The Rollercoaster I am Forced to Ride
The first day, exciting yet scary. It's a new beginning, a blank slate. About those I feel the same way. I have nothing to work off of. No foundation to start on. I'm like a wire that isn't grounded. What if I spark? Everything could blow up. I know it won't happen but I worry anyway. Anxiety eats me, hungry. What if... is my enemy. I cannot shake this feeling no matter how hard I try, how much I know it will be fine. This is how these always start. It was so even on the first day of my senior year of high school. I went into it thinking of all the worst case scenarios, it being my first day in person since before the covid lockdown and all. I knew my teachers would be good, of five I had already had three, and I knew the other two were good teachers. I had a free period; six classes was a full schedule. Time came for lunch. I had sat outside of the choir room for lunch previously, but most of the people I would hang with had graduated. I went there and sat in my old place thinking nothing of the open door and my choir teacher inside. She had started at the beginning of the previous school year and up to then I had physically been in the same room as her twice. The choir teacher before her was never there during lunch, so we ate outside of the room because by the time we had access it would have been a waste to move. I expected nothing sitting on the cold floor, the choir room was the basement after all. Someone came to talk to the teacher. I watched, but still thought nothing of the situation. When they were leaving, she noticed be and asked if it was, in fact, me sitting there. I said it was. She told me to come in and sit on the stage (the room is also called the little theater). I was told the floor was far too cold, and I have to agree. This was a good beginning. One I remember quite fondly now. This is what I try to remember when there are firsts. They can turn out just as well as that one did. Sure there's the possibility of a nightmare, but it could always be the kind of first you cherish forever.
Hi, I was hoping to join morgue group therapy.
Let me explain: I am a gas chamber from a Nazi concentration or death camp, whatever the humans call it, I don't care to remember. I know of all the worst things done in that place. An amalgamation of all the worst things done at those kinds of camps.
For me they swapped between zyclon b and exhaust fumes. I don't know which is worse. Evidence is the chemical burns as it kills you, the fumes meant each body took a final breath as it was loaded on to a cart by a prisoner to take to the heap for burning. My acquaintance, block z, says the most horrendous 'tests' were done on specific prisoners, often the ones there for being gay or being thought to be gay. They also tested on twins in block b which was all the more horrendous because they were often children.
On to the morgue type aspects. The scratches on me indicate the struggle of those who passed within me. I never rest because mothers and children scream for each other constantly. Individuals search endlessly hoping they might find someone familiar, but also praying they don't. They hope not finding them means they had an end less brutal than one's own. The ovens sit forever forlorned about the role they played. Mine was almost worse, telling people they are taking a shower only to end them. I assure the ovens regularly that they had no control over what the humans made and used them for, we were as good as in a cult.
Sadness hangs around here, but hope does too. People who died with their hopes kept them. Their souls often stayed in me leaving the body before they could go up in smoke with it. Helplessness was ruler of my dead whilst I remained operational. Nothing could be done. Once you were declared swine in those days you almost always died with that label. I did receive some tattooed folks with their numbers. These people looked like they had seen ghosts before they became one themselves.
Now a days things are better. I am no longer a cog in a killing machine, just the evidence of one. Heavy as this place is my fellow camp buildings and I are thrilled to teach the world about atrocities we hope never happen again. I often here the spirits say a lovely word, what was it? Ah, I believe it's zachor. I've been told it's the Jewish word for remember. I'm not sure I qualify as a morgue, but I couldn't think of any other group I might work with and every other camp building I ask is completely uninterested in therapy.
The Layering of Masks
I wandered aimlessly, lost, having lost my body. I found my way to my high school choir room that I had loved ever so much in life. I went as far as calling it my home. It had since been repurposed for storage as it was the basement of the school and they built an addition with a new choir room near the auditorium and the rest of the music department. When I arrived as my spirit self to what I knew was storage it didn't look like that. The room seemed stuck in time during a lunch of my senior year of high school. I remembered these well- this was not one of them. Everything was wrong. My stuff was in the wrong places, there were no lights on, and worst of all that version of me was wearing one of those character heads. Let me explain: I'm a creature of habit and always put my things in the exact same places, I never would have been able to access the room with no lights on because my teacher had to be there and would have had a light on, and the most obvious issue is I have a phobia of those costumes. I don't like the heads they sell at the store either, and never would have worn one at school anyway because for most of my time the policy was no hats no hoods and I don't break rules. I am neurodivergent and never sat still in a chair the way one is expected to sit in a chair. I also always had the volume of my phone off when I used it at school because I worried about ads being too loud. This monster was sitting completely still in the expected sitting position in one of the chairs playing some kind of video game I never would have been able to play let alone wanted to at full volume for everyone that could have been around to hear. Now that you're up to speed I will continue. I was curious whom else I would see if I waited around. My choir teacher from the correct time period came into the room. To me she seemed exactly as should have been. This was confirmed when she seemed to expect other me to be spinning (a stim of mine I did during every lunch period that entailed me spinning in circles in one area of the room) and to notice when she came in the room and greeted them. This was my standard practice that year, but the monster didn't seem to notice her at all. I was heartbroken seeing her so terrified of what she thought to be me and made the decision to yank the stupid head off of the creep. I did and saw her relief as she figured out I was me and not the freak in the chair. What I found under the head is what made me understand the point of this exercise I was doing. It was me if I was neuro-typical, cis, straight, and fit every other box of "perfection". This version of me wasn't poor and was an absolute jerk. Those two things were unrelated, but both true. The point of this all was to prove to me that my "flawed" existence was way better than the one society wanted me to have. The monster's second mask was a fully perfected neurodivergence mask. Under it all I was there somewhere, but I would have been miserable. The people that care about me and those I care about the most cared for me in life because of who I really am not for the neuro-typical mask I often felt I had to wear. Once I was aware I tried my best to turn off the mask when I could, but still struggled to believe people would like the person under all the figurative masks I wore (not to mention the literal face masks). My mask was a very mature person surpassing their years in many ways. The real me never got the chance to mature with that mask because I was too busy making my mask as good as I could to put the necessary effort into improving myself. The mask, unlike those worn for costumes, is a part of me. It isn't not true to me, but it isn't the entire story either. The worst part of this exercise, for me, was that it was done in the place and during the time there that I was truest to my unmasked self in life. Some other choir members seemed to have entered the room at some point while I was distracted, these being the only other people to understand and get the real me. I found them terrified of the monster and not sure what to think of the scene overall. The freak was altogether uninterested, which made it easier for me to explain everything. In the end we kicked the creature out and I organized my things it had misplaced as they should have been. They were all glad I was me and not that prick. Oh, and don't worry, I made sure the thing took that awful character head with it.
