My body haggard and worn down
My bones ache as I walk
I glare into the mirror see all the cracks the flaws
A body falling apart at the seams wrinkles on my body a face devoid of beauty
Eyes listless haunted with years of loneliness and depression
Lips pale and pallid that once were lustrous now are cracked with the ravages of time
Hair unkept with a profusion of split ends a visual metaphor of my weary fractured mind
I gaze for minutes at my saggy diminutive flat breasts I’m so unattractive so unappealing
The tired bags underneath my haunted bloodshot eyes that radiate sadness
My fingers shake with disquiet at this repulsive sight of my grotesque physical appearance
I drop to the floor unable to bare the sight of my ghostlike image as tears cascade down my face
I want to be alluring to be regarded as a enticing creature
I want perfect voluptuous breasts that catch the attention of beguiling males physical specimens
I want immaculate ivory teeth devoid of flaws
I want to be rid of this pernicious self loathing to never have this all consuming social anxiety I want to look in the mirror and not be overcome with suicidal desires
This beguiling eccentric women who resides at flat 28
A flat directly above me
I see her occasional saunter out of the block of flats
She walks with a weariness with a detached aloofness
We on rare moments came across each other
We exchange these monosyllabic awkward pleasantries
No long effusive conversations just stilted interactions
I want to know these alluring gothic nymph who exudes beauty and sadness
She’s so quiet and unassuming
Keeps to herself rarely venturing outside of her intimate enclave
Does she have friends is so in a relationship I don’t think so
She so blindingly attractive with her luscious flowing brunette hair and porcelain fragile skin
She is vulnerable i see it in her hauntingly melancholic emerald green eyes
Sometimes she acts so odd and erratic rushing home frantically even running on occasion
I fervently want to ask out this enchanting creature that in my mind is the perfect blend of vulnerability and physical beauty on a date
I want to knock on her door have her beckon me inside her private chamber and enjoy a evening of engaging conversation with alcohol music and romance i want to be romantically acquainted with my eccentric neighbour who lives directly above me
Its 8:00 am i have awoken at a ungodly early hour on a clement august Saturday in my old bed in my old house on this supposedly momentous day. Its the day of my fathers wedding day his second wedding nearly 10 years since the traumatic suicide of my mum. 10 years ago my mum killed herself in this same house me and daddy discovered her hanging from a light fixture in the living room. I can still smell the pungent odour of death and despair in our haunted living room.
Today though is a happy joyous occasion for my father or daddy as i affectingly call him. Its a ecstatic day for daddy who after years of withering away in loneliness after years of being stricken with grief has found love. I am happy for him though my fractured neurotic mind is permeated with negative emotions. For weeks months years I’ve been severely depressed to the point of seriously contemplating suicide. I decided in my self indulgent self obsessed mind to kill myself approximately several weeks proceeding this wedding. I don’t want to infringe or in any way despoil daddy’s happiness. Today is also on top of the severe suicidal depression this wedding day for months and weeks has been filling me with panic inducing anxiety. I am cursed with a untreated social anxiety disorder which means i eschew public events such as wedding birthdays or the majority of social functions in favour of being alone in the enclave of my humble abode. Hence this wedding has been giving me vexation for weeks i cant forgo attending my fathers second wedding what will family and friends say. I have to hide my anxiety my melancholic proclivities for an entire day and hope and pray that I don’t suffer a harrowing panic attack. Fortunately I haven’t been asked to speak in the post wedding reception so that relive is alleviating my anxiety.
Laying horizontal nervously tucked inside my old black gothic duvet covers not wanting to vamoose from the cosy warmth of old duvet. Last night I slept maybe an hour of sleep that’s all the acute anxiety that’s been building up for weeks reached a fever pitch last night as I became cognisant of the torture of attending a wedding. A day of unrelenting anxiety having awkward conversations with distant relations having to hide my sadness my deleterious anxiety. Last night my hands were shacking furiously i kept tapping my fingers against the palm of my hands then scratching my legs in a peculiar manner to soothe my stress. Totally unable to fall asleep just being asphyxiated with worry with the fear of a panic attack. I don’t want to reveal my social phobia its why i have reluctantly attended this wedding. I am elated at my father finding love in his early 50’s i want him to live a long happy enriching existence the kind of life i will never experience. However the joy is negated by the tsunami of dysphoria and angst that circulating in my impaired consciousness.
