by áde aura inés victoria
this feels a lot like my worst and last acid trip. the first (or second?) stamp hasn't hit after what feels like a more than reasonable amount of time, our past experiences as reference. fuck it, we have this hotel room just to trip and we're still thinking (un)clearly, so we'll do what we've never done before and venture to a third stamp.
i remember distinctly that awful moment of pure terror as i look into the mirror merely seconds after dissolving the third and realizing that right in that second, the first two stamps had stormed right into my brain-- and angrily, as if to punish me for impatiently doubting their arrival. fuck, this instant and visceral wave of what can only be described as pure panic makes its way down every single atom of my body. i hastily turn on the sink and try to rinse my tongue to drown out the third stamp, but it's too late. and, oh my god, the worst has yet to come.
i can only describe the grand experience of an LSD trip as having your thoughts turn into rapidfire lasers. the deeper the shot, the greater the wound.
once, on a previous trip, my boyfriend spread my legs and with a sly smile told me how much he'd like to eat me up. it took no more than that sentence for his ears to elongate and his body to grow brown fur, hungry fangs peeking out from the corners of his mouth. i recoiled in petrified horror and instantly entered a survival mode, quickly processing that i had been lured into this bedroom--into this relationship--by nothing more than a wolf hungry for my blood. acid ensures that every small peek you take into your mind becomes a spiraling hole. acid is the portal to your questions of fears and loves and desires and weaknesses.
my boyfriend and i eventually broke up after learning this gentle sheep had been cheating on me for some time.
i realize that this will be a long, long night. LSD normally fucks with you for 16 hours-- every second feeling like a whole hour in itself. i become verbally comatose and nearly attached to the toilet. i am completely and utterly out of control of my own mind, and am deathly afraid that this will last forever; a fear that, i learn later is a common one among bad trips. it’s a numbers game now. i can’t stand to look at the clocks for relief only to find that no more than two minutes have gone by. i make up my mind: if i am still trapped in this hell at 6 a.m., i will have to end my life. it’s the most reasonable thing to do. i am afraid of what this will do to my little sister but convince myself that she’d understand.
i am in the company of three other people and am highly vigilant of burdening them with my misery. they are quiet and complacent. at some point i decide to venture out of the bathroom to join them in the bedroom where animal planet is on tv. the camera pans slowly over a vast desert of hilly sand; each ridge in the ground becomes the scale of an alligator. i remove my gaze from these horrifying death traps but everything else around me is just as deadly. i spend too much time nervously eyeing the window, wondering when i’ll jump.
i am in hell.
i am in hell.
6 a.m. drudges into view and although the patterns of every tile or carpet continue swirling, i feel control slowly returning. everyone is asleep by now. i close my eyes and i see a ring of pyramids made out of limbs.
finally, 8. i am in the clear. i am relieved but my mind feels like a machine that’s been sunk to the bottom of a chlorinated pool. breakfast is awkward; i know everyone is silently disappointed that i ruined what could have been an amazing night. i am deeply ashamed, embarrassed. i say nothing. no one says anything.
what was probably weeks later, i am with the same group of friends at the beach. we are wading in the water, talking and laughing and discussing our most memorables. someone mentions something about their favorite acid trip. i half-heartedly joke--almost as if to say it before someone else does--that no one’s favorite trip was the night of my freak-out. everyone stills and turns towards me.
“what do you mean?” sofia says.
“the night-- that night that i was freaking out, remember?”
everyone stays staring blankly in confusion. “don’t you remember when i had that awful trip and thought i had to kill myself? and we couldn’t do anything fun because i was vomiting all night?”
“no...” manny says slowly. “you were having a bad trip that night?”
i’m in disbelief. are they fucking with me? are they being kind? “guys, it’s ok. i know i fucked up that night. i’m sorry.” they all glance at each other and then look back at me. “we didn’t know you were even having a bad trip,” sofia says solemnly. “you wanted to kill yourself?”
my mind is stumbling over itself in shock. they're serious. no one knew i was having a bad trip that night. no one knew i was vomiting. no one knew i had made a suicide plan. no one knew i was suffering. how could this be? they were all present-- we were all in the same hotel room. i lay in bed that night replaying the events in my head until i realize what moment is missing: me telling someone. me, literally saying anything at all about what i was experiencing. my caged silence, glazed in narcissism, hadn’t helped them at all: i had only imprisoned myself.
i was 19 that night and am 27 today. last thursday i tried to kill myself, unable to see any future for myself on this planet. my failed attempt was met with a wave of messages and texts and calls of concern and love. i welcomed this display of care with the utmost of gratitude.
on thursday and years ago, i had been unable to tell someone i was nearing the ledge of insanity until i jumped. i care so deeply about protecting those i love- i fear, so deeply, becoming a wolf to them- that i cannot protect myself.
my suffering cannot be silent. my pain must be exposed in its full truth. i cannot expect answers if i do not ask questions. i can't receive the embrace i don't open my arms for.
áde aura inés victoria (femm/femm): áde is an indígena creator, destroyer, healing conduit, decolonizer, mother, femme. you can follow more of femm's work at pordiosa.com or on instagram @pordiosa.