Much Needed Help Goes Belly-Up
The thought of touching them makes my blood run cold. The thought of looking into their eyes nearly kills me. It doesn't matter who they are the only difference is how horrible it seems. It's worse with them because I can't stop looking. I long to touch them, but it makes my skin crawl all the same. What have they done to me? I'm terrified that they're the only thing I'll ever be able to concentrate on, but also that I'll never see them again. A blood-thirsty monster who has changed me for the better.
Except in most versions of this story, I'm the "monster" and they are the only person who understands that I mean no harm. I'm monstrous because I don't function like others. It's not my fault I was dealt a bad hand at the start of the game of living and have been trying to make up for it whilst also doing the work everyone else was focusing on. I'm holding the controller, but I don't know how to use it. When their around the controller somehow makes sense. It uncodes and I use it with ease. When they aren't present I hold on to the memories of how the thing works as tightly as I can.
People think I'm insane or madly in love, but I just found a real friend for the first time. I don't get the difference between platonic and romantic. Person-to-person contact is a surefire way to cause sensory overload, but a lack is under-stimulating. They respect my boundaries when no one else will because "nobody else minds x, so why is it an issue?". My life is a horror story, but no one gets it. The endings everyone is looking for will never come.
I'll stay in my cave only leaving periodically to visit them. They are the only thing worth leaving the comfort and security of my cave for because the things that are normally bad I have more control over when their around. I think their help has inadvertently made existing in the world without them harder. I'm beginning to drown in my bucket of woes as it fills to overflowing now that I'm faced with the cold hard world again having experienced joy for the first time on a large scale. Life was hard before, but it's harder now that I know what it could be.
Your Struggles Are Real
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this. I survived, but you're not me. This is one of those particularly bad lows. One you'll always remember as a time not to go back to if you get through. The thoughts shift towards ideation. There are people who care. I promise you're not alone or unloved. Think about who would be distraught if you were gone. I urge you to try not to be critical. There is a reason even if there's no end goal. You can search for your purpose for a lifetime as long as you're here to search for it. Give yourself a chance by staying away from anything you could hurt yourself with. See a therapist if you can and need it. This is hard for you, and that's normal. I hope to see you on the other side to hear about how you survived. See you soon, my friend! I hope you'll be around to talk. You can tell me everything or nothing, whatever works for you. I'm not going to end with a cheesy empowering saying because I know how annoying those can get when you're down. It's up to you. I'll understand if this is it and I'll celebrate with you when/if you want to if it's not.
People who come from privilege need to find a way to understand that equality is not discrimination.
As a poor neurodivergent LGBTQIA+ AFAB Jew who has severe allergies, I know my fair share of discrimination.
If you still don't get it, I was bullied from elementary to the beginning of high school, mostly for being short and smart.
You must understand, right?
I was raised by a single mother starting around my eighth birthday when my dad moved for a job. That turned into them being separated and then divorced by the beginning of middle school for me.
The weight of knowing how much debt my ma is in is immeasurable. Her meager raises are nothing in comparison to the skyrocket of inflation
If you really don't get any of this, you're the problem I'm protesting.
Well, not you directly, but the system that has created you.
The same system that created the kids who bullied my mom when she was in school for not having name brand clothes.
The system which leaves her with so much debt even today because of the systematic barriers put in the little, likely neurodivergent, Jewish girl's way.
Shaming her for her family's financial situation, scaring her as she continues to have the same issues.
Now juggling me, a college student with all the descriptors from the beginning and the ongoing struggle to be debt free, when credit cards are no longer usable because of the amount owed.
I'm not asking the not understanding rich person to come down to my level of suffering.
I just wish it was reasonable to think my mom might not struggle economically one day.
That the barriers only passable by luck should be lowered to allow people to actually move up based on their hard work.
If hard work got you places, my mother would be rich.
We have the privilege of skin tone, so I don't mean to shape us up as having it worse than everyone else.
I know we have it better than many, many others.
I don't see those below us getting support as discrimination; I see the use of our identities as ways to put us down as such.
It must take ignorant privilege to think others being represented and helped as discrimination.
No one deserves to be discriminated against; no one knows that better than the oppressed. What makes people think those who hate oppression and discrimination the most would cause or wish for others to experience it?
Maybe It’s Time We Let The Dead Die
We wait eagerly
For flowers: the first sign of life
In the spring,
yet our deaths are often marked
by the flow of flowers: decorating
funeral homes, coffins, and Graves.
We want to prove
that they're not really dead;
they must live on,
we can't let them rest,
because the living
don't know how to
change their mindset.