But I freely admit, I've no idea where the doors to the elevator may be found.
Plus...isn't it safer to take the stairs?
No time left for such indecision.
Been running around in circles for so long now
Thought I'd better sit down, pull my journal out of my rucksack and try to work out where I've been and how I got here.
For sure, I've been here before.
Over and over.
Something about the dim light and the architecture.
It's dark down here
Ominous shadows loom...
Makes me want to ignore where I am.
Dream myself in a world where money doesn't exist and everyone loves everyone! No sickness, no pain..but that's called
TAKE THE DRUGS!
No, the underworld can only be survived stone cold sober.
I give thanks to the people who showed me this
My alcoholic dad, who died in nightmare hallucinations and drowning in blood.
And Sam, who lost his life in a panic rush of Prozac, M Kat and cannabis two days awake until the screaming terror of suicide made sense to him....
I've been here for so many years now, I know my way around; how to find energy, how to have fun even. The Great Disconnect (from 'real life') isn't something to fear...but it can go on for too long, is what I'm thinking!
I'm looking for the way back up.
For sure there is no one around to ask...
Perhaps you found these words, decades in the future.
.. If the words have stopped you will know that the story has ended.
My rucksack emptied on the floor, the pages of my journal stuck together.
Maybe I didn't get out...
But, right now, here and now I'm fine and dandy.
With time to explain how I came to be running around in the Underworld, seeking the exit sign up and out into 'the Real World'.
It was never my goal to step off the path, wonder away into the forests of the mind and lose contact with just about everyone.
Never my intention to shoot myself down in a brilliant, plasma-flash of Lucifarian hubris.
Nevertheless, that is what I've done.
At the bottom of my rucksack you will find 'attachment' issues created during my early childhood. I posses the ability to perceive reality filtered through a psychedelic process edged with terror. . This means that reality is prone, at anytime, to flip into the vision I created of it, when I was three years old.
Nevertheless, I learnt how to navigate terror and I was successful at school - ok at getting qualifications, ok enough to get a good job.
But then I married someone who had been abused as a child...
Not bad enough abuse for the damage to be obvious, or enough to make him angry enough to rage against, and seek an apology. Just enough for him to slip easily into the skin of his abuser and to abuse me in the same way.
Non-consensual sex is rape, right?
I don't doubt.
But it is easier just to blame myself for everything...easier to take it, what ever it is, where ever it comes from, ignore what I feel and give up.
Safer...was how it felt.
Which begs the question, what was I scared of?
No, worse than that...
I tried talking to my sister about it, to my closest friends.
The subject is too heavy, too painful. Too real and I felt that I was betraying him by talking. I couldn't name the truth of it, any of it.
It made it appear that I was overly sensitive..
They didn't really see his behavior as bad, surely just the result of bad communication...
Our marriage began to collapse when I named how I felt.
I called it rape and he felt as if his world was collapsing...
And he said
That I was dangerous...
Because to name it meant that he had to recognise the monster within himself.
The self that considered suicide..
I knew that he had been suicidal - in a cold and calculated way - before I'd met him.
I'd thought that love would redeem him
Instead it damned me.
If I didn't find the right way out of this relationship...he would kill himself. I did not predict that he would consider taking my daughters with him. If I'd known that, I would have gone the Prozac route...sedated myself into functionality rather than seeking my own way through.
So I gave mine.
Followed my dad down to Lethe.
The Faustian pact reversed.
I headed into the Underworld.
Away from the ordinary world.
I didn't tell anyone
I didn't mention rape, or anything that could make my decisions seem sensible.
I agreed with the Christian martyrs, that the only way to save one's soul was to lose one's life...but not through physical death; instead by offering up my home, identity, friends, security..
Without being able to articulate my reverse Faustian pact - that I lose my 'life' so that my ex-husband does not go mad and kill anyone, I agreed that I am to blame for everything and acknowledge that no one I know can help me, will want to help me, or will ever show any sign of caring what happens to me...ever again.
It was important that I take the blame
So he couldn't blame himself.
In truth no one judged me that harshly
But also, no one could understand.
Therefore I became other, not of this world.
I stepped out of this world and went to live in a religious institution.
I returned to my daughters each morning and left them each night. I kept my head down. I lied to preserve the narrative that protected him.
Therefore the word support from my mom or sister does not figure in my memory of this time.
My mother's support went as far as keeping her worst fears to herself, while my decision must have seemed totally insane to her.
My sister and her partner were mildly hostile towards my choice of religion.
Which struck me as mildly bizarre.
And all the time
I needed, wanted my ex-husband's story: that I am the terrible wife and I must have done something truly awful to make a such a nice man so upset...and angry...to remain unchallenged.
In the end...
The story became a trap.
The image I cast of myself is reflected back...
A hall of distorting mirrors is hard to navigate.
Images of a past self frozen on the event horizon of time.
The religious house let me step out of the personal, into the universal
Taught me how to see through
And there, I learnt how to re-create myself.
But it is never easy.
And after that?
Well, I'd like to say it gets better...but I'm not sure.
The decision to seek refuge between worlds means that you meet other people with the same agenda.
And the survivors intuit that re-writing themselves is the only way to go...
And that way isn't always a return to the world.
Despite my best intentions
The old wounds from my childhood joined up with some newer ones.
So that sticky stuff I mentioned before, on the pages of this journal?
It is still flowing
Wounds don't heal pretty...