If It Hurts, Push On It.
“She’s trying to kill us!”
Silently he pleaded with me, our eyes locked together in connected agony as I bent to follow her orders, doing exactly what I was told even though it was excruciating to keep moving. I knew I had no choice.
“I know”, my eyes said back to his. “We can get through this though. It’s going to be okay.”
The funny thing is, I’d seen him so many times before. A stranger with a familiar face; we’d never spoken a single word. You know how you just ignore people in familiar environments for YEARS sometimes? No reason to talk before. But this, this was different. We were going THROUGH something, and neither of us knew if we were going to make it. Our tormentor saw our pain and seemed to almost thrive on it. What a fucking bitch this girl was!
I hated her.
Suddenly he sank to his knees, spent; unable to go on. “Keep going!” my eyes begged him. “We’re in this together!”. I mentally sent him some of my energy and it seemed to work, because he picked himself up and continued to follow command.
I returned my focus to myself. Keep breathing. Stay calm. Don’t give in to the anxiety, the panic, the need to escape. It was going to be okay. Over and over I repeated little mantras to myself; mantras I’ve used so many times before to change my state and achieve the task at hand, but keeping yourself focused on WORK is one thing. Trying not to completely fucking meltdown when under captive command of a wannabe Nazi fucking dictator is another thing.
It will be okay, it will be okay, you can do this, I said to myself, even as I felt the symptoms of nervous system shock start to set in. I suddenly felt freezing, as though I had goosebumps, even though I was sweating profusely – fuck, it was dripping off me; almost as though I was under a shower – and despite the fact that it was well over 40 degrees Celsius in this prison of a room, never mind the fucking HUMIDITY that followed you round like a second skin everywhere you went in this country.
From somewhere my mind dredged up a little fact:
“If you go cold in a hot room you’re going into shock. You need to stop”.
I couldn’t, though, could I? We’d come this far and who knew what would happen if I submitted to the screaming wishes of my terrified mind. Who knew what she’d do, and whether I’d ever get up again off that floor!
I wasn’t prepared to risk it.
I kept going. Breathe. Move. Breathe. Follow orders. No, no, no – do it properly! Do it as instructed! Stop trying to avoid the pain, YOU CAN’T AVOID THE PAIN. And I couldn’t, I knew I couldn’t. It was following me everywhere by this point; part of me. My head was spinning. I thought I might pass out. My vision was slightly blurry and it was all I could do not to run for the door.
But what was the point? I knew I couldn’t; knew it wasn’t even worth considering.
Never in my LIFE had I felt such constant, relentless, demanding, excruciating, wrenched from the depths of my SOUL, pain. Well, maybe childbirth, but you fucking go into that expecting it! And besides, you have people there to help you and they’re there to get you PAST the pain. This bitch wanted to push me – and all of us – INTO the pain.
She was proud of it!
“There’s NOWHERE FOR YOU TO ESCAPE”, she said; freakishly reading my thoughts. “The only place for you to go is within”.
I couldn’t help it; I rolled my eyes and then quickly changed my expression in case she saw me and singled me out. She was right though; the only place to go was within. I went within. I had very little awareness of what everyone else in the room was doing; fuck I couldn’t help anyone else if I collapsed; could I?! I did notice that my companion of the silent eye screams had fallen prey though. He wasn’t moving. I didn’t even know if he was breathing.
I went deeper within.
It was useless to try and fight it, I realised that now.
Succumb, I told myself.
She wants to see you bleed, fine! Let her! Show the bitch what you can handle. Show YOURSELF what you can handle, you might as well walk out of here knowing you gave it some SASS.
If you walk out of here at all, I didn’t say to myself.
The thing I couldn’t understand, is that she seemed like a nice normal chick. And this place; I came here all the time! Nobody ever treated me like this before … I thought I was safe here. I thought I knew what I was doing here. I thought I could show up here, put my time in, and SURE push myself to make it count, but I didn’t expect to walk in, straight off an international flight for God’s sakes, and be fucking locked up and TORTURED, with no respite, no care for what the heat was doing to us; fuck she hadn’t even cracked a window or anything.
She clearly wanted to take this all the way.
Well, fine! I could play that game too.
My mind went back to the plea of my fellow captive. She was trying to kill us. There really WAS no denying it, and finally I just did what I’d been fighting for minutes now, and just – let go.
And suddenly it hit me:
What a fucking GIFT this torture was.
It was the.single.most.EXCRUCIATING thing I’d experienced all year, and possibly all LIFE (yes, giving birth aside!) and if I was honest (and to BE honest I’m kinda reluctant to admit this) –
I loved every second of it, and it was probably the best thing I’d had happen to me all year.
DO YOUR BEST BITCH! is what I was really saying even as I shot daggers at her with my eyes when she made for the door as though to give us respite and then instead turned the heat UP.
Was this what Stockholm syndrome felt like?
Was I falling in love with my captor?
Did I WANT her to keep doing this to me?! Fuck, I really was losing my shit but the truth is HELL TO THE YES I DID. I wanted her to bleed every DROP from me and never.back.down. I can’t deny it, I LIKED the pain, I WANTED the pain, and most of all I BELIEVED in the pain and I KNEW –
This is going to change things.
I’m not going back from this.
And when I walk out that door AND I WILL WALK OUT I’m going to have to admit some serious shit to myself about avoidance, and playing the safe game.
I was moving faster now. Bodies were all around me. My silent comrades, fallen. It was clear that there wasn’t much more to be given in this room; it would have to end soon. Only 2 of us remained.
We can make it.
I felt myself slip into another place.
I was high now, the pain was fueling me. I was one with that fucker and even though I still hated HER I was also starting to really, really love her. I pushed myself harder. I was going to go out going all in, or die trying. My focus was insane, I was operating on another plane entirely; snapping my body in and out as she continued to bark commands, her voice sickly sweet and in direct defiance to the quick and accurate response it commanded.
I didn’t care.
I kept going.
Faster. Tougher. More precise.
I was flying. THIS was what it was all about. This was how it was supposed to BE. This was what I WANTED, damnit; why hadn’t they given it to me before?! Why had I told myself that good enough was even REMOTELY fucking acceptable when clearly what I NEEDED was to be stripped down, laid bare, and given a working over the likes of which yes I WAS terrified of but also which I CRAVED. And most of all what I needed was to work MYSELF over.
To GO within, just like she said. Fuck she was good!
I was lost in admiration, and wonder, even as I kept moving, kept going, didn’t dare stop; knew that if I did I WOULD hit that floor like the rest of them.
And then suddenly, just like that, it was over.
Almost gentle now, she quietly instructed us to stay still for at least a few minutes.
And she left, with one simple word –
What a fucking BITCH, I thought.
I LOVE HER.
And as I made my way downstairs, legs shaking violently and head still spinning, my mind was filled with a single focused thought:
“I have to check what time she’s teaching tomorrow.”
Life is Now. Press Play.
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