There’s a reason why I think my family is what caused the creation of my Delirium.
It used to be a lot worse when I was little. But for reasons I don’t entirely understand, I believe it’s far more painful now that it was then.
I have a few memories from when I was a child, of it happening. I don’t know exactly how old I was though at those times, but these two events were during kindergarten and prep. There were probably other times as well, but for some reason, these stay planted in my memory.
I was sitting at the table, brushing my hair. I never did it right, I was little you see, and little people never get out all the knots, because they don’t like the pain. When my mother came over, she took the brush out of my hand, and started brushing herself. It was hurting, I remember, and I was crying, begging her to give it back, when suddenly she started yelling, and the brush cracked across my thigh like lightning. I was too busy sobbing to notice it was bleeding, until I touched where the brush hit me, and my fingers came up covered in dark red.
Did I tell anyone what happened at home? I’m not sure. I have dreams of myself as a child, crying and telling my teacher about how mean mummy was. Of course, if I were a kindergarten teacher, I would’ve thought that as a child’s exaggeration, from an angry little girl who’s mother had probably said No to her. Lots of children are like that see. The trouble these people must have, questioning which complaints are from those genuinely in trouble.
The other memory was from when I was older, just a little bit older. I don’t even remember what the cause was. Did I make her angry? Was my mother already having a bad day, and my presence was the catalyst? Couldn’t say. But I remember everything that happened after the catalyst had done its work. There was a lot of hitting, not so much punching, I don’t think it was my mother’s intention to hit me so hard I was knocked out. Later, I was lying on our living room floor, blood pouring out of my nose, tears streaming down my face, wishing that I could fall asleep there, and never wake up.
There were three words I kept repeating, over and over and over, and to this day I can’t make myself forget them. “Mummy, I’m bleeding!” I kept crying. “Mummy, I’m bleeding!”
If there are any scars on my body from what they’ve done, I can’t see them. That’s the thing with children; they’re resilient. They heal quickly, and bruises and cuts and scrapes fade away completely after about two weeks. Well most do anyway.
The other thing about children at that age, is they still don’t know right from wrong. So even though they cry whenever you smack them across the face, or hit their hand with a stick of bamboo, they don’t tell anyone. I just assumed that everyone was punished that way. And I was ashamed for being a bad child, so I never told anyone about my punishments, I didn’t want people to think I was bad, I didn’t want to be bad. I knew I was, I had enough punishments to know that, but to have everyone think that would be horrible. For everyone to hate me as much as I hated myself, for being a bad child, would be more than I could handle.
Now, I’m older. I haven’t been hit for a while. The last time would’ve been when I had hidden my iPad and my father wanted to know where it was. You see, my mother wanted to take it away, for the school holidays, and I was less than willing to cooperate. So I hid it in my room. And I refused to tell my father where it was. So he did what he always does when he doesn’t get what he wants from his children; he hit me with his belt. This went on for a while, till he realised I would gladly go through a million strappings if it meant I wouldn’t have it taken. So he went and found my iPad himself, locking it away for two weeks. That’s how he punishes me now. Instead of strapping, he resorts to stealing my things, blackmail and extortion. Far less evidence than physical punishment; emotional and psychological torment is just as painful, if not more.
Nonexistent people reading this could interpret this as the cries of a spoilt brat. There are children who are beaten daily, and are starving to death at their parent’s hand, you may cry. You just get your iPad taken off you. What’s that compared to what those poor children go through? Why are you so special? I ask myself the same thing; why does my pain matter? Why should people care about me when there are probably others hurting more? I find this painful because my iPad allows me to communicate with my friends, who are there for me when things are bad at home, and I’m not allowed to use the phone at night. Without my friends, I am alone against my parents. I cannot speak for others, but I find the pain of being alone in this world exceeds the pain of a bamboo stick. Still, I suppose it doesn’t compare to those other people; technically, I’m not in danger physically.
What I find sick about this, is that I miss the hitting. I want them to hit me, to punish me that way, instead of taking me away from my friends, my writing, my drawing, everything I care about. I want a reason to hate them, a real reason, one that is not purely in my mind. My pain, no matter how unjustified and selfish it may seem to you, cannot be measured by scars, bruises or anything of the like. I feel trapped; without my friends, I only have one place to go to escape my family and their yelling; the place in my mind, my horrible horrible sanctuary that may one day be my prison.
It’s not physical. It’s only emotional, and emotional bullying doesn’t leave anything behind. That’s what I find the most painful; unless I have something to show for it, people would merely pass it off, take it for the whining of a selfish girl. You see, scars don’t exist unless you can see them.
That’s one reason we use bandaids. To cover up cuts, scraped knees. Not only does it help it heal, but you feel better just seeing it. It helps you think how things will be ok. Plus, with kids bandaids, you know, the ones with pretty designs and stuff on them, you’re distracted from the pain of the injury. Bandaids cover up the nasty scrape or cut, and you don’t have to see it anymore, only a pretty pattern. That’s probably what I thought when my mother put a large sparkly bandage on my thigh after the hairbrush scraped off the skin.
You see what I mean? Providing you think it can heal, anything can be covered up, you can hide it from the rest of the world. The wound’s still there though. Eventually, the bandaid comes off, and you’re left with a scab or a scar reminding you what happened. No matter how faint it is, you know it’s there. And you remember the pain, you remember why that scar is there.