Silent Scream

September 30, 2009

Silent Scream
April 15, 2008

Over there. In the corner. Do you see her? That’s the woman I’m talking about. Every day at this time she comes out here, and sits on that particular bench for an hour. She never talks to anyone, never brings anyone, never does anything. Just sits there and watches the people go by. Sometimes I don’t even think she really sees them. She seems so gone.
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Sometimes I wonder if I’m even really here. I see the people walk by and they remind me of a time when I thought anything was possible. I believed in dreams. Now I know better. The only people who reach their dreams are the ones who lie. They claim it was always their dream to do this or be that, but I know better. They were stuck in that place, and to make themselves feel better they claim they’re happy. That this was their dream. Lies. I watch them.

Every night before they go to bed they tell themselves, “This is what I wanted. This is what I’ve worked so hard for. I’m happy. Happy.” And every morning when they wake up and begin to feel suffocated they tell themselves, “I’m happy. Happy.” They lie to themselves so much, they begin to think it’s the truth. That’s when you they’re gone. Zombies on autopilot. That’s what I call them. They all breakdown eventually. They have to. They’re like pressure cookers just waiting for the timer to go off. They refuse to acknowledge this though and just keep pushing forward, telling themselves if they can just make it to the next place, the next job, the next goal, they’ll be alright.

I know this because I was once like them.

Once upon a time, I too had dreams. I too believed I could do anything I set my mind to. Of course I was also foolish enough to believe in heroes. Heroes don’t exist, and neither do dreams. Not in reality anyways. There is no such thing as individuality. There is only conformity. To not conform is to die. Don’t believe me? Try it. If you’re not feeling brave enough to risk your own life, look through history to find true individuals. You won’t find any. The few that are named died young. Why is that? Because they refused to conform.

You think I’m wrong, don’t you? Probably think I’m crazy too. That’s ok. One day you’ll either conform and believe your own lies, or you’ll die. Simple as that.
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I asked my dad about her. He said that at one time she was amazing. Brilliant, full of aspirations, ambitious, strong-willed, and independent. He said that all ended after a series of misfortunes. She just gave up. Isolated herself from everyone she knew, then had a breakdown from hell, culminating in her current state of being. He says it’s like she just said, “Fuck you, I quit.” to the whole world. Kinda sad. Makes you wonder what happened, doesn’t it?
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When I was a young girl, I wanted to be President of the United States. No joke. What’s even funnier is that I really thought I could be. On top of that grandiose dream, I wanted to be both the world’s best criminal mastermind, and the world’s brightest cop- fighting crime and bringing justice to the walking wounded. I figured why not have the best of both worlds? I grew up knowing I was a nonconformist. Which should have been what tipped me off that I wasn’t ever going to make it.

By the time I went to college I was under this grand illusion that I could make a difference. I could change the world. What a fool I was. I argued philosophy, studied psychology, and immersed myself in politics and law. My greatest argument was that Love was the all-consuming end all, be all. I believed that Love was the greatest power on earth, and that there was nothing stronger. It’s polar opposite was not Hate, but Pain, and that everything in the world revolved around their cycling relationship to one another. I had my heart broken. My world crashed around me. My world was now revolving around Pain.

It was at this point in time that the split in my differing personalities became clearly evident. I was arguing with myself, tormenting myself constantly. I was and I wasn’t. Barely making it through the day, I would spend my nights either crying or rocking myself into a kind of blackness. A silence of pain, because I knew no words to speak my pain. It was also at this time that I decided to move, start over fresh, re-create myself into someone I could at the very least live with, and to dream again.
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My mom says she’s always been half-crazy. Only now she’s full-crazy. Said she went to high school with her. She was always getting into fights and all kinds of trouble. She was the kind of girl that you either loved or hated. You couldn’t be neutral when it came to her. You had to admire her strength though, she said. She didn’t take crap from anyone or anything. She was a rebel, and she knew it.
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They say the greatest fires in our time are the ones that burn out at a young age. They cite Kurt Cobain, Joan of the Arc, and Elvis Presley, just to name a few. I disagree with some of their choices, but agree with that statement. It goes back to the conformity thing. You either conform, or you die. This world is terrified of individuality, though they make you believe you are. “You want to show you’re an individual, not part of the crowd! So wear Vans sneakers today!” Advertising and the media are notorious for telling you how to be an individual, and you know what? Everyone buys into it. So ironically, what you do to be an individual, only shows your conformity to the masses. That goes for you punks, emos, goths, preps, skaters, jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, geeks, stoners, ravers, druggies, and gangsters. If I missed a group, forgive me. It’s been a while since I’ve been a part of that world.

