Letters to the Darkness
A letter to Darkness. When I was a little girl I met darkness. Darkness entered into my young mind as early as my memories were resonant. I did not know why my father would suddenly turn nor did I know why my mother stayed. At that age I knew no other family life. My brother and I would sit with Darkness every night. Behind the couch, away from the sounds of my mothers tears and my father's gnashing teeth and screams. I was a good girl, never swore or spoke back. Somehow I thought that it may make a difference if I raised my voice and told them to shut up. I'd planned it for weeks, every night I would try and work up the courage just to say shut up, which was so bold in my little mind. One night I started to raise my head up from behind the couch. It was as though I was getting ready to jump 10000 ft for a skydive.
On the countdown to jump is the height of fear. When I finally had the courage to stand and yell at my mother and father I froze, paralyzed by fear, the kind of fear that stops you from jumping... the reason they push you on the count of two. My stomach sank as I thought of the consequences for my bad words. Often I would try to sum up the courage, but fearful and defeated I'd drop my knees, falling back into the darkness. Our fox terrier was always there, trembling more so than usual. I'd block her ears as she sat on my lap while my younger brother, who in his innocense sat across from me picking his nose. He was unaware of the violence our mother was suffering, and of the vile aggression of our father. At school Id always be afraid, yelling by teachers was the worst. I always got nervous when I got in trouble... would cry for breaking a crayon absolutely terrified of any consequence, fearing that my elders would react the same way.
My father was a Junkie, he ruined every chance I ever gave him. All the times he left without saying goodbye, sent letters from prison, ran my mother down and abused me emotionally and my brother physically caused me to numb myself. Swallowing every tear that welled in my eyes until I had forgotten a lot of the darkness in my childhood. But subconsciously it still hovered over me, reactions and aggressive tendencies were present even at six years old... until I grew older and believed that it was me, I thought that I was bad. The fear always hindered me, unacknowledged and lingering.
I couldn't feel the change in myself because I had I grown inside the darkness to become an addict. To me drugs were what saved me for a time, from myself and from the pain. It's like when you are drowning and you fight with your whole body to stay a float, the instinct to survive overwhelms everything. Cannabis was a breath in that moment of drowning, for a time it kept me alive. I never had to sink into depression as I knew no other. I had always envied people, watching them enjoying time with their friends, doing simple things yet still smiling and content. Was it even real? Or were they ptetending just like me. I thought that it was normal to be dark, to always feel like you were waiting for something... never feeling whole and searching for the light. It took me to go to rehab and get clean, take anxiety and post traumatic stress medication to see life as it was. To feel that contentment I had envied for so long. It was like taking off my sunglasses and seeing light... contentment and love I had finally known for myself. I had value, I had everything I needed and wanted for nothing.
Darkness had descended until that night. In your eyes I saw an evil, twisted and demented soul. The darkness you that enveloped you had been given to me unjustly. I knew I needed to survive for my family, but I didn't see myself living through the attack. Looking at my late grandmothers ring covered in my own blood, fixed tightly on my swollen hand from the bone you broke that had pierced through my skin... I felt comfort that I would be with her. I didn't feel the pain of the broken bones. Perhaps there was too much pain to feel anything specifically. I knew that she was with me through the beating, that ring I would be wearing in my last moments also. How would my family cope with me being taken away by you? Bleeding and terrified I couldn't even fight, I froze just like all those times I'd sit behind the couch. Only moving to protect myself from the savage attack. I learnt that crying would not make you stop, and asking why would only anger you more. Helplessness was an emotion I'd never let another person bestow upon me, until that night. You took away my fight and broke my spirit. That evening I instinctively knew what to do, you would go from attacking me to tearfully apologising just as my father did to my mother, even though I wasn't yours to batter. I knew to downplay the
the situation because your guilt drove you to insanity and aggression, Instead I discussed your problems with you. When I was a girl I would sit in the hallway with my father after he had beaten my mother, asking him to tell me stories while she sobbed in the other room. I was helpless to defend her but I could at least distract him. I told you it was my fault, as if I deserved the beating and you were totally justified in breaking my bones, wounding me and leaving me deformed. Only a man with no conscience could be deluded enough to believe that. I tried to find cannabis to calm you down. Just like when I used to walk with my mother and my brother in his pushchair for miles to the liquor store.
To get him alcohol he may not turn on her when he got home from work. I had thought about all possible ways to escape. I was planning to make you a coffee with my anxiety sedatives in it to poison you or at least have you fall unconscious. Just like my mothers plans to poison my father, she would rather go to jail than live that fear... At least she would know that her children would be safe with him gone. The dread and sorrow you have caused for my family hurts more than broken bones, disgusts me more than what you have done. For a mother to see her daughter in hospital like that I cannot begin to imagine, she is not the same, always nervous and alert for fear of retaliation. It saddens me deeply that I had to lie to my family on Christmas about my injuries. I can't bare to have them worry and be upset at your doings. I had made it to the light, fighting my demons and unwanted memories to get well in my mind.
I was there in the light. I was happy and felt like those I had envied. You may have seen me as a sheltered timid woman, but I have known evil and lived in darkness. What my father put us though made me strong, cunning and resilient. I knew instinctively what to do that night, and played to your ego. Like my mother I was strong, and I survived. I now have something to thank my father for, he introduced me to darkness... and although you have brought it back to make my acquaintance... I will not live here. I will not sink. I will not drown.