A Wound of the MindMature

A poem about the stigma displayed by wider society towards individuals suffering from mental health issues.


"No," said they, "We must see to believe --

Our hospitals have all wounds accounted for.

But a wound of the mind is a wound unseen

And therefore isn't a wound at all."

 

Life's a bitch, then you die

What's this, the pain you feel inside your mind

The wound ripped open with each spiked word

Until the night brings respite

And suicide

 

I don't know where this story began.

Perhaps it was when I sat, curled, in the centre of the corridor

Crying, mortified, shaken, surprised

At the cruelty of that brazen bitch, knowing that she had more

Than just that to offer, should I take it.

 

Or maybe it began earlier than that

In which case it is forgot-

ten in the dusty recesses of my dark mind

Hidden under layers of hurt and hate, for ever lost

Under the closing waters of my subconscious.

 

I remember that first attack of panic, that first hit

Water on my face and knees upon the ground

In a devotional, humble show of prayer

Yet I was dumb, no sound

Would escape my lips as I prayed to this new 'god', Fear.

 

"Silly bitch" says You, when what little You know is biased,

"Spoiled brat, stupid First-World whinge, dumb girl

O, there's far worse than some episode of depression

-- There's famine, and Fascism, and a fucked-up world

Right outside our window. Pick yourself up, attention-seeker."

 

Like Hell I know you're right. But have you ever been

In the mind-forged chains of your own self-doubt and fear?

The darkness and the hopelessness that consumes your life

The attacks you wring on yourself, in silence, damned not to shed a single bloody tear

-- You're in public, attention-seeker

 

And what of the unexplained ache and pain inside your body

As the depression rips your happiness from your whole?

And have You felt the wretched despair

As the lights turn out in your soul?

Can you help any of this? It controls you

 

You know sometimes at night

When I lay awake in the one lit window

A lighthouse beacon in the miserable darkness

I waited for the next attack to come, though

I hoped, still, that light would save me.

 

Every hope is delusional in that twilit world.

Every chance of escape comes crashing down

Every nice gesture is a fake pretence from those who surround you

You become introvert, a slave to your own fears, trodden into the very ground

By your own imagination.

 

You wouldn't see it, though.

Covering the mutilated being I have become sits a mask

The Carnival, the Fete, the Fool's Comedy

I probably wouldn't tell you even if you asked

But that's taboo to You, isn' it? You don't like that kind of talk, do You?

 

It's all right. I know you now. I can understand

Why you don't understand. I now act as you act.

Your pity repulses me. I can get along fine on my own.

I'm asking you something very important: Because the crap

I endure from you is the other battle I fight.

 

"Insane. Psycho. Fucking attention-seeking creep."

Then there's "Disorder. Syndrome." Those two

And many, many more.

You have to label me - us. I see you.

And I've learnt why you think like you do.

 

But how can we advance with prejudices like the aforementioned?

Is this not the Twenty-First Century?

You said you were largely past things like racism and homophobia.

And you are. Well done. But what about these

-- who have been part of your Society since it began?

 

You outcasted them. They were dirt

Dead to you. Too 'weird' to comprehend.

You did the same for thousands of years.

Them, their possessions, their family and friends

Treated with suspicion. Unless they pretended to have nothing to do with them.

 

You're afraid of us because we suffer in ways you cannot see.

Tortured by our own minds. The fears, the doubts, the inside battles

And you don't make it any easier for us, do you? After all, we're 'crazy'.

And yet, should we admit our weakness to you, you would wantonly crush us to tatters

Unaware that we take our support system to heart -- as you do.

 

We are hard to understand. And I grant you that.

But you don't have to hate me for what I endure.

 

"No," said they, "We must see to believe --

Our hospitals have all wounds accounted for.

But a wound of the mind is a wound unseen

And therefore, isn't a wound at all."

The End

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