My life is haunted. Horribly haunted. Haunted by the past. By what could have been. Should have been. By all the things that were meant to be but never were. By the things that were not meant to be but were. By people and their lust and greed-filled actions. By my own failures. By loss of hope and dying dreams and heavy burdens. By pain and laughter never realized. By sadness and joy never known. By despair and happiness never recognized. I am not the person I was meant to be. The ghosts made sure of it. They have taken great pleasure in my demise. In my destruction. In my heartache. They enjoy haunting me.
I have tried to exorcise the demons that have followed me through my days. Through the years. I attempted to leave them behind in the dust. Expel them from my heart. Bar them from my mind. Evict them from my soul. But always, always, the ghosts of what is, what could have been, what should have been, what might have been, what never was, what ought to be…they have followed me, sending a chill up my spine and driving an ice shard deep into my deepest heart. They shroud my experiences in darkness, even when the sun shines brightly, even when there is a whisper of hope on the breeze. They dim every light. Steal the air. Shorten the days. Cloak the world in a heavy fog. Tinge every moment with despair. They mock me. Chide me. Ridicule my feeble attempts to escape their grasp.
I bring them endless pleasure and entertainment.
I have failed where others have succeeded. Failed to escape their clutches. Their reach. I am a perfect example of what not to be. Where not to go. What not to do. And the ghosts rejoice greatly in my failure.
I am haunted by abuse. Childhood abuse. From so long ago, it surely should no longer be a factor. But then, it took me years to realize the abuse might have actually mattered. It took me more than half a lifetime to understand it was significant; deep and wide and high. A massive thing. I denied the impact. Ignored the ghosts. Spat in their faces. Dared them to take me down into the depths of the darkness that spawned them.
But incest, cruel and insidious incest…that, in particular, doesn’t let go of you. Not easily. It twists things so deep within, you don’t even know you have been twisted. It breaks things you think cannot be broken. Undermines your very foundation. It wounds so horribly, you wouldn’t think even the strongest among us could survive. But we do. Survive. We walk. We talk. With our gaping wounds that we constantly try to hide. We pretend to be normal. But always, always, we are haunted. Hiding the ghosts. And hiding from the ghosts. They ride through the days with us. Marinating us in defeat. In worthlessness. They torture our sleep. Steal our dreams. Mock our desires. Our needs. Cackle delightedly in our ear whenever we are in pain. They feed on our brokenness. Our demise makes them stronger. Gives them sick pleasure.
I never would have believed at this stage in life I would yet be crippled by my childhood. How is it that the ripples still flow onward and outward? How can it be that what happened so long ago still lives in ghostly realms? Still taps me on the shoulder with cold, dead fingers? Whispering, “Remember me?” As if I could forget.
My world has been shaped by these grotesque creatures that haunt me. It has been stunted and deformed and trashed. Crushed beyond repair. Distorted beyond recognition. They have gutted me. I am utterly undone.
I suppose I have given up on ever reclaiming the person I would have been had I not been used, neglected, abused. She who was is gone forever, never to be. As if she never was. Her path was altered and there is no way to restore her to the one she should have been. To the place she knew before. Before her father…my father…molested me. Made me perform oral sex on him. Ejaculated on me. Made me dance naked before him. Showered with me. Raped me. Yes, raped. When I was yet a child. That girl who could have been so much more is certainly long gone. She was initially betrayed by a kiss. A French kiss. A horrid, sordid kiss that stole her childhood and innocence. One that sucked her soul right out of her. Into her father’s mouth.
Sucked the soul out of her. Out of me. For she is me. I am she. We are not who we should be. We will never be who we could have been. That one is lost and can never be found. Her who might have been is gone forever. That other me. Gone girl.
The ghosts wrote upon our soul. Awful things. They thrived at our expense. They took…everything. And we, hollow being that we have become, are now the one without substance. We are the vapor. The mist. Frail and spindly. The demons have won. And we, I, have lost; lost everything that ever mattered. Everything that could have been, might have been, was to be but never was. We lost it all. And all that is left is this haunted being who bears our name and answers when we are called. She who stares back at us with haunted eyes. Haunted eyes that can’t quite see through the thick, ever-present, dank, choking fog. Eyes that can’t even cry.