A Bleeding Heart with Three Names

I look into myself and see nothing but the cool, dark space of a wound that will never heal. What once was full of hope, full of certainty for a future with the only person that mattered, is now a deep, gloomy well with no visible way to see down with the naked eye. The rope down is slippery and wet, but my hands are coarse with the scars that were inflicting by holding on to you. I slowly descend into the abyss of the passage way, which never seems to end. The chill increases with bitterness the further down I go, so that I can’t feel anything through my body. There was warmth here once, but that was long ago.

 

Finally, my feet touch the ground, sluggish and thick with the bloody, shallow water. The rope breaks away into pieces that evaporate before they touch the bottom. This is all there is now. There is only one way forward. I press a hand against the well wall, to feel it’s ragged surface, stroking along to get familiar with this old situation. Then, after a while, I find a small hole just large enough for a finger. I poke a finger inside, only to have a small piece of the wall break away. This is only temporary, but it lasts forever in my mind. I continue to bring the wall down around me, chip by chip, increasing the size of the hole, until I reveal a smooth surface, big enough for me to press my whole body against. The wall gives way and slides open like a door.

 

As soon as the passage way opens, beaming white light pours through blinding me for a moment. When my vision returns, I can see that the smooth door is as white as bone, with a round room ahead. I enter and step forward a few paces, as the door closes behind me. There is an altar in the center of the ornate room, which has pillars right around, with a ceiling bursting with pure white light. On the altar, there is my bloody beating heart, pierced with three black, thick needles. At the top of the needles there are three spheres, filled with three different objects. The first is a ball of green light, that pulsates with different shades. The second is a small, unborn fetus, swimming a pool of murky pink fluid. The third is a delicate, fine key in a block of gold, translucent glass.

 

I pull out the needle with the ball of green light and the heart starts to beat at a slow, pulsing rate. I smash the head of the needle against the altar and the ball of green light floats up into the ceiling and the pure white light changes to cycling shades of green. A doorway to the left of me opens, revealing a passage way to a new area. I walk towards it.

 

The room ahead of me is gray and dusky, with a wall of clear, thick glass just in front of me, with two holes carved into to place my hands through. On the other side of the holes behind the sheet of glass, there is a glass sphere floating in the air, with pure white light beaming inside of it. On the far wall behind the glass, there is three indentations in a line equally spaced next to each other, big enough for the sphere to fit into each. I place my hands through the holes in the glass and hold on to the sphere, then with a little bit of effort I throw the sphere at the first indentation. The sphere smashes apart and the light is absorbed into the indentation and it lights up with a pale red light. Out of thin air, another sphere appears with the same white light, ready to be thrown at the next indentation. I hold onto it and do the same again, throwing it at the wall. This time the indentation lights up amber. Then, once again, the sphere appears and after the same action the indentation lights up green, but after this the word ‘RUN’ lights up at the top of the wall. I freeze in place, despite knowing what to do, as the holes in the glass suddenly fill up, closing tight, severing my hands in the process. I fall down on my knees, watching the blood pour from my limbs onto the floor and I feel like I’m going to pass out. Then the room flickers into darkness. Suddenly, I can feel my hands attached to my arms again and I bring them up to cover my face. Then, the room glows with a bright, white light and I bring my hands back to my knees. Looking down on the floor where the blood used to be is now a bronze coin, with the picture of a green orb in the center. I pick it up then leave the room. Back in the ornate room, the door from whence I came seals shut.

 

I walk up to the altar and decide to remove the middle needle. I smash the sphere at the end of the needle on the altar and the fluid pours out, then the fetus contained within drops to the ground and starts to melt into the floor. The ceiling pulsates with shades of pink light and a doorway opens in the right hand side wall, leading to another area and I walk over to enter.

