I am a slave to my pain. My every action, every choice, every decision is dictated by my pain. My pain is a tyrant, a merciless, iron-fisted ruler who fights ruthlessly and takes no prisoners. I am a peasant, a humble, lowly serf who is swayed and controlled by its master’s every whim. I am a marionette and my pain is a cruel puppeteer, causing me to twist and gyrate frantically across the floor with the mere flick of a wrist. I struggle to pull free, but I am ensnared in the ropes and only cause myself more pain.
My parenting, sleeping, and daily living are all controlled by pain. I don’t know how to speak to my children anymore. I merely allow myself to lose all control and scream at them constantly. And then at night, after they go to bed, I watch their serene faces, smooth with sleep and beautiful in their innocence and I cry hysterical anguished sobs at the way I treated them that day. But was it me who spoke to them that way? Was it me who lost her temper when they made a mess on the floor? Or was it a wretched, anguished woman who doesn’t know how to deal with life anymore? I am unable to tell the difference. I am that pathetic woman. It is the pain that has done this to me.
My kind-hearted innocent husband suffers from my pain as well. When was the last time I allowed myself to display the passionate love I feel for him? When did I last let him take me in his arms and adore me? The pain is my lover now. It is a jealous abusive lover who pummels my body, riddles it with beatings, and comes back daily with more. And yet I am intertwined with it, defined by it.
But I cannot allow it to conquer me. Instead, I need to prepare for battle. I must take my aching, beaten body, gird it with strength, and begin to believe in myself. Because in the end, having faith in myself, a strong, courageous, and proud woman, will help me emerge victorious. And pain: merciless and cruel, will never again define me.