Faint sirens blow and cars go whizzing by outside while I lay sobbing; curled into the feeble position thinking that maybe if I appear to be smaller, the pain will shrink in size. The pain that hasn’t stopped; the pain that won’t quit no matter how much I kick and I scream. It sits there waiting; ever patiently waiting. Its gentle presence in the corner watching me try to run and fight until I have no fight left and greet it with open arms. Then it’s wave after wave of voices and touches and sights and sounds and smells of everything I try so hard to forget and accept, that start to sharpen the knife and stab me again everywhere he touched me. It will always be that corner, just enough out of sight to be ignored but once I’m reminded I glance over at the ominous figure who sits there with trusting, knowing eyes.
You carry this pain around and no matter how much it’s talked about it will always be your closest companion. People can try to understand and offer help and condolences but it only takes so long to feel like a burden. So you welcome the dark corner again; he’ll never get tired of hearing the repetition. He’s the only one that understands and will always be there. He’ll always welcome the tears and make sure you feel safe enough to depend on no one but him. No one else understands anyways so it’s best to only keep these feelings to the man in the corner.
The man doesn’t speak but he holds signs to remind you of what happens when you do reach out. Ridicule, guilt, embarrassment, liar. He knows it’s not your fault. He knows and understands your pain; he gets the severity of it.
He knows how to make you feel better; he starts to show up with gifts, just as long as they’re kept in secret with him. He brings drugs and drinks as party favors to your long nights spent together. The two of you dance the numbness away.
But then it all starts to feel numb. Don’t worry, he understands that too. He knows just the trick when you’re feeling hopeless. He starts to show up with pills and knives and guns and ropes. You resist at first but…the darkness is your only friend.
On one calm night when you’re down to your last dignified straw, you look over into the corner because you can’t take reliving the pain. You feel like you’ve tried everything else; therapy, exercise, eating healthier, and none of it gave any relief.
You know you shouldn’t but he’s your only friend and he’s promised it’ll get better, you just have to trust him first. He’s not pressuring you; just a gentle reminder there’s another option for you. Just a few pills, just one cut, just one bullet, just one knot.
He’s been offering for weeks and finally… Peace.
You see the man with his pain soaked coat and you laugh right in his face. You shove happy memories and sing skipping away from his darkness. You show love and compassion and strength. But most important is the strength, because you are a survivor, you are a fighter. Those tears may have dug trenches in your beautiful face but it doesn’t mean you stop smiling. You have things to fight for, people that need you. You don’t give up.
You show him memories on a slideshow of the happiness that’s in your life and that there’s no need to add to the pain. You hand him your puppies and sunshine and rainbows and though he stands there not moving and unphased you won’t give him the satisfaction of letting the darkness take over your life once more.
So you hand him flyers with happiness and throw glitter in his face to show him that even in the darkest of places something will shine.
Because you’re not alone. The darkness is the one that stands alone while you stand in front of your personal army supporting you, loving you, and there to hold you back when you start to take a foot step towards that dark corner. Your side shines even brighter just in comparison to that same darkness.