Harsh Reality: Realizing You’re the Abuser (reblogged article)

Yara Aiko from Recovering From NPD wrote this incredibly insightful and inspirational post about one of the worst things a person can realize about themselves.  It’s not too late to change!

Harsh Reality: Realizing You’re the Abuser

By Yara Aiko, Recovering from NPD

cluster-b-girl3

Shit has been really getting dire around here. Supply has been low and I’m hitting a wall. For months now I’ve been dealing with strong emotions and painful childhood memories, and trying hard to fight off emotional numbness and dissociations.

At the same time, I’ve been trying to restrict my access to unhealthy or attention-seeking forms of “supply” as I try to force myself to learn to rely on myself to regulate my own self-worth. Not. Easy.

Prolonged numbness + dissociation = rage

I’ve tried just about everything I can think of to pull myself out of this emotional wasteland I’m in. But nothing has had a strong enough impact to pull me out of it completely, or to permanently make it stop. Everything seems like a short term, temporary fix, before it’s back to the boredom and numbness.

I know it can’t last forever, but at this point I’m getting desperate. And angry.

woman-fist-angerWhat does that mean? I’m so desperate to feel again I’ll do anything. Positive supply isn’t coming quick enough and in abundance – so I’ve resorted to fucking shit up.  In other words: let’s stir the pot and see what bubbles to the surface.

What’s been pissing me off recently that I can bring up now and start a fight about? Who’s on my shit list that can I text something snide to, just to see how they respond? Let’s go online and troll someone obnoxious. At this point, all bets are off. Anger feels better than boredom. It’s that dire.

For the record, I am not proud of this. I’m actually quite ashamed.

I absolutely hate that I am doing this and really want to stop. These feelings are a reminder to me that self-awareness alone is not enough. Not by a long shot. But it is helpful. I thought about it last night and realized I’m essentially throwing a temper tantrum to get attention. The same thing I did as a child when nothing else worked. (Insight)

Discovering my multiple personalities

multiple personalities dissociation.jpgI’ve heard NPD compared to a dissociative  disorder. Sometimes I can’t seem to control which personality comes out, or turn it off. This is a prime example.

This week “Cluster B Girl” is out and she’s a royal narc. She don’t give a fuck. When Cluster B Girl is up, I see myself raging and doing other self-destructive behaviors that I know I’ll later regret.

Internally I am thinking, stop it! Why are you doing this—this behavior is not going to get you want you want, in fact just the opposite! Shut up before you make things worse. Face palm. But the words are flying out of my mouth like someone else is speaking them.

I have a front row seat, but I’m not really participating. Except the rage—I feel that full force.

*****

Read the rest of Yara’s article here.

 

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Dysphoria, Dissociation, Anhedonia, Oh My! (reblogged post)

My friend Yara, who has an NPD diagnosis (not malignant) is in recovery and has been feeling down lately.   She just wrote this article about the way she’s been feeling.   I think these feelings she is experiencing are common to anyone suffering from trauma disorders — NPD, BPD, and C-PTSD.   It’s that awful feeling of yawning emptiness that occasionally makes itself felt.    She also talks about some of the things she is doing to relieve the pain and remain mindful.  Here is her post.

Please follow Yara’s blog, Recovering from NPD.

Dysphoria, Dissociation, Anhedonia, Oh My!

By Yara, Recovering from NPD.

feelings-wheel

Feelings Wheel.

 

I’ve had a tough week. I dissociated for most of the week and am just now (thankfully, hopefully?) coming back to reality.

When I get like this, my weekends blend into my week days. My days into my nights. I have to look at the calendar several times a day to remember what day it is. Still I have trouble. Today I looked up and it was Thursday. I’ve done nothing with my week and it’s nearly over.

Each day, the hours go by and before I know it, the kids are home and I’m struggling to get through dinner and bedtime. Struggling to pull it together enough to be at least somewhat present for them. I smile and play with the baby. I try to make conversation with my oldest, showing interest in his day. But I’m on “autopilot” – how I describe my dissociations. It’s like I’m seeing the conversations happening, but I don’t feel like I’m part of them. I feel disconnected from reality, like I’m floating inside my own head watching the world take place around me, but not participating. The next day I remember it as if it was a dream.

All day yesterday I walked by several piles of laundry I meant to take care of and didn’t realize they were there until the evening. I simply didn’t see them. I’m completely checked out.

