PLEASE NOTE: The material contained herein includes content that may offend, disturb and/or distress the reader. HEAVY Trigger Warnings apply. Discretion advised.
“Patient #21635 suffers from extreme depression and high level anxiety, paranoia, severe headaches, nausea, nightmares and night terrors, acute disassociative identity disorder and symptoms of schizophrenia, presumably brought about by childhood trauma…hypnotherapy reveals at least 50 cases of psychological, physical and sexual abuse…patient may or may not have received electro-shock therapy treatment at age 16…”
So it began…
…the heavily edited and censored document labeled ‘Oakleaf Retreat and Rehabilitation Facility – CONFIDENTIAL’ that fell onto my doorstep and into my hands two nights ago in a stained and crumpled envelope that whispered of years gone by. I might have believed it to be some relic of times past, were it not for the crisp white sheeting within…the fresh smell of newly printed ink…the date and signatures revealing just how recently the aforementioned ‘patient’ had become a lab-rat for those who like to call themselves the cremé de la cremé of the Mental Health Board.
“…Patient’s mind seems to be ‘fractured’ into multiple personalities…patient shows some confusion at times as to which of these ‘identities’ is the original core personality and therefore the centre of the patient’s being. It must be noted also that all other ‘masks’ are acutely aware not only of each other, but of the patient’s fragility and need to protect itself, and their collective responsibility to defend the ‘core.’”
There is no shortage of mental illness, institutionalization or incarceration within the Black Family history – in and out-patients lists of some of the most renowned centres for psychological study read like a Who’s Who of the Family Tree at times.
The cases are varied – substance abuse, post-traumatic stress and trauma, temporary insanity…yet none have proven so dire as the diagnoses contained within those ‘stolen’ pages. Particularly since the doctors and therapists within had themselves cautiously advised:
“…continuing patient’s incarceration indefinitely within a sanitarium or facility more equipped to deal with such psychosis – removing patient from medication and allowing them freedom to be amongst people may prove dangerous…”
Somehow…we doubt this advice was heeded.
So…what now? We must ask the pertinent questions of course…who is Patient #21635 and what ‘traumas and abuse’ did they suffer to warrant such diagnoses? By whose hand? Dare we believe that the perpetrators of such gross misconduct against one of our fellow man (and, it seems, an innocent child) did not go unpunished? Is justice ever served, in this world…or within the Black Family?
We can speculate for days, but without delving deeper we will never know. Or perhaps we do…but the truth is far more frightening to us than we care to admit. Perhaps for once, we would prefer to remain ignorant…
I will not lie – when I began to read the pages of these files I had not even the slightest inkling of where they would take me. Like most people – I considered myself immune to the modern day atrocities of man…I liked to think that nothing could shock, hurt, upset…or move me.
I liked to think so…and I’m sure you all do too.
The question now becomes, my friends…do you really want to find out?
Hypnotherapy – Regression Transcript: 9.35pm
Case # 27163 for Patient # 21635
DR MR: ******?
#21635: He’s not here.
MR: Then who am I speaking to?
#21635: Our name isn’t important.
MR: Why is that?
#21635: We exist to protect the core, and the core is our primary focus. We do not need names or identities to do so. We do not need to talk to you.
MR: And where is ******?
#21635: ***** does not want to talk to you.
MR: I’m not going to hurt him.
#21635:: You say so, of course – but you will. You won’t be able to help but hurt him.
MR: Why do you say so?
#21635: You want to delve further into the darkness in order to understand him, in order to understand the enigma of him…but in doing so you’ll shed light on that darkness…and what you see, he will see. We can’t let that happen.
MR: I assure you I only have his best interests at heart. I want to help him.
#21635: No, you want to cure him. And he cannot be cured.
MR: Why don’t you allow him that choice?
#21635: He is not capable of making such choices. If he were, we would not be here.
MR: And who are you?
#21635: I told you, our name is not important.
MR: I would still very much like to know whom I speak to – you know my name, it would be rude of me not to acknowledge you as well.
#21635: *pause* You may call me Belladonna.
MR: That was his Mother’s name.
#21635: It was.
MR: Are you his Mother?
#21635: No. We protect him.
MR: Some would argue that a Mother’s duty is to protect the child.
#21635: Some would. But some are fools.
MR: You don’t think that his Mother protected him?
#21635: If she had, we would not be here.
MR: I see. I would still very much like to talk to ******.
#21635: He’s hiding…
MR: Why is he hiding?
