Because of the way that my programmers assaulted me, attacked my health, and deliberately injured and limited my body, my physical balance isn’t very good. I am working on restoring it by noticing the moments that require balance and being gentle about my physical limitations, not pushing past what I can safely do, and by placing much of my focus on being present with the activated programmed alters as well as the distraught alters who used to have good balance. It hurts to have had a good sense of balance, to have had it used by my oppressors to serve their criminal whims, and then to have had it busted down and reconfigured so that I fall down whenever I try to be happy or free. It hurts to be brain injured, sick, sad, and alone.
There is so much disappointment inside of me. There has been so much oppression and subservience. My childhood mouth has been around so many strangers’ genitals. I am so sick of living.
Maybe if I had lived differently, I would not be so sick. But the world still would be sick. Even if I had lived differently, the rest of the planet might have been hurt just the same as it was hurt, as it is being hurt, as it will be hurt. It is painful to witness it happening, to know it is happening, to have no way to do any more to abolish slavery than I am currently doing.
I felt like a burden as a child because nobody wanted me whenever I had any needs. They wanted me to have sex. My body was stretched out and conditioned to accommodate perverts, sadists, and experimenters. I remember being trained to withstand severe physical battery so that violent clients could release their darkness onto me and I could sustain (and feign) profound injury, yet be sold again and again and again all night long.
I am so tired.
Do I really need to smile at every stranger I pass? Do I really need to get in line for all of the polite behavior required over the course of one day, when my thoughts and bones feel like they have all been methodically broken? What is it that I really need to pay for now?
When I think of some friends of mine, other former slaves in recovery, I notice a kindness toward others that I can’t always match anymore (I’m often too physically tired to smile). In these friends’ behaviors I witness a detailed accommodation of others—a profound accommodation that many regular people may not even notice. Sometimes I witness a subservience, a desire to please strangers at the expense of dimming one’s own truth. I have watched so many times as alters in my friends’ systems have attempted to tentatively voice the reality about their former enslavement, their internal torment, and the greater scope of enslavement in the world. Often, other people have not been able to give these tentative voices much attention. This is really too bad, because slave children who survive often have too few wisps of effort left inside, after having their free will tortured out of them.
If they notice that no one cares again, they dim and retreat like a candle that goes out all on its own.
Maybe there are a few sentiments that I can voice on their behalf. The world is in a state of imbalance. Those who have been extraordinarily victimized are often left to take care of their own wounds. Those with brain injuries need to schedule their own appointments. Those who were forced to chop heads off of young babies are forced to chop their own food and cook it every night. Former slaves even have to find a way to pay for recovery support, after working their entire childhoods to fund their own perpetrators. What is it like to take money from a slave? How do you feel? Is it ever the right thing to do?
I feel strange receiving help and support from someone who has never had their money, their home, their bonds to others, their memory, their free will, and their body completely yanked away from them. I feel strange sitting by the lucky and asking for a little of their attention. It feels as though there is an injustice hanging in the air. It feels like it hangs everywhere.
If there is a subset of the population enslaving and torturing another subset of the population, who is responsible? If psychopaths refuse to take responsibility, as is sewn into the definition of their condition, then who is next on the list? Would it be the victims? Or would it be those who have had the fortune of having eyebrows that raise in surprise when the reality of child slavery is voiced?
The recovering former slaves whom I am friends with have such low expectations of this society. We receive so little acknowledgment, hardly any attunement—even by many therapists, doctors, and social workers or case managers. We feel crazy living with internal torture that we are still being expected to carry all alone, in line at the grocery store along with everybody else. Why isn’t there a separate, gentler line for the formerly enslaved? No eye contact required. No speaking required. No forced smiles required. No pretending required. No payment required. No work required. Nothing required. Nothing required. Nothing required.
Many slaves’ greatest wish would be the relief of hearing Nothing is required of you anymore.
You can speak about what has happened to you and what you are really feeling. You don’t have to say I’m fine anymore. Nobody does. It’s not helping anyone, either. The world is wounded, so no one is fine. No one is actually fine.
I truly hope that balance will be restored. I hope that those who have committed crimes and hoarded money, land, and societal control will be stripped of what they’ve stolen. I hope that those who have been trafficked will be untrafficked. I hope society will come together to figure out how this needs to be done, and stop asking us, the formerly enslaved, to help me help you.
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