I hear the distant echoes of my father his best man his life long friend Stephen getting ready for the wedding. Stephen stayed last night we got drunk together until we decided to retire to our bedrooms around midnight. Last night drinking beer with my daddy and his old friend was a pleasant experience to reconnect with my daddy and a childhood family friends with the euphoria of alcohol. Today though I’m going to be suffocated with a assortment of humans its going to be pure hell a day trapped in purgatory. I gaze intensely at the familiar surroundings of my old room with my single bed childhood bed. This room hasn’t been transformed into a office daddy has preserved it perfectly. Has quiet sentimental character meant he diligently preserved my room as a memento of my childhood. The posters of my favourite bands and literary heroes were decorated throughout my room. Posters of joy division, Kate Bush Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath were plastered over the magnolia painted walls. I stared for hours at these posters with melancholic eyes on this celebration of the scared institution of marriage and love.
Travelling back to my hometown staying in my suburban house spending extensive time with my father hasn’t dissuaded me from my plan to kill myself. The wedding though has delayed the inevitable suicide none of the exaltation of love would persuade me to stay alive i want death I want to end the torture of being a twenty something being afflicted with depression. In my pink silky jimjams with my legs shacking vehemently i am now ready to get out off my old single bed.
With trepidation I remove the black pristine duvet now i sit upright on the edge of my bed. Spending at least half an hour perusing my phone looking at my twitter feed needing a temporary distraction. I watch an array of entertaining videos on YouTube to distract me from the nightmare of attending a wedding. Putting down my distraction device i use as a crutch when I’m trapped in uncomfortable unfamiliar terrifying social scenarios. I stand on my two hind legs and make my bed making sure my bed looks immaculate. This learned fastidious habit is a way of abating the dysmorphia the restlessness of my abnormal personality. Then after several minutes of assiduously making my bed i saunter over to the vacant bathroom to brush my unsightly teeth and wash my pallid face. Before i venture downstairs to eat a paltry breakfast meal if i can handle eating with a million thoughts pulsating round my emaciated body. I brush wearily with my new fangled electric toothbrush. All the while averting my gaze from the dreaded unforgiving bathroom mirror. Then i wash my face by applying a soaked flannel to my face. This act washes away the cobwebs from my mind i feel fully awake before i apply a exfoliant that removes the grease the muck the scum from my visage. I wash again as my face is tingling as its revitalised after another sleepless night. Now i can venture downstairs to confabulate with my daddy and his best man whilst satiating our appetites with toast and coffee.
The elephant man is my favourite movie i most have seen it at least 20 times. I can still recollect the firsts time I watched this seminal piece of cinematic brilliance that a brilliant depiction of the human condition. I was 14 years old feeling this socially awkward alienated teenager who was suffering the formative symptoms of body dysmorphia. My condition has now I’m a fully grown adult metastasised into a socially debilitating disorder that effects my self esteem that leaves me crippled with anxiety I’m unable to cultivate romantic relationships all because of this disorder.
When I first watched the elephant man this glorious sentimental masterpiece it resonated deeply with the themes of alienation and being outcasted by mainstream society. The man John merrick a victim of a incredibly rare congenital disorder that leaves him horribly disfigured and basically disabled. The way he’s discarded cast out is how i feel leaving with many various mental illnesses the depression the social anxiety the body dysmorphia that have grown. John merricks hideous physical appearance is how i see myself when I glimpse into the rare i don’t see a normal person i see a grotesque freak. My disorder precludes from ever venturing outside except when I’m forced to by social convention or to attend my university lectures. When i am outside i become anxious paranoid feeling everyone look on horror at this gollum creature in human clothes. I have to plaster my face in makeup or simply obscure my face by hearing a hoodie or large sunglasses. In public or in the sanctum of my home glaring into the mirror is a horrifying experience that i eschew until it’s absolutely necessary. In the film when john is looks into a mirror and sees his deformed ugly face that scene brings me to tears. His consternated reaction as he sees himself looks into the window of his soul is what i experience when I see myself in bathroom mirrors when i go to my hair salon.
Many scenes in this film which is imprinted on my consciousness provoke a powerful reaction in the depths of my mind. One of the most enduring scenes is the diner scene when John attends a dinner with his protector his friend the DR. Treves. He’s made to feel normal for the first time in his short adult life. He wears a three piece suit looks for the first time as a respectable gentlemen and is welcomed into their home as a equal treated with humanity. That feeling of being accepted of needing validation is what i desire in that scene it moves me profoundly. The best moment is though when John shows his guests a photograph of his estranged mother. Rather than being a ugly homely women devoid of beauty its a image of a angelic women. Then John talks about losing his mother how he most of been a tremendous disappointment to his mum. When I initially watch the elephant man it had been less than a year since my mums tragic suicide. That scene i watched alone was a tear inducing powerful moment that elucidated my grief. That spoke to me of the sadness of losing a parent the pain the feeling I Of worthlessness. Every time i watch that scene and John is talking about his mother expressing his sadness i am transformed into a blubbering mess. The pain of my mums suicide has never subsided i never divulged my pain to anybody kept the pain hidden kept it suppressed. In that brief moment i experience a cathartic release of the pent up grief.
