I live in the shadows. Beneath the shadows in Shadowland. The shadows of memories from long ago. Memories of times that were dark, chaotic, agonizing. Memories that cast long shadows. The are the kind of shadows that touch deeply and inject gloominess into each day. I wake to shadows, lengthy, dark and overwhelming. Still. After all this time. I live in a dim, cramped space where far-reaching shadows rule and control.
They kick butt.
The shadows are everywhere. They crowd in and obliterate. Blind. Obscure. Cover. Conceal.
I was born beneath the shadow of Shadowland. My parents sent me there in much the same way a parent sends their child to boarding school to learn important lessons. I learned many important lessons from my negligent parents in that airless place. My parents who didn’t want to be bothered. Who were selfish. Who cared only about themselves and what they wanted. I learned my life lessons in that place of fog, abuse and pain. I learned the lessons well. As a tree grows around the barbed wire fence that was carelessly strung next to its growing, tender bark, so have I grown around the barbs of the dark experiences of my life. I have taken them into myself so they are no longer apart from me. They have become me. I have become them. We are one.
I have stumbled through the land of shadows for most, if not all, of my life. Certainly from the time I was a child entering grade school. I have long sought a way of escape. Certainly since I was a teen. I’ve hungered for the sun while waiting in the shadows.
I have begged and pleaded for someone to help me find my way out of this terrible place. I have journeyed long and it has not been an easy trip. Still, in spite of my efforts, I am forced to call this desolate, depressing, disheartening place “home.” Not by choice. But for lack of any other options.
Sunlight is a rare commodity in this shadowy land where I am forced to exist. For lack of other options.
The shadows change the way I see every aspect of life, of the world, others, myself. Memories cloud my mind. Obscure my sight. Clog my nose. I cannot breathe. I cannot see. I cannot think.
In Shadowland, what once was always is. Once the shadows have you in their grip, they won’t let go. They whisper in my ear to torment me, reminding me over and over again of what has been, what was lost, what will never be, what might have been and what will always be. Hateful shadows. They laugh in delight when their presence causes pain.
They have broken me. These memories. These unspeakable, shameful events. I have broken beneath their weight. Such a heavy burden to carry. With no relief. And no one to share the load.
What I am today, I am because of the shadows. Because of the things that were done in darkness. Where monsters hide in plain sight. Where shadows can dance openly without detection. Where little girls are eaten alive by voracious creatures who speak of love in the dim daylight but who prove there is no such thing in the dusk and darkness of night.
I live in Shadowland. The place where the shadows of the past lay long upon the land of today and tomorrow. Leaving their murky, ugly mark. The place where hopes and dreams are crushed. Where hearts are decimated. Where laughter dies.
The place where parents beat and rape their children and call it love. Where abuse is normal and normal is nowhere to be found.
Shadowland. Where ghosts of the past furiously waltz in the present, sucking the life and light right out of the air.
I’ve lived here, beneath this gloomy shadow in this land of unending shadows, for far too long.
I want out.