Who am I? How did I get here? What did I do to deserve this?
Wait, it’s starting to come back to me now. Piece by piece. Little by little. It has something to do with knives, or a dark hole, or ⎯ for God’s sakes, pull it together.
Something bad had to have happened. They don’t just lock you in a padded room for no reason. It’s not morally ethical. Or is it? I don’t know.
My head is pulsating much too aggressively right now for me to concentrate. As if somebody filled my head with tiny razor blades and wavered it back and forth ⎯ the sharp edges slicing through my every thought.
Wait, what was that? Is somebody there? Please, talk to me. Tell me what’s going on. I can’t take it anymore. I need to get out of this place. See my mom. My two brothers. Tell them I’m sorry for being this way. A rabid mouse in a cage ⎯ always on edge. Always ready to explode.
But that’s not who I am. Or is it? Oh, my God, I can’t take this! This room is so small. So dark. So faintly pressurized. I can’t breathe. My heart is slowing. I need help. Fast. Right this instance.
Somebody please help me!
Why won’t they answer? What have I done?
I clench my fists with madness, as the skin around my knuckles shreds like tissue paper. I know I shouldn’t do it, but it helps calm me down. I need to calm down. Think of a happy place. Any place will suffice.
My mother’s cooking perhaps. The smell of her fried chicken on a warm summer's day, as my brothers and I ride our bikes in front of the house ⎯ laughing spritely as we watch our dog Max chase his tail around.
Yeah, those were good times. Happy times. Thinking about it has slowed my heart rate. I feel calm ⎯ at peace. The dense layer of fog around my brain has slowly dissipated. I’m able to see things clearly.
I begin to weep as I realize that those happy memories of my family and me are just that ⎯ memories. Nothing more.
I know why I’m here. I’m crazy. Sorry ⎯ “mentally ill” is the proper diagnosis. But let’s not kid ourselves ⎯ I am crazy. Those shattered fragments of memories lost are now hitting my brain like a wrecking ball.
My family passed away ten years ago. Because of me. I murdered them.
My fits of rage got the best of me ¬⎯ like it always did. And always will. I can’t control the darkness inside of me any more than a lion can control its lust for a gazelle.
But I know I must try ⎯ if I ever want to see the outside of this cell. To communicate with another human being.
I know in roughly ten minutes I won’t remember any of this, and my blood will once again bubble with blind rage. Having no idea why ¬⎯ just that it will.
But as I sit here, waiting for the insanity to resurface, I struggle to answer my original question: “Who the hell am I?”