#21635: *long pause* Because he’s looking for me…
Note – Distinct change in posture and tone of patient’s voice, the soft and almost feminine lilt of ‘Belladonna’ seems to have given way to someone much younger, someone slouching, timid and very small. Patient’s body language and expression seems to suggest a child crouched in the shadows.
MR: ******? Is that ******?
MR: *lowers voice to a whisper* Who are you hiding from?
#21635: *waves a hand* He’s looking for me.
MR: Do you mean your Father?
#21635: *nods vigorously, head tilting* There’s a party.
MR: Where are you?
#21635: In my hidey -hole…no one knows it’s here ‘cept me’n *******. They can never find us here. They look all the time but we’re smarter than them.
MR: What kind of party are they having?
#21635: *eyes widen* The bad kind.
MR: Is ******* your friend?
#21635: Yeah. Not a girlfriend *pouts*
MR: Boys can have girls as just friends.
#21635: Yeah *nods*
MR: How old is she?
MR: And you’re six too?
#21635: *frowns* Nuh uh, I’m nearly eight.
MR: Where did you meet *******?
#21635: Next door. She lives next door. Sometimes I go there through the hidey-hole…
MR: Is that a hole in the fence?
#21635: Shhhh…*becoming agitated* They’re coming…
MR: Who’s coming?
Note: At this interval patient seemed to become quite agitated and distressed. Regression was halted and patient brought back to a state of calm before continuing.
Dr MR: *******? Where are you now?
#21635: *whispers* Inside.
MR: Inside the hidey hole?
#21635: *shakes head* No. Inside the house. We’re inside the house.
MR: We? Is there someone else with you?
#21635: *bites lip and nods*
MR: Who’s with you *******?
#21635: …******. And the men.
MR: What men? You mean adults? Are there adults there?
#21635: *nods, tilting head* Big men. We’re at the bad party. They’re making loud noises and yelling and laughing and having lots of the bad drink and breaking things.
MR: Are they drinking alcohol? Is that what they’re doing?
MR: Where’s ******?
#21635: She’s sitting on his lap.
MR: Whose lap?
MR: What is ****** doing?
#21635: She’s looking at me. She wants me to come and get her.
MR: Is ******okay?
#21635: *bites lip* ***’s scared.
MR: Are you scared?
#21635: *nods, face crumpling slightly*
MR: Why is ****** scared, *******?
#21635: *long pause* Because of the talking.
MR: The talking? You mean the conversations that the men are having?
MR: What are they saying?
#21635: Bad things.
MR: What’s happening now?
#21635: ***’s on the table. They’re holding her on the table. They’re…doing things.
MR: Are they hurting her?
#21635: *nods vigorously* They’re pouring the bad drink in her mouth…they’re lifting her dress and…*patient suddenly shrieks and starts coughing*
MR: *******? Are you okay? What’s happening?
#21635: *coughs for a moment* ….drink….
MR: They put the bad drink in your mouth too?
#21635: *nods, face crumpling*….it makes my head funny. It’s…*coughs again*
MR: Are you all right?
#21635: I can fly.
MR: ….because of the alcohol? Was there something else in it?
#21635: My body feels funny.
MR: What’s happening now?
#21635: My Father…he…they’re looking at me. I don’t know what they want…
MR: They want something from you?
#21635: They want me to do something to *** but *shakes head* I dunno what they want…*eyes widen* They keep saying ‘show her…’
MR: Show her what?
#21635: *cries* I dunno…they…they’re moving me…
MR: Where are they moving you, *******?
#21635: I don’t…they put me on ***…she’s little…I’ll squash her…
MR: Are you fighting them?
#21635: They’re too strong. *** is crying…she’s so scared…***…don’t cry…
MR: It’s all right *******…
#21635: No…no they want me to hurt her. My…my father keeps saying ‘do it or we’ll do it to you…’ *shakes head vehemently* I dun wanna hurt her…*eyes widen* There’s a dog!
MR: A dog? You mean like a pet dog?
#21635: *starts shaking his head* No…no…not like a pet dog…no…
MR: *******, where is the dog?
#21635: On the table…it’s…it’s angry. It’ gonna bite ***! Make it stop!
MR: *******, I want you to close your eyes and come away from there…
#21635: No! I can’t go without ***…they…it’s next to her face, they’re…it’s gonna eat her!
#21635: *agitation rising* I’m trying…they…they said to do the bad thing to her and then they’ll take the dog away but…I don’t…I can’t…
MR: *******, there’s no dog, it can’t hurt you…
#21635: *starts sobbing* I can’t help her…***, I’m sorry…I’m sorry…no…don’t touch her…she’s screaming and the dog is trying to bite her…it bit her hand! ***!!
