To describe emotional pain is easy, everyone has felt it, everyone can relate. To describe trauma, pretty impossible. To describe real hell, to describe a physical pain you can't ignore or get used to or explain to other people, the most impossible even to doctors, perhaps especially to doctors. We cannot imagine what suffering is until it happens to us, until we fall through that crack in the earth and the demons flay us.
I sometimes wish the karma for the people who did this to me would be to have to be reborn again and again and to live my life, to suffer my pain. And then the thought scares me. Did I do this? Am I suffering that punishment?
I don't want to be reborn. I hate the idea that when one day I die, and even before that day, the matter that makes up my body and mind will be reconstituted into an infinite number of other creatures for all eternity, big bang after big bang, earth after earth. The endless cycle of suffering. Have you ever watched microorganisms eat each other?
They tell you your teeth will all fall out if you don't get this surgery. That you have recession because of the operations their predecessor put you through as a kid. They neglect to mention this surgery is considered cosmetic and has high failure rates. Somewhere in that little mind of yours you knew they could be lying, that they're motivated to lie, but you didn't really understand the risks. You just can't imagine the risks. No one talks about it, no one is allowed to talk about it. If you say that you are suffering, no one understands what that means. Oh, like a headache? Or, like a little joint pain? Like a sensitive spot? Time heals all wounds, right? You can just take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, right? You never imagine how it will destroy your life. You imagine that the worst thing that can happen to you is some extreme case where you die. You imagine that even if there's a complication, they'll be able to fix it. You imagine that things can't go that badly. You figure the worst thing that can happen is you lose some money and as a courageous fool step into the oven. You never imagine the breadth of what it will take away from you, that you won't really be you anymore, that you won't really be human and how horrible it will be to discover how few true friends you have. You don't imagine what it will be like to know true evil. That you will have to endure humiliation for the rest of your life because no one will believe you, no one will be able to contemplate what has happened, that it is too miserable for other people to think about these things the same as it was too miserable for you when you still had a choice. You don't imagine how distressing the question 'how are you?' will become when you still have to say 'I'm okay.'
I remember things that made me happy. Walking under an umbrella on a rainy day, smelling the grass and the trees on the wind. Sitting late at night drinking and watching the moon. Waking up early in the morning with tea or coffee and reading a book. Playing games and pushing the limits of my mind and reflexes. Learning new things. Thinking how much I loved my favourite friends. Thinking about what I would create next, what I would do next. Trying to appreciate little moments of happiness in a cruel world and feeling proud of my resilience to its horrors. Being a source of positivity as much as I could be for people I cared about, sincerely caring for others, feeling love in my heart for people, forgiving people and being able to see the good in people when I tried. I thought I was unhappy then, but I was really mostly happy, even with all the things that had already been taken from me, even with all the things that were wrong. I thought I was unhappy because there were so many things that upset me, but I was not blind to the things that gave me joy and I relished them. This is not a warning about appreciating what you have. Only to say that I'm glad I had some idea I was happy then, that I did things to make myself happy when I still could, that I didn't sacrifice opportunities for happiness in the pursuit of some absurd goal decades in the future that would have no meaning now.
I remember the pleasure of food. I remember the joy of sitting back or lying down. Of yawning and stretching in the morning. Of walking on chilly, misty mornings. I remember traveling. I remember looking out the window on the bus, on the train, on the plane. To rolling mountains. To sunny farmers' fields. To clouds and ocean. I remember feeling happy when someone I liked smiled at me. I remember the joy of quiet contemplation and reflection, of feeling proud of who I was. I remember the awe of a thunderstorm and the majesty of sun rays low on the horizon. I remember learning how to cook and being so happy that I could break out of cycle of non-chefs. I remember teaching myself to program and feeling smart for the first time in my life, in being good at something people recognized was difficult. I remember trying so many different things, always a new tea, always a new drink. Taking notes about how to make it taste even better next time. Still haunting this earth, I remember so many things I no longer have, the unfinished business that I can never complete.