I find I have become an expert at hiding emotion. It’s the only thing I can hold onto, that I don’t give them the satisfaction of laughing at my tears, or cumming to them. Blank is good. Neutral is good. He finds fault and when any expression can lead to a beating, it’s better to have none. Although sometimes he’ll beat me for that anyway. What’s the fuck’s wrong with you you stupid fucking bitch? Not got anything to say for yourself?
I have nothing to say for myself. My lips remain sealed, there are no words - if there were to be any they would be the wrong ones and lead to more trouble. Talk is, largely, futile. There are words in my head, sometimes, but I stop saying them and sometimes they don’t connect with what’s happening anyway.
What’s inside and what’s outside cease to match up.
I can do blank and I can do detached. But sometimes it’s more than that, sometimes I manage neither but something wildly inappropriate, bearing no relation to what’s happening or how I’m feeling, will out. It’s like all of the expressions of emotion have jumbled into one big mess, firing off at random. So sometimes in the direst circumstances, about to be beaten and raped I’ll laugh, a kind of whatcha gonna do? Which infuriates him or makes him tell me I’m mental. I talk to myself aloud sometimes, apparently, I’m not aware of it until I’m told to shut the fuck up, poems and odd words, comfort words. Rare indeed are the times I’ll cry. I throw up a lot, pass out a lot, play distraction games: reciting mantras, spelling out every third letter of each word, or every word coming at me or spoken over me, thinking in colours or numbers or rhyme.
I’ll smile at times, because I’m told to for the camera or to please the punters, the threat of violence always in the air. It’s a killer, smiling for your abusers, it’s been so long since I’ve really smiled and the pain is at times so great that I don’t know if I’m smiling or grimacing. Showing your teeth, something apes do when they’re scared. Sounds about right, although I kind of get beyond scared – out the other side, a light headed dizzying detachment. You can’t survive if you acknowledge the true danger – can’t live knowing you could die at any time.
I wear a mask at any rate beyond the pulling of the facial muscles – my makeup, heavy makeup for the most part. It’s covering dark circles beneath my eyes and bruises, making the mouth they’ll be fucking more prominent, easy to find, eyelashes thickened and lengthened. Got to please the punters! They don’t want to see past damage or dirt, just the damage and dirt they’ve caused, a part of their conquest, though they’ll ignore bruising between the legs as long as it’s squeaky clean. Of course, often your pain is their pleasure – when they don’t want you to smile but want you to cry. Wiping up the tears and the cum those times they get what they want, having done what it took, feeling the sickness of selling yourself out.
I am in body, out of body, detached, terrified, numb, in pain, sick, drunk, drugged, concussed, injured, sleep deprived, starving… it’s no surprise I guess in retrospect that the emotions should get out of kilter and, further, the facial expressions should become detached from the emotions. This isn’t a tv drama or a film, where the female lead weeps unsnotty silent tears and utters powerful and articulate monologues to a sympathetic audience at the appropriate moment, unveiling herself. This is daily, monotonous torture pure and simple and the consequent breaking down of patterns of emotions. Splitting, PTSD, get in the way of straightforward cause and effect feelings and expressions of emotions. Something triggers the head and it’ll be freeze, laugh cry or vomit as head and body re-live, irrespective of what’s actually happening in realtime. Confusing and nonsensical to an outside perspective.
It is true to say I am hard. Sometimes. But I am also soft, vulnerable. Most people have emotions but emotions have me: different head, different emotion. I am not Angel sad, Angel angry, I am Sad, I am Angry, the main continuity as Angel being that these heads inhabit the same body. To some people, I seem hard and cold, able to speak seemingly without emotion about horror and loss. In fact the very opposite is true: I split, I hardened, I detached, laughed hysterically and inappropriately because I am human, because I am vulnerable. Surviving in traumatic conditions, body and mind do what they have to do to get through, to protect themselves. My unusual reactions are not proof that I am heartless or cold. They are proof that I am human and have remained human. I built a shell around myself, the hard protecting the soft. Remaining vulnerable and open and dying, or closing off and surviving. I made my choice. Tell me you’d have done it differently.