We all have them: demons. I’m not talking your classic spiritual spook, or satanic specter. I’m referring to our inner feelings, the ones that stay covered under masks of supposed normalcy. If you think you’re the only one who walks with these horrible thoughts, and feelings, you are mistaken. Every single soul who walks this earth, who has ever walked this earth, who will walk this earth even after we are long gone, has these demons. It is something deep within the human psyche which we all are a part.
You may say “but you don’t understand, the feelings I have make me the worst person.”
No. Let me start by saying the thoughts you have, no matter what they are, do not define you as a person. We all have dark thoughts. Some have pitch black thoughts. Our brains are incredible, complex machines that we’re still working to understand, but even here and now we know that what thoughts pass through your brain do not make you a bad person.
Thoughts of murder, suicide, bigotry, sexual fantasies, things that you believe would make the collective world stop and gasp in horror, these are all thoughts people have, from the lowliest peasant to the mightiest King, and everyone in between. Every human being fights with, on some level, these thoughts and feelings every day.
Most people manage to put on a brave face every day, and they fight those thoughts. Sometimes, those feelings are blessedly asleep, and don’t bother you. Then there are the times when they torment you day and night, and you just want to curl up in a ball and cry, or much, much worse.
I can only speak for society here in the U.S., but it’s something we actively hide from one another. For some reason, having such thoughts is seen as a weakness, and admitting it even worse. It’s an awful, terrible situation, because people who wish to seek help cannot without experiencing life changing stigma, and so they go untreated. Those people self-medicate, and some decide it’s not worth being here at all, because who would love a monster? Yes, I would bet nearly all of us have had the “I’m a monster” thought pass through our heads at least once in our lives. Some of us have it every day.
Why this discussion?
As I said in a previous post, September is Suicide Awareness & Prevention month. I want you to know right now that no matter what thoughts have passed through your head, no matter what feelings have formed in your heart, you are not a monster. Like so many of us, you simply think things you would never act upon. It is so very human. So human. I realize that is difficult to believe, because there is a culture out there that seeks to silence and squelch all of those who don’t follow a set pattern they consider “normal.”
My friend, there is no such thing. Oh, sure, there are acceptable patterns of thought that get called normal, but keep this in mind: all throughout history, “normal” has changed with each generation. 50 years ago, it was normal to look at women as inferior to men. 150 years ago, it was normal to see a person of color as property to white men. 500 years ago, burning a person was an acceptable way to expel their witchery. 1,000 years ago, the acceptable way of thinking was to murder all who opposed your god.
In 100 years, I know that normal will once more have changed, even as it changes now. Just because you have thoughts that fall outside of what some consider “normal” does not make you abnormal, does not make you a monster, does not make you someone undeserving of love. When you are next out and about where you see other people, just know that behind the smiles, behind the frowns, behind the impassive faces, the stern looks, the judging eyes, there, too, is someone holding their demons at bay, and it is all within them that they should fear you will find them out, and that they will be exposed as some kind of fraud.
That is what so many of us fear, I wager, that we should be seen as frauds, as “not-people.” That, too, is a demon, one that is so ever pervasive, and even moreso in this day and age of instant anger and judgment against others.
You are not alone, you are not a monster for dealing with your demons, or for having bad thoughts and feelings, nor are you unworthy of love because of what passes through your mind. Thoughts and feelings, alone, do not make you unworthy of anything. Please don’t feel you have to bring harm to yourself because you have them.
Oh, and those people I mentioned before? The ones who demand we all be normal their way? They have those thoughts, too, and it terrifies them.
In love and peace,