Once, I met a boy. He was sweet and caring and fell in love with me, and I with him.
But something happened, something unexpected and unexplainable. I don’t know exactly what happened, when it happened or why it happened. Whatever it was, it sent this boy into a very dark place.
For a time, I accompanied him in that dark place, but not because I wanted to be there. I had an obligation to him and myself, I thought. I had no idea how we got there in the first place. Things happened so fast. I don’t recall entering willfully, but I must have. All I knew for certain was that I didn’t like or enjoy the dark.
For too long it seemed, I endured the darkness and its shadows and fought daily to get us both out of there. But each time I tried to pull us into the light, the boy dragged us deeper into the darkness. The deeper we got, the less light I could see. We got so deep, I forgot what the light looked like and how it felt.
I was resigned to the darkness. I found myself as empty and as hollow as the dark place I desperately wanted to leave. I became a shadow of my former self.
But one night, I had a dream about the light. I felt its warmth and glow and joy. I missed the light so much. I hadn’t felt those things in so long. I needed those things and knew I would die if I didn’t escape the darkness. I didn’t want to die.
So I started climbing out of the darkness, first with small steps. But the boy kept pulling me back. He held tightly to my heels for awhile. But I refused to give up. I kicked long and hard until he finally let go.
Even without him holding on to me physically, I struggled. I had to take larger steps, and I soon found myself clawing and scratching my way to the surface. There were so many times I wanted to give up. My arms grew tired, my back ached, my memory kept going back to the boy I loved. I’d slip in these moments; my focus was compromised. Days and weeks and sometimes months of progress were lost with each little slip. But I kept remembering that dream and how warm and joyful the light was.
I kept moving forward, closer to the light and never looking back. Once the warm glow of the light hit me, my thoughts returned to the boy still in that dark place. I wanted desperately to share the joy I was feeling with him.
But my efforts were in vain.
My voice just echoed and bounced around the darkness driving the boy mad and just confusing him more as to why I chose to leave him behind. The darkness had eroded any inkling of the light inside the boy. He saw me perched above with the light shining on my back as just a shadow, dark and distant. To the boy, I appeared no better than the darkness in which he lived.
So in the end, the boy chose the darkness and its dancing shadows. I accepted his choice and eventually realized that no words, deeds or wishes would have convinced the boy that the wasted life he was living was unnecessary. He chose to hide behind false pride, ego and selfishness. He was a shadow and lacked the necessary trust to follow me and eventually join me as equals in the light.
And the final release, the ripping apart of the last heart string that connected me to him, was bittersweet but much more sweet than bitter, because it’s so lovely in the light.
Never underestimate the power of the darkness and the consuming shadows it casts.
Life is in the light. Death is in the darkness. You have a choice.
(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/512636370053886530/)
I used to think she was trapped in a black hole. I wanted her to come out so bad. I kept ripping myself apart reaching for her. Over-and-over I spiraled deeper and deeper. If I looked up I felt I was abandoning her so I dove deeper. I am out of the vortex now. I look back and tell myself she’s not “in” the black hole, she “is” the black hole. It cuts me deep the shame and failure I feel in not “saving” her. I miss the super nova I opened up to and trusted completely. I miss the way she made me feel about myself.
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wow keep yourself away from the negative influence of others, nice post, nice words sunny day today
Paula, this is so cathartic to read. The imagery is so emotional. I feel that dark, damp place and can feel the extreme fatigue of climbing up up up….then slipping. The slipping is probably inevitable. We are human. We get so tired and we slip. But keeping our eyes on the light, we keep going.
Loved that last part about having to leave him down there and the “ripping apart of the last heart string”….it describes the raw pain that I feel. But also the sweetness that follows.
I’ll continue to climb with my eyes toward the light. I guess I have to….it’s life itself. Thank you for your passion and insight.
Thank you, Oregon Grape. You’re right. The pain we experience is raw, organic and necessary. If we didn’t feel this, we’d end up falling again, I imagine. Being ultra-aware is our protection. Awareness of ourselves and what we feel, in addition to awareness of THEM. XOXO
Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
Paula did it again, I am sure many of you can relate.
Loved that post, Paula! It brought my mind to this song, which has also helped me find a reality check. thanks!!
OMG!! I love the Indigo Girls! Twenty plus years ago, this song rang through my freshman dorm almost every afternoon. They were here in the DC area a few weeks ago and played at Wolf Trap. Holy shit! I needed this. Thank you!! 🙂
“By grace, my sight grows stronger and I will not
be a pawn for the Prince of Darkness any longer…”
You always seem to write exactly what I am going through at a vital moment. Today was COURT. I have been stressing for a month, so badly I have a blood vessel thingy in my eye, (I know gross). Anyway, I am Type A personality, detailed, etc. So, I call my dad on my way to court, (readers digest version here) in tears. I am having anxiety, because he always gets the mediators on his side, plays victim, whatever. My dad calms me down says your fine your prepared it will be ok, he served you. Okay, I am early, I am never early to anything, my attorney isn’t even there yet, lol. He finally shows up, with his current significant other in tow. I check us in and off to mediation we go, (requirement in our county). We get in with the mediator, I let him speak (he brought served me), he starts in with how ridiculous I am, how I inconvenience his life, how he works so much, our current order hinder his visitation schedule and how the children love the current and view her as a mother (just like the last ex-wife). So now it’s my turn, instead of letting him drag me into his tit-for-tat bs, I very calmly showed the mediator (and him) the documentation I have, which proves he is lying, (about everything) how he has alcohol/addiction issues, and this is really about him not wanting to pay child support. Which I am not asking for a modification. So in the end nothing was changed, kids go to mediation, then we go to mediation, back to court in 6 weeks. Oh and he agreed to drug testing when ever we wanted within 24 hours. The mediators report didn’t reflect very well on him, it seemed most of the derogatory statements he made toward me were in quotations. When I read this post, I didn’t realize how dark he was, (I always knew, just didn’t realize the depth) and how strong my light is! Oh and he is super angry, he couldn’t get a reaction out of me, hmm too bad! I am very happy! I almost feel like my real self. Amazing! Thank you, Thank you!
Good for you! It’s never easy sitting there looking at their ugly, disgusting faces and listening to their smug talk and lies. 🙂
Very powerful images Paula. It reminds me of how new vampires are made in the TV show “True Blood”, once bitten in order to turn a new vampire, the “papa vampire” has to lie in the ground/grave with the new vampire. The next night the new vampire emerges out of the grave. The funny thing about Vampires is that they miss the light–they crave the light. The narc much like the vampire feeds of us us and still craves the light althought they are resignated to live a life in the shadows of the dark, as you so beautifully put it.
Oh, Ivonne! I have been watching True Blood also, but sporadically. I can’t watch it and not make the connections! It’s like we’re all faeries with the tastiest blood. Hehe!
Yup we are the faires that enable them to live in the light—season 6 is not on amazon yet and I don’t have cable so I have to wait. But OMG–I am learning so much about pathology from just watching this show and making the connections.
Wow! Powerful stuff Paula. I could relate so well, clawing my way out right beside you. Great use of metaphors. I think this is one of your best posts.
Thank you, Carrie. XOXO