Whose pain is greater?

We put labels on people and then on ourselves, divided by the number of those who suffer, and every wrinkle tells its story to those who have it all, so they walk around with a wide smile, not seeing the world around them. What kind of people that makes us, if we suffocate in a mass of similar people, or the same, without any resemblance to each other, with everything we go through? We live here, divided and to no one, always belonging to our pain. That’s permanent, isn’t it? We are its hostages, so long cut off from the essential truth of our being, that pain has become our identity, and the persons who carry it have long ceased to be what our internal state has shown. And we are inclined to believe that we cannot relinquish that identity, ours is grounded and glued to every bone, to every injured part of being. But, by holding almost on life support, carrying some ancient pain, feeling the dagger in the chest when we breathe in the new day, can we equate to those who carry their pain as their only form of self? Can you look at yourself and say that your pain is greatest and compare it to someone else’s? We can’t pay it off, that’s for sure.

But whose pain is greater? Is it the pain of a mother whose only child is raped and killed? Cry into the empty and tear into pieces trying to get back the time. Or the raped girl who got pregnant and whose biggest wish in the world was to have a kid with the man she loved? Can she love herself again? And what is this pain compared to the pain of an abused child just because it’s born differently, with a defect, or in the wrong body, hating themselves for being male or female? How does their life end when he or she has never had the opportunity to live it in a body in which they feel like themselves? Does the pain of parents when they lose a child and lose another one? So they lose themselves in search of another noisy laughter in the morning. Looking at the clock and scrolling through the calendar, convincing themselves that the child will come back. Or the mother’s pain when she gives birth to a live baby, who loses its first breath on her hands? When she dies with it. Pain after one’s death of the most intimate part of oneself. Have you ever thought how far pain can go? And where does it go if we still feel it in every movement? When we feel nothing, and our whole body betrays us. We are left speechless, without ourselves. Do you still think that your pain is beyond those who suffocate in depressing thoughts, morbid scenes in their head, and so many suicides, self-destruction, various wrongdoings, and promiscuity? The pain of those who were born by incest? Or the pain of an adult, unmarried man who discovers that his parents are not his and that his biological father is a pedophile? And the pain of his new memories of the backyard in an old house where he touched and photographed him when he was just four. Matching consciousness to the repressed trauma he only now understands, fear of attachment, fear of emotion. Or the pain of a child surviving a car accident in which all other family members die, or is it still greater pain for someone whose best friend got drunk and fell from the fifth floor?

Or maybe the pain of a brother who watched the murder of his sister and couldn’t do anything? Anger and guilt parallel the feeling of powerlessness to freeze the moment and bring it back. And then, the pain of breaking up, of breaking your heart, and taking away everything that made you a better person. Is it figurative, is it realistic? Can you truly compare it to the pain of a distinguished soldier who has his legs amputated and left blind, so his family leaves him because his mind has left him? Or the pain of the family of that same soldier? How do you rank the pain of the killer after the massacre of his own family? Or do you think he is incapable of feeling? Does anyone ever wonder how he is, and what thoughts are poisoning him and chasing him, pushing him to the brink of suicide? How important is the pain of an old woman who her children neglected and forgot to bring her the bread she had provided for them all her life? Do those tears count, and who sees them? Who can notice anything underneath the surface of the nourished skin of a woman in the best years of life who knows she would die in a month? Still, she stands in front of the mirror and puts on her favorite lipstick with a smile. Does smile show happiness? You may think so, though maybe you are among the living dead who are in camouflage, for the sake of others. So what is this pain? Does the beggar hurt that he begs? Or the passersby who watch it? Do children get hurt when their parents throw them of their lives? Or the children who have nothing to eat, so they nibble human bones? Or is it greater pain for those who have more material things than they ever dreamed and have no love, no warmth in a huge house that radiates the only luxury? Do you wonder how the girl from the neighborhood feels, who suffers from a pathological need for food? Do you think you can put yourself in her shoes and walk down the street proud of yourself? You can’t change what fulfills you and make you drive away that feeling of dying, but you may wonder how much greater the pain of a gay person whose parents are homophobic can be. Or the pain of a parent whose child is gay. More than pain? Less than desperate? Or disappointments?

So, whose pain is the greatest? Will you always say “there are worse things”? Or you may not think of all these things, sinking in your hopelessness, at odds with your identity. How far do we need to go? How far can we go? Whose pain is bigger? Do these questions go through your mind while it hurts you too? You often say “it hurts”, but do you always really mean it? What are your limits, if the pain has a limit? For it’s impossible not to pay attention to the power of pain, it is impossible to forget the burns by its fire, and even less heal them. It may alleviate, but how can your pain be compared to the pain of all those who feel it, the pain, the stuffy air, and the frightening amount of bumps? Tell me, whose pain comes first? Does pain rank on a scale of one to ten or by the number of prescription drugs? How do you experience it when you survive it between everyday life and the realization that there is a higher force of suffering than death? Or do you exist only between a life where touch or word hurts and death as the most elevated form of completion? Is it loss or emptiness? Maybe both? Feeling indifferent or a feeling that permeates your body and moves into your bones, breaking one by one? Pain is everything. Everything and nothing, depending on how you understand it. If at all you have that awareness of understanding something so inconceivable in the narrowest corner where thinking equals insanity, when it hurts the most, when it destroys the most, then you may be able to express what’s impossible.

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