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King Demon

Accompanied by King Demon

“Can no one understand? Does no one care that it haunts me daily, that I’m stuck in this rut called Memory? I wish someone could help me forget & move on” (age 15).

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I began hearing voices at age fourteen. Raised in a home of strict Christianity, I believed the voices to be demonic activity (up until my bipolar diagnosis at age twenty-one). The whispers of evil suggestions must be temptation, I concluded; the more intense, bold voice was a demon named King because he wished to reign over my life. He haunted my spirit, plagued my thoughts, & poisoned my sanity. His mission is destruction & his methods extend to the darkest corners of the universe.

When voices—plural—overwhelm me, my thoughts are a buzzing blankness, a jumble of nonsense, an overload of every negative emotion in existence. No reality exists beyond the one they paint for me, & it’s never a pleasant picture. When voices plague me, I am overcome by depressive insanity. Desiring an escape, this is often when I self-harm; cutting myself silences the voices, perhaps because the pain grounds me in reality. Without something to break the incessant, evil chatter, I switch slightly to insanity. The voices overtake my mind, & I become helpless, unable to halt their destructive rampage across my mind.

A couple of weeks before tenth grade, I experienced a terrifying moment of such insanity: “I am sitting at my family’s desktop computer. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the scars on my left wrist from the dozens of times I’ve cut myself. It reminds me of all the times Satan has won, & I feel so defeated & small & powerless & weak. Then I glance to my right, & I see my right wrist, clean & unscarred because I have never cut there. I smile, knowing that Satan has not fully won. But then I see scars appear as he flashes a vision where I see my wrist slice open before my very eyes as if I am mentally able to cut myself. These thoughts are not mine, though, yet blood continues to dribble out as if it’s desperate to escape my body.

“Insanity overwhelms me, & I wonder if I even have control over my own thoughts & actions. I grip my forehead, nails digging into my skin as inner screams rattle my mind. I dig my nails into my forehead & my hand slowly moves downward, causing three red lines to appear. Once again, I felt no control over myself, like I did not just scratch my own face open. What is happening to me!?” (age 15).

The attacks persisted for the majority of my underclassmen high school years, voices overtaking all sanity & destroying all sense of self.

When king—the singular voice in my head—appears, it’s not an overwhelming sensation, at first. He whispers some conclusions about my circumstances, such as My friends are never there for me, so I must not be worth anybody’s time, & Every relationship ends in pain, so why bother continuing a game I’ll never win? & Everything ends in death, so why not bring it on sooner if I’m miserable & don’t want life? From there it’s an intense yet often unnoticed spiral of thoughts, quickly concluding with suicidal ideations that sound more alluring than any glory life could provide. His slippery voice suggests annihilation that seems completely logical in the moment. After all, if I’m miserable, & I’m making those around me miserable, & I’m eventually going to die anyways, what’s the problem with deciding to die sooner than later? The logic of it is comforting, a possible end in sight filling my spirit with dark hope.

I recognized this happening in tenth grade: “Today, king instructs me to take my entire bottle of vicodin pills—to overdose & kill myself. [My best friend] points out that most people don’t even feel a temptation; they just do the sin without recognizing a tempting going on at all. On the other hand, I hear the temptation as king creeps up to my ears & whispers enticingly. Existence has felt like a horror movie for so long. Normalcy is exhausting. Each day ends in emptiness & exhaustion” (age 15).

A year later I took his suggestion & overdosed on vicodin:

“Death has never felt so real, so close. It taunts & teases as it pulls me in then pushes me back. Mind reels, churning with anxiety. I desire a union with death once & for all. Ending this madness of existence is all my soul truly craves. My Creator dwells in a higher place, & that is where I want to be. Earth holds nothing for me. Hurt haunts every corner of this land, darkened by the cruelty & selfishness & arrogance of the human race & his worst enemy, that fiend of the Creator.

“My head swirls, mind spiraling into a black hole without an end. I throw my wishes & final thoughts into the night, into an empty well. It is without a bottom, found in an abandoned field surrounded by dying wheat three feet high. With every other word, I hear the clinking sound of pennies hit the walls of that well, so hollow & desolate & hopeless. There is no sustenance to feed what is left of my soul. My sanity sinks away with every lost penny.

“It grips me, this blackness. Drowsiness substitutes for consciousness as breathing becomes more of a challenge. My heart rate increases with every laboured breath I take. I have craved death for some time now. I have wished for it, beckoned to it, & even chased it. Now, I have found it, even if partially. Unconsciousness devours me, & I label sleep as death in hopes of it being precisely that.

“Sixteen hours of night & day swallow me. I awaken to the filth of insanity that is my consciousness. My stomach aches. It feels like acid is gnawing away at my innards. Death is the one thing that seems real in my life yet it continuously avoids me.”

Devastated by my failure, I rest off the sickness plaguing my body. I regretted not taking more pills, not somehow trying harder to die; I regretted my existence even then as I survive my first suicide attempt.

A week & a half later, I reflected on the event during a conversation with a close friend: “It was a ridiculous feeling of insanity, & I popped a dozen vicodin pills. I wanted to die, & I was going to take more but I was already going CRAZY… sweating & fainting & puking & shaking… I threw up for ten hours straight, & I still have a ridiculous migraine from it. I feel dead. I see nothing in this world worth waking up for. I don’t even know HOW to wake up” (April 2010).

Depression dragged on, now with a disgustingly concreted statement about myself: I was a failure; all I did eventually failed; now, I’d even failed with death.

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