Degree of Writhing

She was impaled by a person. Along with the act, she was informed that she would remain there and that the means to remove her would be withheld. She was informed that should she appeal to others who would contact the impaler for collateral information, that she would be described as malign, foul and unwanted. A few others who knew what was in store for her promised their support and help.

She was impaled for all to see.

She writhed and contorted and struggled to reach something that could be used to wrench herself loose. Those who promised help disappeared and did not answer her calls for support. They did not help, and they did not call on others to help.

She found herself alone.

The pain, the agony and suffering were unbearable, just as the impaler intended.

But the place of impalement was strategically designed to cause the slowest dying possible, and was designed not to make death come earlier. It was executed to cause the maximum degree of suffering with full realization of the fate and future of the impaled writher.

One by one, and sometimes concurrently, the impaled person used up her means of escape. She learned that to struggle was futile. To writhe more actively only increased pain and fatigue. She couldn’t get to sleep, couldn’t stay asleep, and she awoke very early. Sleep soon became no escape and provided no rest.

Years passed, and on she writhed and agonized.

At this point, she realized that she was out of all resources, and she called out for help from learned helpers.

The highly credentialed, learned helpers poked and prodded and caused even more agonizing pain as they slowly and methodically assessed her symptoms. Although she repeatedly told them that she was impaled – Look! I need people who are qualified to remove what’s holding me fast to free me – they ignored her begging and pleas.

The learned helpers decided that her writhing and grimaces and pleas for help could all be treated as symptoms of depression. She was told that she was going to be treated for her pessimism and refusal to believe in hope. She was forcibly medicated and restrained so that the writhing was contained. She was told that treatment was to keep her safe.

As she adjusted to the medication, she saw her body react to the derangements done it by the sedating, restraining chemicals. She struggled to writhe and react to the agony of the raw and festering wound. But she learned to be silent and to deny that suffering to the learned helpers lest they inflict more restraint, punishment, containment and contribute to her agony.

Some helpers came only to stare. Some to ridicule. Others to condemn. A few saw opportunities for sadism, and they kicked her, made open fun of her and reported to the treating learned helpers falsities designed to induce the learned helpers to inflict more treatment and up the induced agony.

Some of her treatment involved being instructed on how her thoughts were negative and to employ strategies to replace negative thoughts with hopeful ones. Another treatment involved instruction on maintaining distress tolerance. Both of these considered writhing as something to be abolished. Neither strategy dealt with removing the wounding weapon and treating the gaping, festering, infected wound.

It was apparent that this situation was permanently incompatible with life. She decided that instead of struggling any longer to free herself, that she would instead, simply try to find a means to achieve a painless and peaceful death.

But the learned helpers decreed that this was evidence that she was psychotic. Therefore, she would be contained until she was deemed “safe”. But the definition of safe was solely that she would not try to end her life.

Safe did not apply to all of the others who were content to have her suffer or to contribute to her agony and suffering. Safe did not mean a secure home, safe did not equate with a means by which to support herself, safe did not mean acceptance and welcome by others she deemed potential neighbors, coworkers, friends, physicians.

She was told that there are many treatments for her symptoms. She learned that they conflated treatment with efficacious, benign, therapeutic and beneficial. She learned that treatments were risky, dangerous, caused temporary and permanent harm, and did not address the causes of the symptoms.

She was told that the learned helpers decided on treatments based on their professional judgment. She learned that treatments are determined largely on the whims and beliefs of the learned helpers, and often they are chosen to punish the person for their audacity to exhibit distress and to admit that their underlying problems are not being helped.

And so she remains impaled, actively looking for the means by which to give herself a painless and peaceful death while all around her, the means to remove her from being impaled are withheld.

She remains a freak, a pariah, and an untouchable. Indeed, when she was contained and forcibly medicated, no one touched her except to wield a needle and crowd her into a locked cell sans furniture – no window, a security camera, a cage. Just herself impaled.

No one spoke to her except to poke, prod and exacerbate her awareness of her suffering by ongoing clinical assessments, each designed only to elicit symptoms and to ignore root causes.

So as the means to achieve a quick and painless death are not within reach, she has decided to passively bring about her death by no longer eating.

She remains out of sight knowing that no one will look for her. No one wants to see because when they do catch a glimpse, it angers and disgusts them to see her writhing in their midst. It is not pretty, being associated with her could cause a risk of social or work harm (guilt by association), and she has been deemed worthless.

She can’t wait until it’s over, and she looks forward to being too weak to writhe, too weak to comprehend the agony and too weak to care. Those signposts mean that the total and permanent end of her hell at the end of the learned helpers’ road of good intentions is finally within reach.

10 thoughts on “Degree of Writhing

  1. She remains out of sight knowing that no one will look for her. No one wants to see because when they do catch a glimpse, it angers and disgusts them to see her writhing in their midst. It is not pretty, being associated with her could cause a risk of social or work harm (guilt by association), and she has been deemed worthless

    Aek. I am not angry and disgusted. I just want to help is all and all I ever wanted to do … not through gullt, just because I like and liked you. I am still here and will still try to help you find help if you reach out to me but I won’t foist myself on you. Please take care of yourself, aek. I think you are worthy and always have. You know that.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Have ‘lost’ a few friends over the years who chose to end their life. Appreciate your creative n’ heartful post/story, helps me to heal up some.
    Today a rather well written article on ‘segmented’ sleep by holistic adult n’ child psychiatrist, Dr. Judy Tsafrir landed in my inbox, perhaps of interest:

  3. Still here, aek. Not ‘stalking,’ or ‘foisting myself on you…’ just letting you know you can reach out, should you wish to. anna

  4. Aek. Something’s on my mind I need to share w/ you – wherever you may be – I hope you see this. If not, whatever. No need for you to respond, unless you want to, which so far, hasn’t been the case – still here, not forcing anything…anyway I had an experience recently that brought you to mind – have grandtwins, in the NICU… I have watched these critical care nurses tend to them and ‘save them’ almost daily. I met the nurse manager when she came in to speak with their mom and dad, and I was blown away – by her procedural and medical knowledge, her command of what’s happening there, and her ability to be compassionate and responsive all at once. I thought of you, in your position as a critical care nurse, and was astounded at the talent and knowledge you must have to have been in that position – regardless of what you are doing now, I was humbled, after meeting her. Maybe you think I’m ‘nuts’ to see the worth in you- so be it – I just wanted to let you know that to do that kind of work you must have been an extraordinary nurse and professional – be proud of that, no matter what. anna

  5. Thank you for articulating, so eloquently and accurately, where I find myself. Lost my little sister years ago, along the very same path. Couldn’t even help her because of people with those very same “good intentions” you speak of. Thank you, for the validation of my current choice – to go it alone and stop reaching out. They think they mean well, but it’s really just too scarey for them to let go of their false beliefs. & assumptions. At least, that is how I maintain some empathy & forgiveness for them.

    • Hi Russ:

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so terribly sorry that you’re experiencing any of this. Perhaps one or more of the references on my disastrously sloppy, but sometimes useful, reading list page might be of some interest and provide some degree of affirmation and comfort.



  6. aek,
    Thank you, for the simple act of acknowledgement. Obviously the genders are reversed. Just having another soul, strong enough to accept rather than gas-light via their own denial, helps in some way. Some of your reading list has overlapped my own.
    Thank you for the information you share. That shows true courage in my experience.

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