 

Inside this new place is a space around walls made up of fleshy muscles. The ground is soft with the same fleshy muscles, but strong under my feet. Ahead is three passage ways with which I can go through. My only instinct is to go through the one on the far left, so I walk onward and enter into it. As I walk down the passage way, I suddenly feel myself pulled deeper inside, absorbed into the darkness. I black out. Then, when I awake, I am a small toddler again, sitting in an ordinary living room. There are three people, at least what I can call people, covered in blood and grime, faceless and hairless. They are holding sledgehammers in their hands, which have their fingers sewn together. They turn my way, then pick up the heavy sledgehammer’s in their hands and then start to destroy the room around me. All I do is hear the crumbling of the plaster, the cracking of the stone and the sound of the blows, frozen in place not knowing what to do. When the room is completely destroyed around me, the people turn to me and then lift up the sledgehammer’s in their hands and slam them down on me. Everything goes black. Then, slowly but surely, I wake up back in the original room with the fleshy walls. The passage way ahead to my left is closed and the remaining two passage ways are open. I walk down the entrance to the middle passage way and I get sucked in again.

 

I am a young boy, in a simple classroom sitting at a small, classroom table in the center of the room. Around me are similar young children, but like the people in the previous living room, they are faceless, but this time covered in beige, paper outfits. There is a teacher figure at the front of the classroom, the same as the other people, faceless and wearing a paper outfit. The figure reaches out with a cane in hand, pointing to the chalk board on the wall. Written on it is the sentence ‘Punish them for the crimes against you. Three knives. You choose.’ I look down at my table and see three especially sharp blades lying there neatly in a line. There is a indescribable noise coming from the rest of my fellow students. I pick up a blade and get up and walk up behind the student in front of me. I hold the pupils head with my one hand and thrust the blade into their chest with the other. The pupil shrieks and then slowly crumbles into ash. I do the same with the other two blades, with pupils at the back left and right of the room. When I’m done, I sit back at my table, resting my arms on it. Suddenly, the table grows and wraps around my arms, securing them in place so I cannot move. The teacher walks towards me with the cane and lifts it to strike me across the face. Everything goes black. I appear back at the first fleshy room once again.

 

All that’s left now is the final passage way, so I make my way down it to be sucked in. I come to, sitting around a large, burning camp fire. I am a teenage boy and there are my fellow peers sat around the fire with me, faceless and covered in black slime. The boy opposite me is holding a bottle in his hand, which is cycling in technicolour light. The boy passes the bottle to the next person, a girl, and then the girl passes it on to the next boy, until it finally reaches me. I look into the bottle and see a clear solution, but I have doubts that it’s just ordinary water. My peers motion me to drink out of the strange bottle. I bring the bottle to my lips and take a mouthful of the liquid, which to my surprise tastes of nothing. I take another mouthful and then pass on the bottle to the next person. I stare into the fire, then after a while I start to see visions against the flames. I am there witnessing the memories of my life, from when I was a newborn, to where I am as an adult, back in the fleshy room. I see the gentle, playful and happy moments where I am embraced by my loved ones. I see the harsh reality of making mistakes with the people that never served my best interest. I see all the moments in the world around me, with the maelstrom of emotions from the different scenarios I found myself in, in the places where I believed I belong. Maybe I did belong, for a time. After the story of my life finishes unfolding, with each blissful, antagonising and ambivalent scene, I come back to my senses to see that everyone is gone. Then, before I can say anything, the fire roars loud and blazes even higher, as it then starts to consume me. I smell the nasty odour of my flesh burning as I writhe in agony, before I fall to the ground blacking out. I am then sent back to the fleshy room.

 

All the entrances are sealed up now and I stand there, perplexed, not really knowing what to do. Then, just as I think about leaving the room, a silver coin drops from the ceiling and hits the floor in the middle of the room. I walk over and pick it up, noticing that it has the picture of a baby in the middle. I return to the ornate room once again.

