The Hall of Tortured Souls

In News by Kelley Gunter9 Comments

Am I a tortured soul?

Perhaps.

It feels that way. It never used to, but it certainly does currently. The pain becomes inescapable and I wonder, has God forgotten me? Many of my loved ones certainly have and yet the sting of human abandonment lessens to the point I barely feel it anymore. Eventually does a tortured soul numb to heartbreak and betrayal?

I think I’m too much for most people. I used to have too much spirit and joy, an exuberance for life that overwhelmed some people—even if it was a mask that hid the sad truth. But now that I’m healing, the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies that process, is not a journey most people care to walk with me. So, as cumbersome as it is, I trudge on, alone.

I am left to endure the gut-wrenching pain of being shattered into a million little, irreparable pieces on my own. I told my therapist recently that I have cried more tears in the last two years than I have in my entire life. She told me that’s because those tears should have been cried a long time ago. My soul was literally ready to explode from the pressure and pain of repressing trauma for so long.

The truth is those deafening sobs of mine should have been acknowledged, someone should have heard my screams. Sadly, it’s no different today. The screams, while different, persist–but no one hears–or if they do, they continue on, choosing to ignore the trauma of someone who doesn’t really matter all that much to them anymore. How long and loud can one soul wail, unnoticed?

Eventually the realization settles in that there is no one coming. Once, as a victim, I was screaming and I was told, “Stop screaming, no one can hear you.” I screamed anyway; cries that went unheard and unanswered—just like now. The anguish continues, but people choose to look away, ignoring the sadness and horror that isn’t hidden anymore. When I was a little girl, everyone missed the pain that was just beneath the surface. Today, the pain basically floods out of every pore of my body.

Maybe people think pain is contagious.

My question is does karma really exist? Is there truly any universal or Godly system that keeps track of the good or bad deeds that anyone commits? If so, the scales of karmic justice are incredibly out of balance. Maybe there is no karma, only a hall of tortured souls and that’s where I will end up eventually; thrown in with the rest of the battered human beings who were severely beaten in the ring of life.

If karma does exist, I think certainly I must have been a terrifically terrible person in a past life. That’s the only thing that could make sense out of the pain I’m forced to endure in this one. I have loved and given of myself until there was nothing left to give. Yet I’m left in the cesspool of agony alone, a remnant of what someone once, allegedly loved. There is no compassion for the one who screams in silence. There is no holding of the soul that apparently cannot be loved.

Then I wonder, why am I so easily discarded? What is it about me that just allows others to remain indifferent to my suffering? Is it me or is it them? I know all about loving myself, choosing better people, blah, blah, blah. It’s still a question that runs through my mind. I’m sure there is a lesson in there that I haven’t mastered yet, and trust me, I study it constantly. The one solace in being so alone is that at least there’s no one left to betray you—no more knives in the back from people you loved with every fiber of your being. I guess there is a second-place kind of relief in that.

People say it’s up to us to push the clouds away and that we are responsible for our own happiness. I’ve even said that before, many times actually. But what happens when the storm persists and there is no relief in sight? We currently have national news of people found hanging from doorknobs with red scarves. The headlines read, “We are deeply saddened, you were loved.” Apparently, they couldn’t feel that love. Their soul simply couldn’t survive another day of feeling that unbearable emptiness and the horror that accompanies realizing no one could do a damn thing about their pain.

When I leave this earth, if you are a person who abandoned or betrayed me, please do not speak the words, “I loved her.”  I swear with all I have that if my soul hears those words even whispered out of your mouth, I will rise from the ashes and there will be a poltergeist like the world has never seen.  They will make movies about that shit for decades.  Just don’t do it.  With the blood of my soul on your hands, hold your blade proudly.  Stand strong in the filth of the human you are.

Maybe I do have a lifetime of tears that should have been cried long ago. I certainly had a childhood full of demons that I shouldn’t have had to ever encounter, much less face alone. Yet my soul went on in search of happiness, loving everyone until my heart ached. I constantly poured all the love and tenderness that I was so starved for into everyone else and guess what? I still ended up empty.  You can’t give what you don’t have.

Lesson learned.  Check that one off of my emotional to-do list.

I loved people, many who took delight in my eventual suffering.  They went on with their day-to-day lives while I was trying to figure out a reason to just survive the next hour. I try very hard not to care, but the proof of how much I actually did care, pours down my face. When people hurt you, you don’t immediately shut off the love switch—that’s not how love works.  You’re faced with the task of healing and learning to not love them anymore, and that, my friends, is a colossal task.  Good thing I’m a warrior.

It is incredibly difficult to dig yourself out of the ruins of your own self-destruction.  When do I get to exist and not be afraid? My soul is tired. My heart is tired. Forget joy, I would welcome the absence of pain and fear. I’ve accepted the sad fact that when all you have to give people is your heart, most of them don’t stay–they just don’t. Keeping it completely honest, I’m not certain how well my heart functions anymore, it’s been so obliterated by life that it’s barely beating.

I guess the questions that will always echo in the hallways of my heart will be, “Was I really that hard to love? Was I that hard to support? Did I not deserve loyalty when I gave it so freely to those I loved?” The question that keeps me awake at night, though, is, “Where is God?” There’s something significantly wrong when it seems as though even God turns a blind eye to your suffering. What did I do to get on His bad list?

Do I really serve and love a God who is apathetic to my pain? Why is He so silent? I have been trapped in the devil’s playground for a couple of years now. When will God finally show up and proclaim that His child has had enough? When will He announce that I’ve survived the test, and overthrow the bully on the recess of life? How much longer does the devil get to have his way with my world? I’m exhausted and I don’t even have the energy to fight back anymore.

Do I sleep? Not much.  It’s uncanny how a person can survive with so little sleep.  I want to sleep, but, like peace and resolution, it currently evades me.  Oprah always talks about what she knows for sure and there is only one thing I know for sure and this is it:  In spite of it all, in the middle of my darkness, I know God is still there. I hear Him silently whispering, “I have not left you. I am here.” In spite of my pain, sorrow, and lack of understanding, in those moments, I know I am not alone.

So, I pray…with all I have, I pray.  In that silence, hope comes climbing out of the Pandora’s Box my life has become and I ferociously cling to it. No matter what I’ve lost, no matter what’s been taken from me, no matter how dark some days may seem, no one gets to take my hope. When God created me, He designed a survivor.  He knew the atrocities I would have to endure in this life, and through Him, he equipped me with the strength to do just that.  I know there are millions of other people who are hurting as well, and it is my mission to reach them.

A few months ago on Twitter they had a tweet challenging people to tell a story in three words.  One of the responses was immediately my favorite:

“She makes it.”

Comments

  1. Carry on warrior! That was a great book, like yours! Despair is so deep. And feels like it’ll never end. Your presence is a gift in the lives of so many others’. You are a remarkable woman. Thank you for being so real.