I opened my eyes. It was mid-day, like any other. My brother, oddly, was on the floor next to my bed. He looked like he was taking an afternoon nap, though he wasn’t exactly sleeping yet.
”You should stop being so indecisive.”
"You should stop trying to take over my life."
"Then why are you trying to take over mine?"
"Because you’re making irrational decisions right now and I’m trying to help you since you’re the one who asked for help?"
My brother got very angry. His facial expression had changed to one with severe discontentment. He grabbed the post of my bed with his hands, while still being on the floor - and wildly shook it with all of his might.
My brother was starting to behave like he was 6 again. He was a kid with terrible anger management issues. And sometimes, when the adults weren’t in, he wouldn’t be the nicest person to deal with during a conflict because he was physically violent. As the older sibling, unfortunately, I was never supposed to retaliate. That and I never wanted to hurt him physically. I couldn’t stand injuries on others, so I would rather take them all in.
Once, he got so angry that he clenched up his two little fists, and mind you - at the age of 6 he was a very strong kid compared to how weak I was due to some health issues back then, and he would use both his fists to hit me. As I held out my left arm to block the blows, since he was literally chasing me all over the apartment not letting me off, started pounding hard into the outside of my forearm, where my bone and flesh got a sore beating.
He didn’t stop for a good few minutes, and by the time he was done, my forearm only felt like it was burning and stinging from the soreness of the injury. I don’t think I told anyone that I got hit like this, and I doubt he remembers.
Another time, when nobody was in, I don’t know what sort of tiff we got into, but he almost flipped the dining table over me. That image still remains in my mind of how I was just frozen on the spot, panic-stricken, unable to pick myself up to run from the attack.
Unfortunately, sadness is all that I live my life on. It keeps me going. It’s this pain that keeps me depersonalised, so much that it protects me from behaving like a child again. Blocking it all out is the only way for me to live, though I have eventually learnt to cope with it enough to not fall off buses or trip over nothing while running, tumbling, and hitting my head once again. How many times have I gotten myself injured from not being in my mind? I can’t really count, but I still get it sometimes when I skate or cycle, or swim, you can’t blame me for having ADD without knowing. When you suppress it, it just sets in permanently. And I have to suppress it, because if I don’t, I either act irrationally and immaturely like a child, or I become too dominant and controlling trying to take over the planet or try to destroy myself taking on more than I can handle, driving the people around me far, far way. They called me a control freak. What they didn’t see was how I usually quiet until I can’t do anything about it anymore, because I don’t want to dictate others and their lives. They only see the last moments of me snapping. Boy, were they terrified of me. How can a person who’s usually either terribly jolly or extremely quiet snap so badly?
Back to my dream.
My bed was shaking. It was like an earthquake all over again. I remember the feeling of my benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which can happen to me anytime, absolutely randomly. Sometimes while listening to music, sometimes while standing on a train going through an underground tunnel, or sometimes even while exiting an elevator. Most of the people who have BPPV are over the age of sixty, but I was unlucky enough to start having severe days’ worth of it from a young age from too much stress.
Perhaps it felt like Tokyo instead. After all, I did have a wonderful trip there last year. However, on my last night in Japan, an earthquake shook the building from side to side. While it wasn’t serious to the locals, it definitely took me off-guard because I had relaxed the entire trip. The windows started to shake, and people were starting to yell - and soup was spilling out of their sukiyaki pots. I was starting to get depersonalised again, as I stopped feeling my legs and they felt like they were going to crash me into the ground anytime.
As my brother shook the bed, I felt myself getting frozen again. Great, another panic attack - and I didn’t even know it. My tonic immobility was a clear indicator that I had reached the peak of my emotions of fear, and I started to increasingly get terrified as the bed rattled on. I made no sound. Nothing.
I don’t know what took over me. I don’t know who took over me.
I jumped up, stepped over his body, and began to strangle him. I had never been a violent person towards others in my life, at least not in the most sociopathic ways. I have used rash speech and said that I wanted to “shoot someone in the face for at least five times till they were dead,” but I wasn’t meaning it. I never wanted to harm anyone, let alone the people closest to me.
I have never had a dream in first-person’s perspective in the longest time. I have barely had dreams before, but it has been happening so often lately with the scariest nightmares of my life. Emotionally disturbing, and traumatic.
