Her enemy had never been tangible. It wasn’t something she could point at, or pick out of a list. It wasn’t a person. It wasn’t memories. It wasn’t something she saw when she looked in the mirror, or a place that scared her. It wasn’t loneliness, or depression, or anxiety. She knew these things pretty damn well, but that was never it. It was something else. It wasn’t just because the world was a scary place, or that people couldn’t be trusted for the most part. It wasn’t that a teacher had put her down in front of the class, or that she felt as invisible at home. It wasn’t any of these things. It wasn’t something she could write on a piece of paper. It wasn’t that she drank a lot, or that she found comfort in only drugs, above anything else. It wasn’t that thing. It was something else.
It was more of a whisper.
One that would creep up the back of her neck. Pulling on the small hairs that gathered there. This kind of thing.
She noticed it most often when she was with other people. Her own internal differences, being exposed to herself, as she watched how the others lived. How they reacted. When she heard their opinions, and felt them express themselves. When she compared. And it was so hard not to compare. Because she did feel so utterly different, when standing next to another. No matter their person, she wasn’t biased. She knew, there was something wrong with her. She could taste it, in each hug. In each hello. In each touch, or look or caring glance. Sometimes she would wonder, if they touched her, did they feel it? and so she would pull her hand back. Or not, fully embrace that hug. The whisper, the tugging of the back hairs, like a ghost. Made her hide, and on every normal day, this made her feel crazy.
Because it was always behind her. This nagging. This yanking of her shoulder. It had been with her since she was just a little one. And every year, every month, and every day, it became even more of a “something”. This berating feeling, this internal and external pull, dragging her away into a confusion about herself. She couldn’t just be. There was no such thing for her. There was always the comparing, the questioning. The self loathing, the insecurities. She wanted nothing more than to breathe, and settle within herself, and yet…the tugging, would not ease. No matter how hard she prayed, or how many psychiatrists she spoke with. The ever-changing bottles of prescription antidepressants. Never the answer, never the relief. Waiting around every corner, without fail, the rush of her own torment. Nameless, and paper-thin, the mocking ghost, of all things left un answered. That she desperately wanted to escape.
It would take that long. Twenty eight damn years, before she would find its name. Turning her eyes to see the truth, and find herself, staring in the face of evil, growling a righteous anger. Loud, and fierce, like a lion.
She hadn’t expected it, this answer to come, or understood what it is was to embrace the sheer magnitude of it. Coming softly in a quiet place, to then tear her heart to shreds. Sometimes, the truth really hurts. And, she had gotten used to the whisper, the never-ending interruptions of her soul. Her mind. Even her own body. The voice that stood between her and everything else. Even, and sadly most of all, love. The hard wall she could not break through. Her knuckles worn and scarred from trying. But it came.
Year, after year, the twisting insides finally bursting forth, and making her sick to herself. And in the wake of her own truth, she would be free. Pale faced, nauseous and full of rage, she would crawl towards her restoration. Grasping her hands to pull on the heavens. Her memories turning to vomit, dragging herself to God’s feet. Finding refuge in the war. A peace in the midst of a great fire. And He would save her.
Her enemy had never been something tangible. It wasn’t something she could point at, or write down on a piece of paper. It wasn’t loneliness, or depression, or anxiety. She knew these things pretty damn well, but that was never it. It was something else.
Her enemy, was a secret.
A bitter adversary of the heart.
Buried deep within her own body, the places she could not touch. What a scary thing.
The shameful word echoing in all the places she knew existed.
Tearing it out of her own chest, like a foreign implant.
The abortion of a lie, and her own deep scream that came with it.
This rotten and festering thing, dying in her own hands. Twenty eight years ripping at her own chest, and now the thing was out. The exhaustion taking her over and she would decide to sleep for a little while, because this wasn’t the end. This was the beginning of the truth in her life.
She knew it.
And so, she thanked God for the lion on her heart, that mighty roar he drew up inside her and she let her eyes roll to back of her head. The eyelashes laying still. Her hands limp at his feet, her hair washing over his toes, and she slept. For the very first time, in her entire life, she truly slept. While He stood over her, mighty and glorious. His robe draped upon her like a blanketed child. He whispered words of safety over her as she slumbered, washing the blood and filth from her hands, with his breath.
Taking back His daughter, and for her, it had been a long time coming. He knew that.
Dusting off her feet, and drawing up the light around her, He kissed her face. And watched her sleep.