Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Many Masks of Torment - Sunday Features 12/06/2011

Mental torment: we mold the masks that cover the shame; we wear the warpaint as a badge of honour; we try to smother the voices of torment in the darkest corners of our being. But the masks and the paint and the darkest of dark cannot drown out the madness. It will find a crack, an opportune moment, and creep into every waking fiber of our being — and then it will unleash it’s wrath. It might come in the form of the silent warfare of the repeated whisper that no one else can hear. Or it might sing in the voice of condemnation and guilt that can’t be distinguished from one’s own. Or maybe it’s hiding out with the screams of madness, anxiety riddled thoughts, and/or the ocean depths of depression that carry with them every imaginable clinical name. But one thing’s certain: the torment finds each one of us in its own time, with its own purpose, and in its own shades of raging colour.
There’s a vibration that has been crying out to my spirit this week. It’s continued to reveal these masks of suffering that so many are struggling to fit into, hide behind, or simply endure to overcome. One thing that stood out in these connected works is what beauty can be crafted out of the ashes from such torment.

The voices never tire of tormenting in a restless mind.

Entangled by the endless chatter in my mind by Renate Dartois

Even when we set out to conquer, our very own loose ends often become our very undoing.

Frayed by singerchick
You must know most of my plans come to naught.*
Not from lack of desire; rather,
My failure to tie a knot in the loose ends
Of my unraveling.
These threads have minds of their own;
Fashioning themselves into new patterns,
Draping me in different adventures.
Tethering and leading me in diverse directions
As we all know, life is what happens
While you’re making other plans.

Sometimes, the tormentor rears its ugly head, so even our reflection becomes a constant, nagging reminder.

Parasite of Mine by Christina Rodriguez

Often, numbness is the only defense against the chaos.

pitch black by Alenka Co
I know the pitch-black dead of night
have walked this path a long, long time
numb hands, numb heart
thistles can’t touch
thorns can’t pierce
numb is the only way to tread
to stumble, fall and not be torn
ahead, there’s light
I could step in
but such a risk ….. to feel again

Reminded of the mistakes, reminded of the hurts, reminded of the disappointments; where one voice leaves off, the others pick up.

The Persistence of Loss by Heather King

Let’s not forget about the reminder of being insignificant, unimportant in the larger picture.

Insignificant by Sally Omar
walking solemnly
shoulders slightly drooped
her corn colored hair
hung loosely around her face
her torn jeans
her wrinkled shirt
the emptiness she carried
within her very being
never raised her eyes
when she spoke
never felt equal to anyone
her mother’s constant insults
her father’s constant slaps
the ache in her heart
was way too much to bear
she walked among people
but walked all alone
unnoticed, unloved, fearful
never realizing that she possessed
beauty, talent and intelligence
she walked among the living
but her soul had died
after all, they called her

It’s often not at all what is appears to be. Sometimes, it becomes one’s forbidden lover — yet, it’s still just another deceptive place of hiding.

Deluded by Janelle McKain

How overpowering those moments are when the compounding torment turns into full-blown anxiety.

Panic-attack Girl by msdebbie
She ran into bricks,
Sweet and low,
How about 20 milligrams
Of Carbamazepine?
Talking too fast, but
Who would know?
Sweet and oh so low,
She is a panic-attack girl,
Anxious and unfathomable,
Crying, tired and unstable.
For her brain,
She craves silence.
For her life,
She longs for distance.
Without words,
She wants to fly away.
Soaring without anything,
Alone in the song,
Colours now pastel.
She feels battered, war-weary.
Not even a soldier.

Medicine can fix everything, right? Or is it too often fashioned into another mask, a cover of false comfort, or another dimension of torment?

Prozac by Agent7

There has to be something, anything, to drown it all out, to still the raging sea, to paint the colours of a troubled soul right.

Eyes without a Face by MoonlightLover
I lie in bed
Like I’m lying in a coffin instead
My head spinning
My mind deconstructing
Cannot think
Cannot move
Disgracefully innate
May as well vegetate
Like a body without a soul
A mind without control
Trajectory senses have blown a fuse
My nano wires are crossed and confused
So What am I to do
He says “Try meditation”
She says “Try remediation”
I say “I’ll try it on the toilet”
He says “You cannot avoid it”
She says “treat yourself”
I say “No, I am not myself”
Whatever it is instilled
The void must be filled
Writers block
Cerebral constipation shock
Shit in, no shit out
My secret ambitions walkabout
Too much eye candy
No substance, flimsy, dandy
Less is more, more is less
Right now I really couldn’t careless
Images stream through my head
A cacophony of mindless chaos instead
I say “So I’m writing any shit I want
Just let me be the woman I want”
He says “let your thoughts go free”
She says “Be the person you want to be”.
I say “But I’m fading away fast, I don’t think I can last”.
“I’m like eyes without a face
This will be my fall from grace”.
He says “Don’t think that way”
She says “Well I have nothing more to say”.

Bubbling with emotional energy, how empowering are the screams that become melodies of witness to others?

all my screams fell into a song by Mushda

Hopefully, within the midst of the madness, we don’t forget what our true reflection looks like.

no one by autumnwind
like a tree
that never fully opens
I am
to reach for the sky
some days
the winds
sing to me
let go
come with us

it is then
the tears of storm
make my already
too strong roots
sink even deeper
for I am earthed
no thing
can ever
be like the wind
to dream dance
and now
I’ve forgotten how
head down
arms crossed
eyes closed
dig me out
from under
and remind me…
who I am

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