Next week I’ll get some stuff done, I tell myself every week. I’m going on two months of this now and starting to really get concerned. It’s affecting every aspect of my life, including my work. I’m falling behind and it’s only a matter of time before someone notices I’ve produced virtually nothing in weeks.

I’ve always had periods of “depression.” Cyclical ups and downs throughout the years. This is the first bought I’ve had since becoming aware of my NPD, so this time it looks different to me. I’m aware of aspects I wasn’t aware of before. In the past, this would be the time I’d be searching for new “supply.” A new hobby, interest, friend, something exciting, anything to take my mind off the boredom. But I’m trying to learn not to rely on that anymore, and instead rely on myself.

*****

Read the rest of Yara’s article here.

There is still so much that triggers me.

triggers

Even after a year in intensive psychodynamic therapy, various (and some kind of crazy) self-therapies before that, spirituality, and blogging for two years, there are times when I feel like I’ve made no progress at all.

So many things still upset and trigger me.   I’m still hypervigilant, even to the point of paranoia at times; hypersensitive to criticism, don’t have a very good handle on my crippling anxiety and depression; and am envious.  I’m still socially awkward and avoidant; and terrified of rejection, abandonment, and disapproval.    I don’t handle other people’s anger very well, and often find myself automatically jumping on the defensive, even when there’s no reason to.  I still apologize for things that weren’t my fault, and take things too personally.   I still fret about what other people think of me.   I still have very low self esteem and feel like a complete loser much of the time.   I still do and say things that tend to self-sabotage and keep me from moving forward.

At least I know now where all this comes from, and at least I’m aware these feelings are just feelings and not facts.  They were part of my programming in my toxic family.  But knowing this doesn’t stop me from being triggered easily and resorting to primitive and self-sabotaging defense mechanisms.

But some things really have changed.    While I still have difficulty regulating my emotions sometimes, I don’t feel emotionally “dead” as often as I used to and I do regulate my emotions better than I did before I acquired that thin protective narcissistic defense layer (which I think accounted for the “dead” feeling).   I also don’t have as many (or really, any) scary and disorienting dissociative episodes anymore (those disappeared along with the emotional numbness, which is interesting).  I’m less angry than I used to be and I don’t act out against others the way I used to.  I don’t drink too much, do drugs, eat junk food compulsively, or otherwise try to “self-medicate” the way I tended to years ago.   While I can still be envious, it’s not as painful or crippling as it used to be–it’s something I can handle now.  I have more motivation and feel like my life might actually be leading somewhere.   I feel like I’m not completely useless and don’t think of myself as a “bad person” or a “useless person” anymore.

I’m also seeing the good qualities I’ve always had that I either couldn’t see before or didn’t think were good qualities.   After losing the thin protective narcissistic layer (“fleas,” I guess) that disconnected me from my own emotions, I realized I actually have a great deal of empathy.   That surprised me.   I never thought of myself as particularly empathetic before.  Part of the problem was also that I was always so focused in on myself and my turbulent and constantly changing emotions that there was simply no room left for me to care about anyone else.    I have a great sense of humor, which fortunately is something I never really lost and the ability to laugh at things might have kept me from going completely insane.   Now my sense of humor has gotten even better and is less bitter and cynical.   I’m open-minded and don’t think I’m very judgmental at all.     I’m also coming to realize that my innate sensitivity– which I used to be so ashamed of–is really a great thing once you know how to use it.

I’ve come to accept that I may never be completely healed (after all, it took my whole life to get that way), but I think I can live with that.  No one is perfect.  So I’ll just keep working at getting better and try to be the best I can be.  That’s all I can do.  That’s all anyone can do.

 

Death, Prince, “the void,” and loss of control.

thanatophobia

A few days ago, I wrote an article about my fear of death for my other blog. I fear death for a lot of reasons, which the post explains in detail, but I think my biggest fear is the prospect of complete ego loss, which for me means dissociation which inevitably leads to panic.

But my fear has been getting out of hand lately, and becoming obsessive. Not to the point where I can’t function, but to the point where it interferes with my being able to enjoy life or even think for very long about anything else. So I’d say it’s a problem, or becoming one. It’s one thing that’s getting worse rather than better.