Was this a seizure in a dream? Dream schizophrenia? Perhaps. As I started getting scared by myself, even, I screamed at my mind to let go. I didn’t. My arms, my hands - they needed the release. They needed to exert the strength they have held back for ages because of how I refused to hit anyone or anything, making them the weakest parts of my body because of how sensitive my biceps were and how insensitive my forearms were. Perhaps it was a bad idea to stop taking martial arts - but I was tired of the repetitive notions and how the kids would only take it because they wanted to be something. I just wanted to learn how to release my stress, defend myself, while learning self-discipline at the same time. This is why I am never violent. Anger management - I’ve had it forever from when I picked Taekwondo up when I was eight, though it lasted for only a short while. I didn’t commit to it for a long time, but I started again when I was twelve and stopped when I was fourteen. But by then, I was done.
I quit the week before I was supposed to go for my black belt examinations. I didn’t need the certification. I didn’t need to show off. I only need to remember that I have control over my limbs, that I should always hold it in no matter what, even when someone tried to destroy me.
Oh I remember her. I remember her name, and I remember her face, and her every action that led me to complete disarray.
I thought she was a friend. She wanted something more. Something so much more out of me that I could never give, not to anyone then, and especially not to her. I hated her and how pretentiously extroverted she was trying to talk like she knows everybody, completely neglecting my presence whenever she ran into someone, and not even caring when I left on my own accord without a word to head home because she would abandon me and walk away while I was still around. She held dark secrets. Secrets that she poured out to me, questions that I didn’t want to answer to. Questions that would change me, change her, change everything - and I didn’t want to say a word. I didn’t tell her how much I already hated how she was treating me and there was no way in hell that I would even want to be any closer to her. I didn’t tell her how much I didn’t even want to be friends anymore because she was just making use of me. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t say anything.
The worst part that she was truly wanting something more out of me.
How people change to be destructive when they want to destroy you. A friend turns into a foe in the blink of an eye.
I will never forget how she took her anger out on me in the most manipulative, scheming, and violent ways. She lied to everyone and said that I slapped her and shoved her onto the floor, when all I did was give her a push when she kicked me to knock my phone out of my hands, letting it crash to the wooden floor of the school hall with a thud. I was only fourteen.
She shoved my sparring partner, who happens to be her younger cousin and my junior, to the side, when we were just pretending to be kicking each other - and without me being able to react in time, delivered some heartfelt, hard kicks. She wasn’t playing fair. She wasn’t playing nice. She had protective guards on while I was completely without them.
I wasn’t good at sparring. Did I mention that I’m not a person who is into hurting others because I grew up on receiving damage but always making mental notes to never behave like one of them? I tried to kick her back in the spur of anger, but since she was the one who got violent and defensive, I wasn’t able to deliver much. At the very end, all she did was act like it hurt so much when all my foot did was tap her. I remember her fucking pathetic face as she tried to victimise herself right before me, expecting me to feel guilty. I knew she was manipulating me from the start, and I never gave in. I have never been more disappointed with somebody, though. At that point, I never have been.
Forgive and forget, that’s what most people say. Sometimes physical violence can’t be forgiven nor forgotten even if you tried to do it for your entire life - not when it’s completely unreasonable happening for extended periods of time. Not when it’s not supposed to happen. Not when it’s used to manipulate or victimise you.
As I strangled my brother in my dream, I felt my insides ripping apart. I hear a voice, a child’s voice - most likely to be my own from when I was eight, or his. It was a familiar voice, but I don’t know whose it was. It definitely sounded like it belonged to me now, as I still clearly remember it despite it having been two days since I’ve last heard it in my sleep. Two days. That’s how long this dream has been with me vividly. I can’t get it out of my system. I’m not used to dreaming. I’m not supposed to be dreaming often, and I’m not supposed to recall them easily.
Four words. Four syllables.
That’s "don’t fight!" if you loosely want to translate it back into English. It was repeating itself in my head. I was hearing it. Nobody around was saying it, but I was hearing it.
As my brother’s face turned pale, my hands refusing to unbind themselves from strangling him, my mind’s voice got increasingly louder as it repeated the same one message. The same one line. One line I will always abide by if I can, for as much as I can.