Nightmares by Raquel Kortizo
They’ve come for me again.
A prison camp by day
A torture chamber by night
hovering over my existence,
infiltrating my thoughts,
piercing my heart with raw fingers
tearing at the pieces of my brain
pulling and stretching the parameters of pain
As if I’m not helpless enough to stop the pain and misery during waking hours.
As if I’m not worthy of any peace whatsoever..
They broaden the definition of relentless.
Even felons of horrible crimes can serve their time and be released. Yet, I who committed no crime nor have ever once inflicted any intentional or knowing injury upon any other creature. Any. Other. Creature. Ever.
I, whose only method of fighting back my entire life was to walk away. Incapable of actual battle, I walked away from every assault without raising a single fist. Jesus, I rarely even raised my arms to protect myself from the blows. My typical response to any type of assault was duck and cover-too scared to even lift my arms to ward off the blows, knowing if I didn’t just accept whatever came my way, it would only come back worse later.
Okay, so maybe the worst I ever did was run. Yes, a few times I didn’t walk away. I ran…. duck, cover, then walk or at worst, run…but I never fought back. I never engaged in the warfare or returned assault or injury. My worst return-fire was to run.
Regardless, I was sentenced to life. And I can’t help in hindsight but to suppose the sentence was the harshest because I never fought back. Perpetrators typically size up their victims first and choose the most defenseless – the one least likely to fight back- the most powerless of victims. They’re irresistibly easy to conquer then destroy.
And once they’ve assessed that you’re too weak, scared, naive, ignorant, or insecure to even fight back, their power is truly limitless. They know you’re too harmlessly pathetic to even defend yourself.
Yes, pathetic. Even most animals will attempt to fight back when backed in a corner and assaulted. Not me. Nope. I crouch down, hang my head, squeeze my eyes shut tight, and wait for the fury to cease long enough to maybe try to run. But still too stupid to run if they’ve first convinced me it’s my fault and my just dessert too. Then, I just crouch down, take all the blows, wait for my punishment to be over…then apologize, beg forgiveness, and try even harder to be earn their love and try to be better enough to deserve a lighter punishment next time…knowing I’ll never attain perfection enough for the punishments to ever stop altogether…knowing I’ll always make another mistake somehow, but hoping I learned my lesson enough that time to figure out a way to be better each time.
A sentence thrust upon me without cause, without law, without a judge or jury, save my perpetrators themselves. Hell, I didn’t even know I was on trial until after all was said and done.
Like a rapist being his own judge, witness, and jury of his own trial against his victim.
They sentenced me to life in hell, not even merciful enough to execute me outright, just a life term of endless, inescapable torture.
Betrayal from all angles, in every imaginable manner of betrayal.
They broaden the definition of betrayal.
Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Like hunting caged animals.
Like waging a war of morality and then bringing bombs and armies, knowing your opponent is only one person and will arrive armed only with words and truth…a clear conscience, an ignorance of the depth of your hatred, naive after everything to the extent of your evil. All while your chosen “opponent” is totally unaware there even is a war at all.
Like pretending to love a wounded animal and giving it just enough time and space to believe for a moment it’s safe, just to make skinning and devouring it easier.
I say they’ve returned.
As if they ever left at all.
The nightmares never leave now. Hell is my life now.
Hope is the only thing that still returns briefly…
just to mock me, then leave again.