It was around the time I was in seventh grade. It might have even been the end of my sixth grade year. Perhaps it was the summer in between. I just remember it was somewhere within that period of my life. I was writing really crappy poetry then and it might have been before or after “Crawling” by Linkin Park came out. I think it was before the incident with Kennedy that led to my first experience of suicidal thoughts in my seventh grade year. Again, I can’t really pin point. Either way, it happened around ten to eleven years ago… so the memory is a bit foggy.
I’m pretty sure I wrote it all down that day or not long after, but that copy was lost. I think it was kept in the web journal I had before this one… unfortunately all of that writing was lost when the server died. In any case, I realized that I had no written account of that “experience” tonight. Therefore I can only try to piece what I do recall together to the best of my abilities.
I was at my grandmother’s house. My grandmother had passed some years before, but I still called it her house and still often do now. My mom and I would often make trips down there. Sometimes my other siblings would be there. I was in really bad shape at the time… I realize now.
It was a normal day, I believe… it was sunny out. The others might have been out. For some reason I was in the room my eldest brother always used. I’m not sure if he was there that time; that might explain my being in there is that he wasn’t and thus I was using the room. Well, in any case I was in there.
Back then there was a small television set and a chair. The chair could spin around. I was sitting in it for some reason or another. I suppose at the time I was lazing about.
Before I knew it though everything went black. I was somewhere else entirely. I was quite coherent as well, wondering how the hell I got there, where was I and so forth. I am not strong in my sensory memory, but I do recall it was like a concrete cellar. It was gray, cold, damp and there was a pungent smell. Like ghostly whispers the dimmest rays of light filtered about, but more like dust rather than light.
The word dank comes to mind… dirty water soaking through the ceiling… green mold growing about corners. I don’t think there were any windows and I am not sure if there was even a way out. I can’t recall if I even wondered how to get out.
If I didn’t, I believe it was due to what I heard. I heard faint breathing and I’m pretty sure I heard the clinking of chains. Straining my eyes, my vision finally adjusted enough to see the outline of a figure ahead.
I went closer. As my vision became better, I began to make out a gray, sickly, emaciated person hung by chains. Manacles, a collar… they tethered the skeletal body to the wall before me. The bones jutted out, the shadows clung to the hollowness of the person.
His head was bent. The chin was most likely touching his chest… It was just hanging limply there. The dark hair was about shoulder length. It was thin, tangled, dirty… It was more like moss, but greasy, clumped and just as limp as the figure.
I recall feeling pity for the poor soul right then.
Then in a blink of an eye the person’s head snapped up. I don’t remember seeing the face… not as a whole. I just knew the features were deeply sunken in. The cheekbones were like caves. The skin was stretched tightly about the skull and the eyes were sunk deep within their sockets. I didn’t notice those so much. I did not notice because within that second I was staring straight into his eyes.
They were wide with blind terror. They were mad. They were brown. They made me realize that I was staring right into my own eyes. This imprisoned, deranged, pitiable creature was me!
The end all seemed to happen in a second. With that overload, I found I couldn’t breath. I jerked forward harshly. With that motion I found myself back in the bedroom and in the chair…
It wasn’t over there though.
I was struggling to breathe. I was gasping for air and wheezing like I sometimes do when under great distress. My heart was pounding furiously, I could hear it pounding through my head and I could feel the muscled organ beating in my chest. I was sweating as thought I had run a mile and my entire body was shaking uncontrollably. I think… I might have even been crying.
I think back then I had compared myself to a frightened rabbit. I also believe at the time I never had been so scared in my life. Those are just feelings I am having right now, however and not lucid recollections.
At that time and to this day I do not know how long I was shaken like that. I do recall trying to stop myself from trembling so harshly though. As I caught my breath more and my pulse began to slow a bit, I finally got a hold of myself and began rubbing my hands roughly up and down my arms to try to compose myself. I wanted my body to stop shaking. I needed to calm down. Thus I focused on that.
When everything did calm down… my breathing, my heart rate and my muscles… I just rested there. I was tired. I’m not sure if that was one of those moments where I felt sick and in need of water, but looking at it… it might have been one of those times.
I’d sometimes get sick from emotional roller coasters like that one. I vaguely recall I used to describe those moments as feeling like a dry leaf curling, withering in an relentless heat of a dying autumn or the deepest depths of hell. I guess that was my version of “I feel like shit.”
I’d always want water at some point during those. I’d feel ill… my stomach would feel gross… So I often just thought, “Water.” If that is how I felt after that, I’m pretty sure that is what caused me to stand up after a while. I did get up once the sweat was dry. Then I trudged tiredly to the door and opened it. As I turned to shut it three words echoed through my mind. Those I still remember distinctly. Sometimes I wonder if I heard it in my mind though. Perhaps it was something deeper. I just remember it sent a feeling through me. It wasn’t cold… but I do know it had this solemn, final tone. The words were, “You are broken.”
I left the room then.
I don’t remember what happened after that. I do know I wondered often if what happened was a dream. I just had trouble believing it was a dream though. It was so real. I have dreams that feel bloody real, but that one… that one wasn’t like the realistic dreams I have. A more insane part of me wondered if I slipped into another place somehow for a brief moment. Another part figures it was a hallucination. Back then I called it a vision though.
I thought… that I got a glimpse of my soul that day. My soul was dying. That is what I took it all to mean. My soul was dying. My spirit was broken. It was chained, forgotten and I didn’t even recognize it. In this… I also realized sometime later… I had no idea who I was. I lost myself. If I died… I would die unknown. I would die unknown because no one really knew who I was… not even myself.
Yes… That was me a decade ago. Why did this memory come up? My mom and brother were talking about dreams, hallucinations and ghosts. I cannot remember the order or how the window opened up to that specific memory… but I told it. I thought I told my mother it before, but she swore I never did. She thinks that back then I apparently had more going on than just my bipolar. She also thinks I was having a moment of disassociation.
On the ride back, she noted that what I talked about made me sound like I underwent something traumatic in my past. I don’t remember. I don’t remember most of my childhood anymore. I don’t really care either.
Anyway, I just thought I’d write it out. I have it somewhat mentioned in a story I wrote, but not detailed or in the way I had experienced it.
That is all.