In the next moment, I struggle to choose a flower, which rots away into blackness. Then a cottage, which incinerates inside a flame that seems to emanate from within, then an oceanside that suddenly turns to lava at my feet.
My anxiety is a habit, and though I try, it is almost impossible to release my need to dream into the worst possible scenario.
This is what happens when I am not watching my thoughts, so I have trained myself to watch them. Just to notice, so that if they start to go down this circular and slippery chute, I can come back, latch on to something that will pull me back up, and use this creative energy in a more productive way.
But the rhythm of the horror is seductive, and the masochist in me needs this pain to feel the passion that comes with being a victim. There is no greater sadness than the sorrow of the afflicted, and if there is no one around to be the sadist, I step right in. I loathe myself for this, and this stokes the fire of the torture burning down my spine and straight into my boots.
My feet walk this line of victim straight into the arms of pity. Pity feels enough like love as it soothes the spurs and aches with cool steel. I can be self-righteous in my pain, carry it around on my vest like a badge that lets people know I'm the sheriff in this town of torture, that my pain is the only pain that matters and nothing they have experienced will ever come close. I have felt my pain more deeply because though the original transgression happened decades ago, I have carried it forward in order to justify my bad behavior, my insecurity, my lack of faith, and my insensitivity.
Everything offends me, and nothing is about me. I am alone in my pain and the victim of everything. I cuddle with my torment, make love to my loathing, and bathe in my estrangement. This is the architecture I have created to keep the world that made me, away. This is the armor I wear to fool you into seeing strength, though all that fills this hollow suit is fear.
This is the life I choose when I don't watch my thoughts. And it is a choice, Because I know better.
Better is the awareness of the hell I create. Better is the joy that comes from putting down my need to be justified through pain. Better is knowing that while I might be hurt, I do not have to be hurtful.
Better is understanding that in my case, being a victim is a choice.