 

Back in the room, I walk up to the altar to remove the final needle. As I do, the heart beats faster still, but then as it seems it can’t get any quicker, it finally pops internally and then the pulsating heart is dead still, beating no more. I take the needle and smash the sphere at the end against the altar, watching the golden glass hit the floor and shatter, revealing the delicate key. The ceiling turns bright will golden shades, then suddenly starts to freeze over and show only a single dim golden light. I don’t want to be here anymore. The wall in the center of the room peels away to reveal another door, this time different from the others. I walk up to its surface and see that there are two slots and a keyhole across the middle of the door. I take the coins that I have on me, along with the key, and then look again at the door. I put the bronze coin in the left slot. Then, I put the silver coin in the second slot. Finally, I insert the key into the keyhole and turn it, as the door starts to rumble and turn out into an opening, which feels inviting, with daylight shining in. I walk forward and then feel the essence of a warm, gentle embrace.

 

I catch my attention again. My hands are on a decorative storage box on a table in front of me. It is open and I can see the photographs of the time I spent with you. I see radiant smiles and funny faces. I see the memories of what it was like when you were still alive. I close the storage box and then look around me in the home that we shared together. Where once I felt grief and sadness, I now feel more complete again knowing that you were a special part of my life and always will be. I look outside the living room window and I see that it’s beaming with sunshine outside. It’s the fresh start of a spring day and I feel ready to leave this place and venture out once again. I grab my coat that’s draped over one of the chairs and then turn to the front door. I pull on the handle, then as I turn the door open I stop for a moment to look back, wondering what awaits me in the future. What new memories will I make here? Will I ever find someone like you again? Then, the moment passes and I step out into the light, ready for the adventure into the unknown. I’m ready to feel my heart beat again. I’m ready to live a life without you.

 

Artistic Ways of Expressing Sickness in the World

Below is a story I put together while being inspired in a creative writing class. Eventually I had some help to expand upon it and finalise it. However, it’s more about my life and how I’ve come to see things due to my experiences, showing that because of Psychiatry this is what happened to me. There are metaphors and fantastical views about the relationships I’ve had, and then the expression of the reality that showed what I went through. Relationships have been essential for me to keep faith that I have some reason to live. I believe we are guided by divine influence to the people in our lives:

Title: Forever
I am 6 years old. In a world of fists and scars, it’s difficult to love everyone you meet. Yet, you try to anyway. Greeting anyone who approaches with a smile and leaving confused with tears as you go. The days are bitter with the kiss of cold, and it spreads like an infection to the souls of those who reside here. The grey against the gravel is mirrored in the sky, and the heart is a reflection of the deep depression. It’s time to go from this place. The leaves falling off their trees say farewell, telling of a story which one cannot speak. The men in green coats do their best to reassure and console, but the transformable toy in hand explains all that is necessary. They have both gone away from here now. To a place of barred windows and meals at midday – a place no child should have to visit to feel their loved one’s embrace.

The doors of my heart once were revolving, letting anyone come and go as they please. There was no thought of what harm may come – after all, are we not all open this way? It started with marks and stains upon the glass and then soon enough the cracks came to show themselves , telling of how fragile this entrance could be. Rather than the usual fluid motion that came with the doors spinning around, there was now some effort required to move through them. Then the day came where nothing could get in or out, except for that which could only pass by through the holes in the glass.
It’s difficult to know how long it remained this way. Occasionally someone or something could treacherously navigate the dangerous passage ways, yet it became easier to border those up. The door had to be removed and replaced with a wall of stone, sporadically punctured with tiny holes…and so it stayed this way as the years passed.

I am 15 years old. The looks on their faces are turned up and tuned in to the current social vibe. Out of the solitude and isolation – staring through the looking glass – we are so close yet so far away. The colour of the code blends together across the pellucid screen, awash with the next generation of everyday actors. It is almost time to leave this place. One last final exit – draw the curtains and send the audience home. Yet one voice demands to know the illusive performer. A match that could only be made on a virtual landscape, where fantasy reigns supreme. There is something to share on our technicolour windows travelling down busy analogue highways. However too much is celluloid superficial, where only one really feels the depth of the canvas. Set up, knocked down and beautifully bruised to live for another day.

