The Dark

“It’s about recreating the experience of being in the dark.”

I’m too demanding. I am a child. I am petulant, and arrogant, and spoiled and selfish. These are bad things. Okay, okay. So let’s backtrack. I can do this. I can be kinder, more accommodating, more forgiving. It’s okay, I understand, I need to be patient. It’s important for me to learn patience, and not hurt the people around me. I cannot be one of those monsters that hurts, that takes from the people around them. I will not take of your life and give you negativity. I will not contribute toxicity to this world.

But wait. I am sad. I am dissatisfied. I am hurt. You’re hurting me. This is hurting me. Are you taking advantage of me? I think you are. I think I am not wrong. Am I wrong? No, this hurts. I am not wrong. Stop it. Stop asking me to bend, bend, bend, bend. I do not want to bend. I do not want to feel this way, you have no right to demand this of me.

I will not be weak.

Oh, now you’re mad? Oh you’re yelling back at me. I can feel it building up inside me, the anger. I am yelling at you. I am both in my mind and completely without control of it. I am in my throat, I am on my lips, with the words dancing in my mind. I am on your face. I can feel your eyes well up. I can feel your disgust as your face crumples with the force of your anger. I am in your muscles as they tense and brace for a fight. I am in pain because you hurt me and because I am hurting you, because I have become a monster, because you made me a monster. I don’t know if I am angrier at you or at myself because I slipped. I slipped. I am weak. I have let myself down. I have lost self control. Oh God, I promise I’ll never do it again.

You have no right to ask me to bend. What have you given me? You love me. What does that mean? What do I owe you? What does it give me? These feelings are your own. What are my feelings? What are my feelings?

I am torn.

I want to be kind. I want to give relentlessly. I will be your support. I will carry you through this. I will take the hits. Yes, that’s the right thing to do. Yes, that’s love. Is it, though? I am not happy. Doesn’t love make you happy? But I am not happy.

And then you smile at me – thirty seconds later. Those eyes, soft with compassion, your arms are holding me and I am so grateful for that tender touch. So grateful for that warm chest to lean against. So grateful for those whispered words. But I am angry.

How dare you come back to me assuming forgiveness?

How dare you come back to me assuming peace?

I am nothing to you, right? You can so easily disregard the turmoil I went through, because now it is convenient for you to kiss my forehead, giving me your affection, like it’s a favor. Now it is convenient for you to “give me what I want”. And my feelings are supposed to dissipate at this flip of a switch, because something in your brain has been resolved. But when I demand resolution – remember when I demanded a conversation? Remember when I demanded resolution? Remember?

Then I was petulant, selfish, demanding. I am scary, violent, out of control. I am selfish.

When will this stop hurting me? When will I stop damaging myself because of you, with you, damaging you? When will I be untouched by your harm? When will I finally have the control over my body – this throat? This betraying mouth? This heart that aches.

“It’s about recreating the experience of being in the dark.”

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(This post was written for everyone who struggles with those scary feelings you can’t talk to anyone about, who struggles with their definitions of themselves, and with the difficult choices they’ve had to make. This post was inspired by Judith Sloan’s book Crossing the Boulevard, which explores the very human struggles of immigration and feeling like an outsider, and the complex psychological burden of having your life transplanted from one situation to the next.)

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