It’s the darkest part of the night. The dead of the night, as they say. Yet I’m awake. Laying still in the darkness, pretending that if I don’t move, sleep will find me again. I long for the oblivion of deep slumber. The escape. But instead, my thoughts swirl. My mouth is dry and I struggle to swallow. I feel panic bubbling up in my throat. My heart aches and I’m tormented by fear. My brain is assailed with worry. I am imprisoned by the darkness and the darkness fills me. I am one with the darkness. It has consumed me.
I am confronted by the emptiness of my life, awake and alone, in the darkest part of the night. I know this place well. I spend a lot of time here. Too much time.
It’s hard to see possibilities here in the darkest part of the night. It’s hard to have hope. It’s hard to believe that anything will ever work out well when darkness is all you can see. When it fills your eyes, chokes you, strangles you. As sleep eludes you. When you can’t see. Anything.
Even in the sunlight, enveloped in warmth, I struggle to have hope. In the dark shadows of nighttime, I fall off the cliff into utter despair and terror. I am swallowed whole by the empty void. I only know fear. Desolation. And deep inky blackness.
It’s too quiet here, in the darkest part of the night. It is too empty. Too lonely.
The darkness limits possibilities.
The darkness suffocates hope.
The darkness makes me weary. Too exhausted to sleep.
Too much of my life has been lived in the darkness of the night. Too much of my life has been spent in this opaque void. Too much of my life has been lived alone. With the bitter taste of fear in my mouth. In emptiness. Without. In deep shadow. Where no light can penetrate.
Far too much of my life has been lived in the middle of this deep, lonely night. Even the moments spent in the sunshine have been tainted by deep shadows. My days have been shrouded in darkness. Always, always it has been dark. Dark and silent. Empty. Cloaked in the deepest blackness. A blackness the sun can’t breach.
I don’t know why the darkness of the night has so dominated my life. I don’t know why I can’t ever seem to walk in daylight and warmth. I only know this hasn’t been my path.
Instead, my path has been one of terror and panic. The kind of panic that fills every cell of the body. When all the tactics we use to distract ourselves from the truth are peeled away and the abyss is revealed below our feet.
Some people seem to find favor. Some seem to receive mercy. Some find acceptance at every turn. Some are blessed with only occasional hardship. This has not been my experience.
My experience has been one of judgment and rejection. My experience has been occasional blessing with overwhelming hardship. Loss. Hurt. I have been judged too often and found to be worthless. I have been left alone, with only the darkness for a companion.
I can’t help but wonder why. I can’t help but question what it is about me that condemns me to fight for survival within a vacuum. That keeps me from knowing warmth. That prevents me from being loved. Or from being a person with value.
What is it about me that makes me less than human?
In the darkest part of the night, I have no answers. Only questions. Unanswerable questions.
My mouth is filled with bile. My heart beats fast, pounding double-time. My feet have nowhere to go. My mind is frozen by overwhelming terror. Each moment punches me hard, knocking the air from my lungs.
The darkest part of the night. Where I live. Where fear becomes reality. And nightmares come to life. Nightmares from which there is no escape.