrive. Until there is nothing left but the black charcoal of death, or the promise of death. It becomes so sweetly twisted. So dark, so dank. When you reach a point where darkness is comfort. Draws you to its final closure.
V wants me to list all the self criticisms in my head, draw upon all the self doubt that has ever crossed my mind. How can I? As I sat in session last week, mute, nothing could come to mind. I kept drawing a blank because the door was shut, and I sat there afraid that opening it would allow the torrent to pour through and wipe me out, drown me in that fathomless sea of shame and sorrow.
How do I explain a lifetime of self abuse in 60 minutes or less? Nothing I could say would make it any less lame. Even the names I call myself are lame. And those thoughts, and those taunts, they are all so deeply private, so impossibly seductive. So secret, perhaps. The only relationship I have is so rotten to the core, so self destructive, so poisonous. And only later would I realise it's my own voice, my own heart, reflecting my own soul. And there is no one else to blame, but me.