Demons bluff, like bears. False charging, teeth gnarled and drool splashing out onto their face.
“GET UP! GET UP! YOU GOTTA GET UP! GET UP!!!”
I dart up, swinging my legs over the side of my bed and sitting upright. I was just about to stand up when I realized there was nobody there. I lay back down.
“WHAT IF SOMETHING’S HAPPENING TO YOUR DAUGHTER?”
I open my eyes, then shut them. “The kids are fine”.
“WHAT IF SOMETHING ALREADY HAPPENED TO THEM AND YOU JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT? WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THEM RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE?”
I turn onto my side and squeeze my extra pillow tightly.
“TEXT ALEXIS, TELL HER WHAT YOU THINK AND TELL HER TO TALK TO THE GIRLS”
“Kay, I’m not doing that, it’s three o’clock in the morning. Enough already, okay? I need to sleep.”
I turn over to my stomach and try to loosen up the knot in my lower back. I miss opiates.
“KENNY PROBABLY DID THIS TO RUSSEL TOO, SPEAKING OF OPIATES.”
Shit, he’s right. Nothing I can do about that though. And beside, I need sleep I said!
“Okay, again, it’s the middle of the night and I need to talk to Jennifer first because…”
“JUST TEXT HIM IT’S FINE”
“Ugh!” I get out of bed and start searching for something sweet to put in my mouth. Eating something sometimes resets my brain and I can fall asleep before the voices start up again.
Laying back down, it’s quiet except for the low hum of some sort of country music power ballad playing through the cheap car stereo that’s embedded somewhere in the back of my brain. I can never really make it out though because the radio is stuck in between stations, but it seems like an okay song, and it’s not all that loud so I think I can sleep through it. I shut my eyes and try to focus on the music when I realize the demon is straddling my legs, pressing my knees into hyperextension.
Turning over again, I flex against the pressure on my knees, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot relieve the pressure. The demon is always so heavy.
“Fuckin’ fat ass” I mumble out loud, throwing back my covers. I head to the medicine cabinet and take an ibuprofen. It’s supposed to help with aches and pains, but I’m never sure if it works for this. Can’t hurt though. That’s enough bed for one night too. Once that demon shows up, there’s no convincing him to leave that room.
Harley was put-off when I shooed her off the couch. “Sorry pup.” I collapse onto the couch and find a comfortable spot. This is better! I’m not sure why I even go in that bed, the only place I ever seem to be able to sleep is right here on this couch.
Finally my mind drifts off quietly. Finally, I feel peace. Finally….silence.
“GET UP! GET UP! YOU GOTTA GET OUTTA BED! GET OUTTA BED GET UP!”
”So was Helgi beside the chieftains
like the bright-growing ash beside the thorn-bush
and the young stag, drenched in dew,
who surpasses all other animals
and whose horns glow against the sky itself.”
Fantasies of dying in battle, valiantly and coldly, often kept me awake at night. The fantasy was not that of a skilled and savvy soldier bravely making his last stand against all odds though. I wanted to turn around and look directly into the eyes of whatever demon chased me and tell him FUCK YOU as he tore me apart and devoured me.
When talking with people about childhood trauma, in particular sexual abuse, I’m often asked why. Why is it important to talk about these things? Why is it important to face these things? Why is it important to remember?
I think it’s important because I tried facing that demon many times. Whether it was attempts at suicide or acting in ways so self destructive that they may as well have been. And that pattern of self destructive behavior would have continued the rest of my life if I hadn’t found the RIGHT demon to fight.
A child is entitled to safety, security, and innocence. These things are required and essential in order for that child to form into a healthy, functioning adult. With out them, and especially when one or more of them is ROBBED from you, your default mode is that of constant fear. And when you are afraid, you either run, or fight.
Those of us still on the run can’t keep a job or hold a relationship. How could you, after all? Eventually, you’ll run yourself to death, leaving a long (or short) trail destruction in your wake because when you get tired of running, you’ll fight everyone and everything that you see when you turn around.
So, why is it important to face the source of your fear? Because otherwise you don’t know why you’re always so goddamn afraid.
“The man in black fled across the desert, the gunslinger followed”
-The Dark Tower
The heir to the Throne of Worms crossed the sea, atrocities in his heart. Headlong, he sought Valhalla. He would conquer distant lands and, like other barbarians of note, he was determined to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and to hear the lamentations of their women.
Each day, he would dissect his enemies in the most cruel, violent, and sadistic manner his twisted mind could imagine. Each day he would mount their heads above his bed, and try to sleep underneath, the blood still dripping and catching on his forehead. Each morning he awoke, unrested, hopefulthat Valhalla awaited still, only to be greeted by the stench of his rage and the cocked hammer of his revolver.
Lost, he sought guidance from the Fates.
“Your exploits are meaningless.” Proclaimed the Fates, “You cannot rest unless you sleep in a bed of fire.”
“You are the heir to the Throne of Worms, Prince to the Palace of Slime. Come to us and decay. Only then will you rest.”
The heir to the throne of worms examined his collection of enemy heads. What he had once found as a source of pride and as his path to Valhalla, he now knew was a fools errand. He was used to fight another mans war.
Nothing will satisfy the Fates other than his death, and so far, no enemy has been able to kill him. The truth was that they never would. If he were to die…if he were to reach Valhalla, it would need to be by his own blade.
Don’t invoke, at three am
Frightened by the sound, the squeal, the death rattle
Ignore the noise, ignore the ghost
The bottle on the floor, the cap, at most
Destruction and faggot degradation
Chase away the onslaught with desperation
Hold your breath
Try not to breathe
Heaven or Hell?
Doesn’t matter to me
O-o-okay, I done popped me a perky ’Cause I heard it help with the pain, but just help my backaches
– Ski Mask The Slump God
I immediately felt all the love and warmth that I never felt as a child. It rounded off the sharp points of the daggers that lived in my rib cage and cleared the piss out of my vision.
That bottle of pills taught me how to put the demon that raged inside of me to sleep.
That was the first lie I ever told myself…
In Truth…I was the walking dead.
Telltale made great video games. The Walking Dead Game was one of my favorites because virtually the entire game is dialogue based. You use your words, not thumbs, to accomplish great things. You could manipulate and lie to people and were often rewarded for doing so. For me, these games were “truth simulators”. The way I played those games was to simply apply radical, in your face truth, to whatever dire situation or challenge the video game was presenting to me. It was my fantasy, after all.
I was thinking about these games last night as I lay in bed waiting for my brain to cut me a break and shut the fuck up finally. I stopped playing video games over a year ago, but realized how important those experiments with truth were to me.
Your Truth is your voice. Finding your voice is the key to being whole, but we are all fragmented by the lies that we tell ourselves. We replace our MOTIVATION with JUSTIFICATION. Do this enough and it’s almost impossible to hear your own voice among the cacophony.
The next time you speak, whether it’s to yourself or to another person, enter those dialogue options that Telltale used to give. Take your time to read each reply and pick the one that is telling the truth. That is your voice.
Fight through fear of judgment and be judged. Speak your truth. Use your voice.
Once upon a time, there was a King of Worms. His Royal Court filled with his trusted advisors. Their names were Pain, Confusion, Rage, and Addiction.
He was to build an empire. He knew this, but did not know why. And did not question why. So he searched for a vessel to use as his Queen.
He chose his vessel and began his work.
The King and Queen of Worms set about creating their empire. Their offspring were Pain and their offspring were Confusion and their offspring were Rage. Their offspring were Addiction. Their offspring were Lies.
Love, corrupted and twisted through the eyes of a demon.
You almost got me too, motherfucker.