To "put something to bed" means to put it to rest, to not talk about it any longer. This implies that the thing is allowed to rest, or can rest at all. If the thing has insomnia, or is restless, or makes to torment you, it will never sleep. Or, it may pretend to sleep, but stand over you and weigh you down while you sleep. Some people bend until they break in two--others, they simply shatter. See, breaking in two is far more economical. You can glue yourself together without much hassle. But shattering? That requires a full replacement. You'll lose pieces quickly, revealing the sensitive material underneath, something that is easily damaged by a wayward touch, even if it's out of affection. See? It weighs you down. And you don't need more weight, do you?
"There is a Quichua riddle: El que me nombra, me rompe. Whatever names me, breaks me. The solution, your course, is "silence." But the truth is, anyone who knows your name can break you in two." - In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado
I give my sympathies to the child that has nothing to their name and whose name means nothing to them, and has no one they can confide in--I, too, was that child, and many times I'd wake with a wet pillowcase where my eyes would have been. See, I was surrounded by people who clamoured and claimed they had my best interest in mind, but it was all a game to them, where I was the most valuable pawn. I was required. I was an asset. Not easily replaceable, but not in a timeless photograph or family heirloom way--more like an expensive piece of furniture or stocks. That feeling made me isolate from them whenever possible, even if they were truthful in their cherishing of me. I stayed away, far, far away.
"When I get bigger, big enough to go somewhere by myself, I want to go to a land that's far away. I want to go to a faraway island. I want to go to an island that has no people. I want to go to an island that has no pain or sadness. On that island, I can climb a tree when I want to climb, swim in the sea when I want to swim, and sleep when I want to sleep. When I think about the town without me, I feel a sense of relief. I want to go far, far away." - Kayo Hinazuki, Erased
In the eye of that haunted child, they want to believe that everyone who has done them wrong will eventually come around and say sorry, because they are taught that an apology will absolve all the hurt. But if life were that simple, there wouldn't be nearly as much pain in the world as there is, as "sorry" would become a daily word: a "sorry" before the peahen you eat for dinner, a "sorry" for the insect you trod upon, a "sorry" for the cousin you cross, a "sorry" for the God you abandon. But as they wait for the pain to dissolve, or perhaps worse, as they wait for the "sorry" they'll never get, they begin to fade away. Their spirit is replaced by the haunting. It eats them up from the inside and outward, until their own face cannot be recognized in the mirror, until they pray to wake up as someone else entirely--or, pray to never wake.
"[...] and my baby girl, playing telephone with a conch shell, warned you never to set foot in this house again." - Rachel McKibbens, "Bon Dieu"
The truth is that the child just wishes to be in control of their own life, a fate that everyone wants. It's why they all beg to grow up so quickly, because growing up means you can do more things on your own and you're trusted to do those things. As a child, you're not trusted, and often not believed enough. Cast aside as another "seen, not heard" case. The child will cling to imaginary friends, to plush creatures magicked to life, to their shadow on the floor, and speak to them instead. The walls of your child's house will have thousands of stories you'll never hear, thousands of memories you'll never experience. The blessings will leak through the cracks, only the root of the pain will remain, and you will deal with the consequences.
"I know I'm not my thoughts, my thoughts don't know that yet / Sometimes I try to sneak up on the voice inside my head / I've tried to meditate, they tell me it'll help / But the last thing I need's more time alone" - Icon For Hire, "Hollow"
That child grows and realizes the world around them, the world they'd harbored for so long to be a good place, is not all good. And they begin to see more negatives than positives--regardless of the balance or imbalance--and it reflects on their faces, blank like canvas, blank like glass. The mind becomes blank. The hands become blank, the fingerprints no longer leave any marks, like thick gloves were glued over them. Like a walking advert for taking care of local environments--"take only pictures, leave only footprints"--but those, too, are gone. There are no photos of them, the smile has disappeared. There are no footprints left in the sand and mud, like they float above it. Now, repeat the mantra after me: I am that child.
"Your riches have rotted and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and consume your flesh like fire." - James 5:2-3
If you think you can close the wound as an adult--think again, is all I can say. You'd have an easier time passing a camel through the eye of a needle. That pain remains, it festers and growls within, and when you're at your lowest, it comes out and barks at anyone daring to come near. And no matter how many times you try to kill this beast (you have tried killing it, right?) it has attached itself to your arteries, it has latched onto the spinal column, and every cut is a risk that no surgeon is willing to take. But if you'd like to try, I'll gladly watch. I'll watch in silence as it all spills on the floor. Will it consume you? Or will you consume it first? And if you do eat it, will it grow inside again?
...Do you want to find out?