I talked about this tonight in session. It’s nothing new, but it’s been with me for a long time, always lurking in the back of my mind no matter what I’m doing. It’s so much a part of my reality that it never even occurred to me to bring it up before. But tonight I did because Prince’s death triggered me and now my obsessive fear is about 10x worse. If a healthy, fit 57 year old man could suddenly just die of a routine illness that hardly kills anyone (unless there was foul play involved, which I do suspect), then life is incredibly fragile and the same could suddenly happen to me. I fear what’s on the other side because it’s unknown.

In therapy, I suddenly drew a parallel. I’ve never really lived because of the emptiness at my core, which isn’t really empty at all but is full of the unseen and unknown. Chair Girl lives in the void, and she’s somewhat accessible to me now, but whatever else dwells in the rest of the void, which is vast like the universe, is very much hidden from my awareness. I often wake up with a feeling of terrible emptiness inside and am filled with overbearing dread, despair, and unbearable loneliness. The only way I can handle these “black mornings” is to get up (escape). I’ve compared the feeling before with what I imagine death to feel like.

As therapy progresses, I’m closer to unearthing the contents of the “emptiness” than ever before. An analogy can be drawn to death here. As I age, I’m closer to death and the revealing of what’s on the other side. But in my mind, I’m equating confronting what’s in my void with death and the unknown in general. My obsession with death is a way I try to “control” the uncontrollable. Of course that makes no sense logically, but it “felt right” to me that control is what’s behind the obsession. Of course in order to get well I have to surrender and relinquish control, just as I will have to do the same when I die.

Where did BPD stigma come from?

stigma_truth

In recent years, BPD has earned a very disagreeable stigma, so disagreeable that people who have a BPD diagnosis are refused treatment, being told they cannot get better or feared by professionals who might treat them. NPD too, hasn’t always been as demonized as it is right now. NPD and BPD have become almost interchangeable in the narc-abuse community. I don’t recall it being that way in 1996 when I got my BPD diagnosis, and I don’t remember ever being told I was hopeless or unredeemable or evil or anything like that. I was treated pretty much like any other psychiatric patient, and was given therapy and put on antidepressants. I was obliged to take a DBT class, which at the time I blew off. (DBT is like CBT but exclusive to Borderlines–and it does work. The fact it worked for me makes me think maybe I *did* have BPD but no longer do!)

BPD was always classified as a Cluster B disorder, ever since its introduction into the DSM in 1980 (it was recognized, however, for much longer than that, and popularized as a disorder in the 1960s because of the research of Otto Kernberg, a German psychologist who studied “the narcissistic and borderline personalities,” and other “disorders of the self.”).* All “Cluster B” means really is the person has a weak, fragmented or nonexistent sense of self. Not being able to access a “true self” means they become either cut off from or cannot regulate their emotions. One of the results of this is a lack of empathy (but BPDs are the most empathetic of all the B’s, and some have normal levels of empathy). In NPD, a strong false self takes the place of the true one, which is a very dissociative symptom. In BPD, there’s not a strong false self like with NPD, but there is a weak and unstable one, and the person isn’t ALWAYS showing that false self. Some BPDs act quite a bit like over-emotional or unstable narcissists (or narcissists in the midst of a breakdown due to loss of supply). Others act like covert narcissists or just act neurotic and insecure but are otherwise nice people. Some feel their emotions too much, including empathy. A few are antisocial. I’m not sure why BPD (and maybe NPD) isn’t classified as a dissociative disorder, because essentially the person is cut off from their “self” in some form or another and that is what dissociation means. I’m not sure what the mechanics are in ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) but they are very different from either Borderlines or narcissists because they aren’t dependent on others to boost their weak egos. They are psychopathic and just do what they want.

bpd_stigma_quote

So the Cluster B’s, including BPD, were already around, but until the mid-1990s, no one thought of them as anything but mental illnesses or for ASPD, a kind of “adult conduct disorder.” They were psychiatric labels and nothing more. The narc abuse community started in 1995 or so, and Sam Vaknin was pretty much the first one online who wrote about it. Of course, he has NPD but even so, he first called attention to the “evil”-ness of NPD/narcissism (actually it was M. Scott Peck but at the time he wrote “People of the Lie” in 1983, the term “malignant narcissism” wasn’t in vogue yet and there was no connection of “evil people” to people with NPD. There was also no Internet to spread Peck’s concepts like wildfire the way they could have been in 1995 and later. But over time, M. Scott Peck’s book has become one of the most popular in the narc-abuse community) After Vaknin established his online narcissistic abuse community and wrote his popular book “Malignant Self-Love,” more narc-abuse sites got established (many or most of them started by victims, who were understandably angry at the narcissists who had abused them). Soon “narcs are evil” became a sort of meme, and by association, so did all the Cluster B disorders earn a “evil” reputation.