MR: Okay we’re going to count backwards from ten together…
#21635: I don’t know what to do…please….please make it stop…I can’t…IT’S EATING HER FACE!
MR: *******, we’re going to count backwards and when we get to one the dog will be gone…
#21635: *curls into a ball, rocking back and forth and moaning*
MR: *long pause* *******?
#21635: *breathing slows*
MR: Are you all right? *******?
#21635: We told you that you’d hurt him.
*Note – Patient’s demeanour has changed again to someone much older.
#21635: Not exactly. But sure, if that’s what you want to call us.
MR: Where’s *****?
#21635: Where he needs to be, to be safe. We have him now.
MR: What happened to *******?
#21635: Little ******* had a terrible accident with one of the Black Family hunting hounds. Her poor dear little face…
MR: Did she live?
#21635: If you call that living, yes.
MR: And *****? What happened to him?
#21635: *laughs* Nothing happened to him…we were there holding his hand to help him pass over.
MR: You were there?
#21635: We were born there…on that table. If we weren’t, ***** would have died alone.
MR: ….can I ask..?
#21635: You want to know what happened? Why he died?
#21635: *shakes head* No…I don’t think you want to know.
MR: Please. It will help him.
#21635: *laughs* You idiot woman. Do you really think that dragging all this up will help him? Do you honestly think that knowing more than he already does is going to make him better? And for who? For you? For the ‘family’? Or is it that fucking bitch Queen who wants him all wrapped up in a nice box of sanity so she doesn’t have to justify loving a basket-case? Tell me…for whom are we torturing him the most?
MR: It will help him to begin healing…to begin dealing with…
#21635: Dealing with the fact that he should be dead now? That some cruel fate has kept him alive a hundred times over so he can repeat the same sins as his Father?
MR: I can help him…
#21635: Did you know that his little brother was crouched behind a sofa watching? Did you know that ***** saw him…that his father saw him that the fucking bastard told us that if we didn’t behave and do as we were told then the dog would eat **** too?
MR: *long pause* I’m going to count backwards from ten *****, and when I do, you’re going to wake up…
#21635: *laughs* You fucking idiot…you don’t have any idea what you’re doing at all, do you? You’ve made it worse…
#21635: You think you can possibly imagine what they did to him that day? ******* was only the beginning. What do you think a Father would do to a son who could not ‘perform’ even to save the life of a little girl? Or his brother?
#21635: And in front of his friends? Oh no, ****** would never stand for that…never show any signs of weakness…ever…the illusion of class is everything…
#21635: You can be damn sure, you pathetic whore, that there was no doubt in our mind after that day what it was they’d expected of him…they showed us in no uncertain terms.
#21635: They fucked us six ways from Sunday, Doctor dearest…seven men, there were…and when they’d filled every hole til it bled they cut out new ones and fucked those too…and the dog, don’t forget the dog…
#21635: …you can be fucking sure that the dog got a piece of us as well…with four-year-old **** watching behind the sofa, and all the while poor little ***’s faceless body lay twitching beside us. They had to break our fingers to get us to let go of her hand…
Session ended at 11.10pm.
Footnote: “…further sessions yield evidence of sexual penetration from the age of 2 (see Transcript 3), as well as physical torture involving cigarette’s, broken glass and needles. Patient seems to have been injected with various drugs (recreational and medicative) and denied food and water for extended periods of time, there is also evidence of child prostitution and forced participation in the torture and abuse of others. Under regression patient displays an intense fear of dogs and seems to become distressed when the topic of household pets are discussed…Note the various scars and markings upon patient’s body – particularly the arms and upper torso area. These cannot be examined thoroughly without sedation as patient seems to possess a violent aversion to removing clothing for any reason.”
What lies within the human psyche we can never fully know – perhaps it is folly to think we can ever truly understand a person. Perhaps sometimes it is better not to even try.
That we are a troubled society…that is without a doubt. That there are monsters lurking in the shadows of our cities…we can be certain. That children will grow up to repeat the sins of their forebears…well…if the Black Family is anything to go by, it seems an inevitability.
We can only pray that the poison of generations past will eventually disintegrate…that goodness may prevail and that hope, however a tiny flame, may flicker from within the darkness to create something beautiful.
As for Patient #21635…it doesn’t matter who and what they are, in the end. Perhaps it never did…though one is inclined to think that, considering the subject matter and the Family history above, moving forward one could be excused for forgiving said patient almost anything.
**Note – All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.**
Copyright © 2015. Natalie Ristovski.