There are numerous other scenes that express the pathos of isolation of being cast out into the wilderness. To never have love to be denied the euphoric beauty of a intimate relationship with the sex the companionship the emotional elation of a long term enduring love affair. All these things i am precluded from ever experiencing due to my socially impeding disorder. The scene where John is inquiring to Dr. Treves whether he can be cured of his rare disease the doctor politely says no. Then John looks forlornly into a painting of a man sleeping on a bed and almost despairingly wishes he could sleep like a normal person. To me that scene is a powerful encapsulation of whats its like to be afflicted with a crippling mental disorder that you’ll be cured from. I want to sleep like a normal person a potent metaphor of the desire to be normal to have friends to function in society to be remedied of your mental illness. I believe any depressed person anybody suffering from a pathological psychological condition will be moved to a tears after witnessing that scene. When i watch it i cry profusely usually i have to pause the movie from the cascade of tears that are flowing down my ashen face.
The ending of the elephant man when he accept his fate when he decides to kill himself by literally sleeping as a normal person on his back. This act kills him cutting of oxygen to his his lungs chocking him John cant sleep like a normal person due to the size of his deformed head and the mutations on his chest. He has to sleep sitting up put laying down is suicidal act but a glorious act of defiance to be a normal to experience a semblance of normality. To sleep in a bed laying horizontal as his last act. By the end I’m crying uncontrollably as i watch the ethereal ending as John floats into the cosmos as his soul floats into heaven as finds liberation from the shackles of his gnarled body. A lone female voice eloquently says nothing ever dies. I’m shacking by now as the credits roll and its a compelling ending of being stricken with a body that society is repugnant.
The film acts as a potent analogy of mental illness or isolation. The way the character is treated how he’s looked upon as a oddity a freak how he’s forced to live sequestrated from society having no socially life. How the elephant man appears with his hideous visage is how i view myself. Being tortured by self loathing finding it unfathomable that anybody would find me physically attractive. That my personality is as deformed as the elephant mans ravaged body. The scars the mutations are a mirror into the darkness that lurks in my damaged psyche. This film i watch when I’m low when i need a 2 hour piece of poignant drama. I weep throughout it makes feel less alone in this vast godless universe
Ugly on the inside as i am on the outside
Inside I’m gnarled i hate myself
Inside there lurks a darkness that remains unexpressed
A sadness a wound that is slowly killing me
On the outside is a grotesque perversion of a human being
I lack beauty i lack any positive human attribute
I am a social leper discarded by society left to rot on the outskirts of society
I am a creature cursed to be alienated to never have love or happiness in my vacuous life
Ugly as I glare in my cracked dusty mirror
I stare forlornly with my haunted listless eyes
I shudder I shiver in revulsion at this image of a women that is transposed in my mirror
Theres no light no radiating beams of joy only a empty ravaged soul waiting for the sweet emancipation of death
I wander these cobbled ancient streets
I am invisible a phantom ignored by all the luscious photogenic young men
I’m not their to them i am a sexless freak that largely ignored
I see their repulsed eyes on the rare instances I catch their disparaging cold scowls it haunts it makes fell worthless so ugly not human like a subhuman monster not meant to find love
Tonight i take my first steps into the world of dating
I am terrified of being that vulnerable to have to be engaging and interesting for an entire evening
My date is his gorgeous intelligent perfect specimen of a man
Whilst I’m a homely invisible ugly women with deep untreated psychological scars
I am going to have to face my deep seated perennial fear of being intimate
The fear of being in the outside having to interact with a stranger who I may become my future soul mate
The fear the anxiety is palpable in my neurotic body as i prepare myself for a evening of possibilities
Will may date be overcome with boredom will we connect
I fear him finding me repulsive but also being put off by my introverted social awkward personality
I’m dreading having these staid monosyllabic conversations having no witty or interesting to verbalise with my perfect date
I dread suffering another panic attack in the midst of a date
I have dreamed of meeting a man such as this a Prince Charming who will beguile with his ebullient personality
I have fantasised of falling in love of another soul being entranced by my physical presence
Tonight I want these fantastical dreams to be actualised
I want to conquer my demons my self loathing my crippling social anxiety and fall in love with a luscious figure of masculine perfection