There are benefits to this, of course. Victims are being more heard than ever before. People are paying attention and avoiding narcissistic abusers. But some people who carry a Cluster B label are being hurt too, especially Borderlines (or people–usually women–who were erroneously diagnosed with it). Some experts want to get rid of BPD and just re-label BPD as Complex PTSD (probably not a bad idea). There are MANY similarities. The vast majority of BPDs are not anything like malignant narcissists and are not sociopathic at all. Most just act extremely insecure, needy, and maybe “high maintenance.” They can be manipulative or act out to avoid rejection. They may collude with people with NPD, however. But it’s possible to find these same types of behaviors in many people with Complex PTSD. Are they actually the same thing?

Another reason for the BPD stigma could be the tendency for narcissists and borderlines to form partnerships or be attracted to each other. In such a pairing, the Borderline is almost always the abused or codependent partner. In several “couple killings,” one of the criminal partners, usually the female, has had a BPD diagnosis. But they may have been so brainwashed by their abusers they were coerced into colluding with them against others (a form of Stockholm Syndrome).

Finally, a number of high profile criminals and serial killers have labels of NPD or BPD. But they almost always also have a comorbid ASPD diagnosis. Media icons like Joan Crawford who were known to scapegoat their children also had a BPD diagnosis. In Crawford’s case, she was also diagnosed with HPD (Histrionic Personality Disorder). It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she had NPD (malignant) or ASPD as well, as her behavior was very sociopathic behind closed doors.

Why am I “defending” people with BPD if I don’t have it?  Several reasons:

  1.  I was diagnosed with it and carried that diagnosis for two decades.   I have personally experienced being rejected by therapists once they saw my “red letter” on paper.
  2. Just because my current therapist thinks I don’t have it doesn’t mean I don’t.  Or maybe I did have it and no longer do.  If I no longer have it, that means BPDs are not “hopeless.”
  3. Maybe BPD isn’t a valid diagnosis.
  4. Many people I have cared about who were slapped with “BPD” have been hurt by it.

These are just my rambling thoughts about this matter; I’d be interested in hearing your opinions.

* Timeline of BPD

Kaleidoscope self.

kaleidscope
60FPS Kaleidoscope Hypnotic Snakes Animation (watch on Youtube)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my various “disorders”–both diagnosed and self-diagnosed–and can see where the confusion arises. C-PTSD and BPD seem to be used interchangeably,. I think if C-PTSD did not exist, I might have gotten a nebulous label like “anxiety disorder NOS” or “personality disorder NOS.” No one needs a “diagnosis” like that! (I think the fact I’m paying out of pocket made it easier for my therapist to give me an “unofficial/experimental” diagnosis because no claims are being submitted for reimbursement.)

I also found it interesting that in its Wikipedia entry, and elsewhere, C-PTSD has been compared a lot to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID–-what used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Dissociation in various forms is very common symptom in patients with both PTSD and C-PTSD. It’s also a common symptom in BPD and sometimes also NPD (during a narcissistic crisis or depression following a loss of supply, usually).

The proposed diagnosis of Covert or Fragile NPD has confused things further and once again, the symptoms can be very similar to those of someone with BPD/C-PTSD. Covert Narcissists don’t act arrogant and entitled like classic/grandiose NPDs but they are every bit as manipulative and their goal is to get supply.

But what is supply? Supply is something to fill an empty hole inside, and the emptiness comes about because a person was not mirrored appropriately (or at all) as a child. I feel like I often need “supply” to boost my ego (to some extent everyone does). Because my personality fits the profile for Covert NPD, I spent a long while sure I was one. I was very relieved my therapist does NOT agree with that. (He said I always try to take care of HIS feelings–probably a codependent trait–-and I have too much empathy)

The treatments and therapy techniques used for C-PTSD and Personality Disorders are very much the same. My therapist is a trauma/attachment therapist and as such, treats people with BPD and NPD, as well as C-PTSD, PTSD because all of these disorders have their roots in trauma and faulty attachments to caregivers. DID and other dissociative disorders also have their roots in childhood trauma. All of them are disorders where there is a weak, fractured, or nonexistent sense of self and a yawning emptiness inside. My therapist thinks my sense of self is there, but is fractured and mixed up with pieces of other “identities” I’ve taken on (sounds like BPD!), including my NPD mother.