One day, something surprising happened. A light came shining through the gaps in the wall, radiating and lighting up parts of the darkness. There was a curious desire to see what was capable of such a thing. I needed to see more. Prying open the small spaces in order to allow more in, I felt a warmth not felt before now. I slowly began to pull down more and more of the wall, until it was completely exposed. There I basked in the heat and felt alive again. Such a thing was not meant to last. The light turned into a deeper darkness and pushed through, penetrating further inside. It took a while to border up the entrance with bricks and mortar, with only a strange arrangement of holes to see through. I wandered off down the passage way of darkness.

How long has it been? How long have I been left alone here trying to feel my way around? Is this who I really am?

I am 24 years old. Artificial conversations and mundane musings are the ingredients for a chemical lobotomy. Finally a voice jumps out from the others and an otherwise murky atmosphere gets a little fresher. The anticipation mounts and the ride has just begun. Where it stops, nobody knows. We fast forward and the wheels turn round and round on a journey to an unknown destination. The music is the soundtrack for the scenery, glossed over in luminous greens and thick, black motorways. Love is a friendship on fire, yet sometimes it burns out too soon. From the ashes, it goes from nothing to nowhere, in search of something lost between the cracks at the core. The speed accelerates to dangerous temptations and visions outside the window are switched up to eleven. Being lost in smoke and daggers somehow seems like the better solution. Soul destroying nightmares are now the new reality and ephemeral illusions hide the source of enlightenment.

I woke up with a glow on my face today. It looks like a single beam of light has managed to find me back here. Should I try again? What if what happened last time happens again? Could I bare it?

Reluctantly I walked back down to the entrance to see a similar sight as before. I took my time to chip away at the concrete between the bricks, taking the rocks out one by one. Nervously, I removed the last of the brick and felt the warmth once more. This time I felt safe to stay here a while and maybe even venture outside. After spending a while in the light, it came time to move forward. I didn’t think such things existed. Yet maybe it was the fault of the darkness I had now become and in turn brought with me. Does anything really last for long? I was hit backwards stumbling through the entrance and pushed further back into the darkness which had expanded further. I had no strength left to close the passage way, but I knew I had to. Just a little longer here, then I can go do it before it becomes too much. I took the timber laying at my feet and hammered them across the opening with long steel nails. Now all that existed was me and the darkness. If this is all that I am, then so be it.

I know nothing else. I only see the shadows now. Yet I managed to find a candle and light it, as if some hope still exists to be free from here.

I am 33 years old. An artistic expression in ones and zeros attracts a curious mind. An unforeseen message is sent to receiver and an unfathomable connection is made. Before long there are story boards featuring machines that fly in the sky, along with ocean blankets and pillows of fluffy clouds. This land promises freedom in a melting pot of extremities. The concrete jungles expand far and wide, with super-sized lifestyles to complement them. There are four lives in all to consider here. The responsibility of adopted roles and authority figures changes from one thing to another. Night flights and self-serving friends become more regular than usual. It takes it’s toll. Promises and engagements are made, with little thought of consequence. It’s tearing at the seams like a patchwork doll without the hand to make it all better. It bends, then breaks, and what was once whole now shatters. There are too many slivers to make it meld back to the way it was. False hopes settle down as a bitter taste in the mouth. Time to move on and start over yet again.

