Sometimes it is most extreme in the middle of a bright, sunny day. When it is felt more than viewed with the eye. Sometimes it is most profound in the middle of a cold, lonely night. It creeps in during a too-quiet morning. When a person responds harshly, in anger, in selfishness. It comes on a stressful, chaotic afternoon. On a rainy day. Slinking in with the setting of the sun. The rising of the moon. On the first rays of the morning.
Turning on the lights will not banish it. Nor will smiling when in pain, ignoring it or willing yourself to disregard the overwhelming fear, loneliness and anguish that envelopes you.
When darkness comes calling, you can’t lock the doors to keep it at bay. Nor can you run from it or hide yourself away. It penetrates all barriers, breaks all locks, seeps beneath every defense. When darkness targets you, nothing can save you. It won’t rest until it has you by the throat, strangling you with long, cold, persistent fingers.
It wants to destroy you. To imprison you. To enslave you.
Darkness persists. It permeates. It putrefies. It rapes, beats you and leaves you for dead.
It plants its seed deep in your soul. The seed sprouts forth engulfing pain. Anguish. Terror. Emptiness. This unholy garden grows in the soul until it splinters you. Then, it effortlessly harvests your hope and leaves you without a single spark of life in your eyes.
Darkness comes when least expected. During a wedding. In the middle of a church service. At a Christmas party. During a family reunion. While you’re reading a book. Taking a walk. Shopping. Suddenly it comes, out of nowhere, taking you by surprise, dragging you under the cold water, drowning you. It sucks all the joy out of your world. Your soul. Tainting everything it touches. Pulling you ever downward. Suffocating you. Until you are ruined.
Sometimes it comes when you are a child, during an innocent afternoon spent with your father, your protector, the man you adore. It comes. It belittles and mocks you. Breaks you. Until it finally destroys you. Darkness reaches toward you with the father’s deviate hand when his perverted, horrible lust takes control. When he touches your breasts. Your clitoris. Pushes his fingers inside of you. Buries his penis in your mouth. In your vagina. Again and again.
Darkness comes. It cackles with glee. Gloats in its victory.
It takes you. Has its way with you. There is no escape. And once you have been infected, impregnated, there is no cure.
Darkness comes when the man you love with all of your heart, the man you gave your life to, tells you he doesn’t love you. And throws you away. When he tells you that you are so much less than everyone else. That you are inadequate, defective, disgusting. When he tells you to keep the ugliness of who you are to yourself. To keep it all inside. Because he doesn’t want to hear it. Doesn’t want to know you. Doesn’t want to be bothered.
Darkness comes. It comes cloaked in abuse. In rejection. In disdain. And it, in turn, cloaks you in filthy shame while nothingness swallows you whole.
Light cannot penetrate this darkness. Hope cannot endure it.
Darkness comes. It destroys you; your life. It steals away everything that matters. Everything that was good about you. Everything wonderful that might have been. It steals. It destroys. It takes. It demands. And it snickers with delight and triumph as it watches you wither away. As you are consumed by numbness and emptiness. As you are utterly decimated. Beyond redemption or restoration.
It rejoices while you are devoured by the dark seeds with which it impregnated you.
Wisdom cannot defeat it. Nor can willpower. Or logic. Self-talk. Or fact. Only love can overcome this kind of debauched, consuming, evil darkness.
But love can’t find you, cloaked as you are in shame, broken and decimated, hidden by the night. And if love never finds you, you are doomed to dwell in that unbearable darkness forever.
And so, the years pass. Your lifeblood flows from you, droplet after droplet. The droplets form a river, an ocean. Flowing and flowing. Until time runs out.
Darkness comes; stealthy and persistent. It comes. There is no escape. And it will never let you go.