I picture my “self” as a kaleidoscope full of broken shards of glass and mirrors, constantly shifting but without an organized pattern, completely confusing to me and everyone else. My therapist is trying to get me to start sorting out the pieces, trying to figure out which ones are “me” and which are not. We’re continuing with the chair work with me talking to my mother asking what it is she wants from me. I feel more comfortable keeping her there in the chair as the sad, vulnerable little 1930s-era girl she once was, rather than the brittle, hollow shell she has become. She was only mirrored by her father–but for all the wrong reasons. Her mother would have nothing to do with her at all.

The waif inside.

bigeyedchild

Tonight’s therapy session definitely made up for the one I had on Monday, which I felt wasn’t very productive because I seemed to be deflecting and avoiding talking about my feelings.   I asked my therapist to stop me if I did that again, even if I get angry.   He agreed to this and tonight I dove right in.

We were talking about myself as a little girl, especially the way I was never allowed to express my emotions, especially anger.  He wanted to know what I did with all that anger.  I thought about it for a minute, and told him I turned it toward myself, and that’s why I started to become so depressed and why I started to hate myself .  He asked me to put my mind inside the mind of “little me” and describe how she felt and what she looked like.

We came up with a picture.  I described her as a waiflike child, like those paintings from the ’60s of those sad, big eyed little kids, dressed in rags, with a gray, unhealthy pallor.  She is always sad, almost always crying.  She’s afraid of everything.  She feels completely defenseless and in fact she doesn’t have any defenses.   She was never allowed to grow up.

I was asked how I felt about her.  I said I didn’t hate her, that in fact I felt protective of her and had to keep her safe from harm.    She also makes me feel angry when she comes out without my permission because she’s too vulnerable and defenseless and that makes me feel ashamed.   I have to protect her, but I also have to protect myself by keeping her hidden away so she doesn’t embarrass me.

It was harder to talk about her feelings about me, the way she views me.   All I could come up with was that she felt like I kept her safe but wishes I’d let her out more.  I realized then that it was easier to describe my feelings toward her than to describe her feelings toward me.   I’m not completely disconnected from my true self, but dissociation is present.

He asked me what good qualities she has that I want to protect.  I said she has a kind, gentle soul and a big heart.  He asked what she wants.  I thought about it and said, “all she wants is to love and be loved, and to belong.”  I got emotional at that point and started tearing up.  I wasn’t able to describe the emotions I was feeling at all, but I knew we’d made some progress.   He wants to start seeing me more often.   Somehow I’m going to find a way to afford it.   This type of inner child work is hard, but it’s amazing.

Staying grounded.

magnificent_tree
Photo Credit: No I’m Not OK

Sometimes I feel ungrounded, dissociated. Sometimes I feel like a gust of wind could blow me into nonexistence. I was raised in a harsh, chaotic, abusive environment and was blown from there into a harsh, chaotic, abusive marriage. As a result, I never was able to form strong roots. But to be grounded in life, to be able to bend and not break, adapt but not lose yourself, remain strong even when the cold winter winds blow, you need those roots.

Strong roots may not be with your family of origin, who should have nurtured you so you’d grow them. That may not be possible. But it doesn’t mean you can’t develop them.

I read a post today that inspired me because of the incredible photographs of an old Ficus Macrophylla tree, a beautiful and majestic tree with roots that could probably withstand an earthquake. I mean, just look at those roots! It’s incredible the way nature can adapt to almost any condition. There are trees that live on the cliffs of coastal California that grow vertically because of the strong winds that constantly buffet them. The trees have grown to adapt to their harsh conditions. They have grown stronger because of them.

We can also grow stronger because, not in spite of, the harsh conditions we might have been raised in. We can take inspiration from the trees by grounding ourselves and knowing how strong we really are, and that will prepare us for almost anything life can throw at us.

Take a walk. Look at some trees. Become conscious of your feet on the ground, your connection with the earth. Meditate on these things and try to stay in the present. Don’t worry about the future or the past. Turn off all the noise in your head, even for only a few minutes a day, and just be, like the tree.