I hear banging at my sealed door. The noise is an unexpected one. I crawl up the passage way to see what would make such a sound. A piece of wood is on the floor and a brighter light comes through. “Not again!”, I wonder. Do I dare entertain the dream once again? “What is there left to lose?”, I say. Although where did I put my tools so I can let it happen? I search and find the means to pluck out the nails one at a time, slowly but surely. This is a different kind of warmth and I’m prepared to explore it. I still hold onto the darkness, but I am what I am. I feel welcome here, not just by one but others also. “I could make a home here”, I believe. Yet I ignore something nagging at my soul. Something isn’t quite right. Yet still I continue to be here, amongst them. Everything has to fall. I am sucked back through the opening and further into the darkness which expands once again. Please, no more work to close it. Yet I know I have to – it is all that can be done. I momentarily get pulled back into the light, yet there is no certainty here – there is only doubt. I must get to work. I put up a sheet of thick glass so I will be able to look and see if anything is coming, should I want to look. I can sit in the darkness and keep an eye on things without a need to break it away.

Why do I keep wanting to stare out? Staying lock away like this amounts to nothing. I weather the cycles of disharmony with hopes to rise above them. I look inwards to look out. What do I look outside for?

I am 42 years old.

I see the brightest light approaching and for some reason it wants in. I walk up to the glass and hit it with my fist. It shatters and I am drawn out. I feel safe to now. I feel more welcome than before. Is this real or dream? I can no longer tell. It feels better to be here. Can I just stay here? Yet the darkness speaks to me. It tells me to worry. It tells me that it will just end like before. Will it end? I think it’s right. As wonderful as all this seems, something isn’t quite right. I am not quite myself and myself fears itself to be lost. It is so cosy here though. I don’t wish to go back. Suddenly the skies grey and the clouds blacken the sky. My darkest moment has come and I must walk back into my solitary unravelling. All that can be done now is to seal the entrance forever. I weld the strong steel barrier together and take my candle to the furthest depths of the darkness. I accept that I have to be here now and maybe, just maybe, when I have figured out what I am suppose to do, I will take back my actions. Yet hope is smaller than this flame I hold and the wax is running down.

I feel at peace here now. It’s almost time to leave. If only I knew my way back out and how to take down that cold metal in my way.

The candle is gone, yet the hope remains. The flame I once looked upon outside myself, now resides inside me. I take my time to walk up the passage ways, illuminating all that there is here. I see how much that I have learned from gazing at the carvings on the walls and….I now understand. I know that this darkness was not meant to be shut away for good. It has a place in the light, just as I do. If I am to be accepted and taken for who I am, then all this must be also.

I near the doorway and walk up to it. I reach out and place my hands flat across it’s cold surface and allow the heat to flow through and from me. It permeates the doorway and slowly the molten metal returns to the ground. I look back out into the light and see clearly for what seems like the first time. There are so many orbs of light here. I watch them pass by without noticing me, swimming along going to who knows where. I feel safe leaving the passage way completely open, yet I have grown fond of doorways. I visualise indestructible panels which are free to swing inwards or outwards and then construct them with my mind’s eye. I am happy for others to come and go as they please now, yet it will require those of a special and unique quality to open them.

Soon after I have finished, the most wonderful and mysterious orb of light enters and takes a look around. It stays a while, curious to know what it all means. Then it comes close to me to stare at the flame I hold. It beckons me to follow it out into the light and I am very happy to oblige. I’m curious to know how such a beauty came to be.

We walk along out in the open space and I feel a calm sense of freedom, while at the same time a childish amazement. It’s like breathing in fresh air and being reborn.

In the distance, I see the doors to the heart of another. It looks especially strong, and the pattern formed across them tells of a story full of complexity and hardship. The orb of light whistles by me and glides through the entrance. A figure emerges between the doors – their head pokes through to take a look at me. I am drawn closer and feel excited to learn more. I am given the signal to approach and come in. I smile and skip along, softly pushing through the doorway.

When inside I look around in awe. There is so much I wish to know here which is unfamiliar to me – yet at the same time, there is much that resembles the carvings on my own walls. I am filled with joy to witness all this – it is both a privilege and an honour to be here. I want to stay here for as long as I am allowed to and to discover everything that there is to see.

It may take me a lifetime, but I have all the time I need now.

After all, what I have is forever.

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