The last time I was a part of that world was when I was serving in the military. That’s when all hell broke loose. I joined to get away and collect myself. To start that process of re-creating myself. You have to understand I was a very broken individual.

I did it. I re-created myself. I learned to like me, and built dreams again. Then I struggled as the whole world turned on me again. “Individualists must die!”, they cried and I turned my back to the wall and fought viciously. I fought as long and as hard as I could, but I had limited resources and support. They, being the world, had limitless resources and infinite sources for support. It was very obvious that I was going to lose. Not that it matters, but let me tell you just a portion of the hell I went through.

I became very sick and was denied medical treatment. Their reasoning was that it would cost too much money when they didn’t know if I’d make it through training anyway, and then it would set me back in training. I didn’t want that, did I? The naive me said, “Of course not.” Then I went through a brutal rape that left me in bruises from my head to my toes. Do you know the military turned a blind eye? Refused to admit there was a problem and anything they could do? They refused to help me even get through training. I was forced to go through this period of numbness on my own. It was further compounded when I suffered a miscarriage, of which I was again denied proper medical treatment. I still chose to persevere, because after all, I was strong, and could do anything I wanted to, right?

Right?
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My uncle came into town last night! I was talking to him about that woman and he knows her too. Turns out he dated her! He said she was fun-loving, charismatic, a beauty. She loved to laugh and he loved to make her laugh. She went through hell he said, but he wouldn’t talk about the specifics. He just said that she always pulled through, and she always bounced back. Then one day she just stopped. She wouldn’t let him be there for her, wouldn’t talk to him, wouldn’t let him see her, nothing. He said it was the blackest day ever. He said it was like one of the world’s greatest people had just died, but he was the only one who knew it.
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Every time they tried to take me out of the race, I’d push harder, fight harder, and I always won. Even when those closest to me didn’t think I could do it, lost faith in me, I still persevered. I proved to the world that you could in fact, do anything you set your mind to. I started to believe my own lies.

One day they tried to take me out of the race again. I had been through so much, without anything to hold on to, that I was tired. Tired of constantly fighting; tired of conniving my way through it; tired of being taken advantage of; tired of being abused; tired of being. I had been used for so long now, the will to fight had been sapped out of me. I remember as though it was only yesterday. I broke down in my room privately. I had been suffering from insomnia the past few nights anyway. I tried to call someone who I thought might be able to help, but their phone was off. It was at this point that I knew. Enlightenment set in and everything made sense. Heroes and dreams did not exist. It was conformity or death. Everything I had tried so hard to do, was for naught. In that respect, I was a failure.

Now while you sleep at night, I move silently from one world to the next. I spend so much time in solitude, and away from everyone that I have to make myself come down here every day. Even if all I do is spend an hour on this bench watching you walk by, I have to come. It’s the only way I ever remember that I still exist. I feel the sunlight on my skin, the breeze through my hair, and I remember. I remember who I used to be, back when I still believed in dreams.

I would have screamed that night I came to all these realizations. I would have screamed  if I could have made a sound. Instead all I could do was cry and rock myself. Rock myself into another state of mind, another presence of being. That’s how I know; how I know the truth.

It’s conformity or death. Conformity or death. You choose.
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You remember that woman I’ve been talking about? She died last night. She came down here last night and sat on that bench. Then she fell asleep and never woke up. Do you know how many people’s lives she affected? I didn’t until this morning. It seems as though the whole world was mourning. I wonder if she knew that all these people cared? I wonder if that would have made any difference? My uncle is going to sing at her memorial service. When he picked the song I thought he was nuts, but he says it’s a song she’d approve of. He says she would have found it very appropiate that that particular song would be sung at her death. He’s  going to sing “Mad World”.
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All rights reserved, 2008, DeAnne Evans.

Mad World
by Tears for Fears

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
And their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous

Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very
Mad world.

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