“If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline”

littlegirlwithacurl

People with BPD, like all the Cluster B disorders, can at times seem demonic, especially when raging. I used to have these episodes of uncontrolled rage, in which I’d dissociate pretty severely. It was as if an actual demon inside me was unleashed and I couldn’t control my actions or my words, even though I knew I’d wind up regretting it and apologizing profusely hours later, hanging my head in shame. I think these rage episodes scared me as much as they scared everyone else, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about them. They were far too big for me to handle. Although no one ever told me I looked “evil,” I probably did during these episodes.

DBT and mindfulness tricks helped me get things under control, but I do seem to have mellowed in general with age. That seems to happen with some BPD women (some even become spontaneously “cured” after their childbearing years end), which makes me wonder if BPD is really a personality disorder at all, or something more biochemical. Since abuse or neglect in childhood is almost always present in Borderlines, maybe abuse causes brain chemistry to change for people who develop it, and this affects the female hormones in some way.

The emotional numbness is still there, but that’s nothing new–and it could be my PTSD rather than BPD. “Zombie” used to be my default setting in between rages so severe I seemed possessed. With increasing self awareness I’m becoming more able to access real emotions without losing control. The emotional numbness is lessening but the rages of my younger years have not returned. I’m not sure which emotions are still under wraps but I think it’s closer to sadness over some undefinable loss than rage.

This article accurately describes the Borderline’s ever-shifting emotional extremes and just how black their dark moods really can be.

If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline

By Shari Schreiber, M.A.
GettinBetter.com

There was once a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good–but when she was bad, she was horrid.

My other articles on Borderline Personality Disorder speak to elements in the Borderline that seduce you and keep you enraptured, despite their push-pull emotional gymnastics, disruptive come here/go away cycles, and confusing, crazy-making behaviors. This piece exposes the volatile, frightening dark side of this individual who has gotten you under their spell and won’t let you go, but also uncovers the root cause of these issues. There’s a comprehensive list of features/traits at the bottom, which can help you determine if you’re involved with someone who has BPD–or it may serve as a self-diagnostic tool.

While many BPD people have killer looks, not all Borderlines are beautiful or handsome–but that doesn’t make them any less seductive or diabolical. It’s much easier for a great looking man or woman to find continuous streams of narcissistic supply via adulation and romantic pursuit from others, and until this ego fuel isn’t obtainable, they won’t consider therapy. Why should they? Humans don’t change, until what they’ve been doing doesn’t work for them anymore–or they’re in enough pain, to re-direct their energies and efforts toward seeking the help they need to get truly well.

Read the rest of this article here.

Lost in a hall of mirrors: inside the mind of a narcissist

hall_of_mirrors_tor
Hall of Mirrors–“Tor,” funded by the Pentagon

When you’re safely in your house
you look out of clear windows that show you the great outdoors
and solid doors that open so you can step outside and take in the sun and rain

…I have no such amenities
for I don’t know where to look
Are they even there at all?
Everything is a reflection of a reflection of a reflection of a…

ad infinitum.

I live in a very strange house.

I see shadowy, spectral images of people who look much like myself
who are they really?
Are they ghosts of what I could have been
or want I want to be?
Or are they showing me what I have become?

Where can I escape from this nightmare of myself?
I feel lost and afraid
I just keep trudging around in circles like I’m caught in some endless mental time loop

I can’t close my eyes against the horror
for this is my reality looking inside myself
Eternal torment that will never let me rest.

infinity_mirror_room
Installation of Via Negativa II by Lee Bul, New York City, NY

Wandering aimlessly around in circles
in the shattered labyrinth of my broken mind
like walking through a plane crash
or ancient crumbling ruins
these broken shards of glass are glued to every surface
twinkling from some unseen silvery light
piercing the inky blackness that swallow up everything real
each jagged shard reflects broken pieces of me
on and on and on into an infinity of insanity

I feel like screaming.

There’s really nothing there at all
Reflections have no substance
Maybe this is hell and I’ve already died and gone there
doomed to wander forever alone in this glittering hall of mirrors that mocks me at every turn
thousands of mirrored facets laughing and taunting as I move down the halls

I know the way out is here somewhere
After all I built this mirrored prison with my own hands
Long ago I built a door
but I have forgotten how to find it
The mirrors obscure reality and memory.
But I remember I built it and someday I will find it.
I will.