All you need to go deeper
Is a stronger shovel.
For many years I was in an extremely destructive relationship with someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and during that time I was regularly subjected to a variety of emotional, mental and physical abuse.
Every day I walked on eggshells, living in fear of saying or doing something that might trigger an aggressive response.
Many people might wonder why I, or anyone else, would remain in this kind of environment, but by the time I fully recognized that I was in extreme danger, I was already badly emotionally and mentally weakened and debilitated.
I was living in terror waiting to be attacked at any moment and yet I did not feel as though I had the strength or courage to remove myself from it.
Abuse doesn’t always happen overtly and it isn’t always easy to recognize. Often it is a covert, insidious, invisible drip that slowly poisons the victim’s mind so they don’t trust their own judgment, is unable to make life-changing decisions and feels as though they don’t have the coping skills necessary to get help or leave.
It took me a long time, and everything I had, to pull myself from the bottom of the deep dark hell I existed in and to get myself to a place of safety.
By the time I walked away, I thought that the nightmare was over. But in so many other ways, it had only just began.
The terrors of the taunts, torture and torment that had become my normality didn’t subside. They remained alive and relived themselves in the form of intrusive, regular flashbacks.
Many months after I had left the relationship I discovered that I was suffering from C-PTSD, (Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.) C-PTSD is a result of persistent psychological trauma in an environment where the victim believes they are powerless and that there is no escape.
C-PTSD is slightly different than PTSD, which is brought on from experiencing one solitary, traumatic incident, or it can develop due to an accumulation of incidents. Although both C-PTSD and PTSD both developed from my experiences, I identify more with C-PTSD, as it was the effects of the prolonged exposure to repetitive and chronic trauma that I felt I couldn’t escape from that affected me the most.
For many months after leaving the relationship I struggled to sleep at night, and when I did I often woke trembling after experiencing terrifying reoccurring dreams. On many occasions when I did eventually sleep I would sleep solid for at least 24 hours, in such deep slumber that I would struggle to wake from it and when I did I would feel fatigued, spaced out and as though I was numbly sleep-walking through the day.
I was easily startled and panicked at the slightest sudden movement or loud noise.
I was ultra-sensitive, on edge and highly alert most of the time, which I believe was my mind’s way of forming some sort of self-protection to keep me aware so that I avoided similar potentially dangerous situations.
At the mention of certain words, names or places I felt nauseous and dizzy and would become extremely distressed. A painful tight knot developed in my stomach every time something occurred to remind me of the trauma.
I still have difficulty remembering large phases of my life, and for a long time I struggled to stay focused, and my concentration abilities were very poor.
I would get upset easily, especially if I was in a tense environment. I had constant anxiety and was regularly in fight-or-flight mode.
I didn’t eat properly. I had no motivation and suicidal thoughts regularly flooded my mind.
I had lost my spark.
One aspect of the aftermath of the relationship that affected me most was the daily gaslighting that I endured. This left me finding it difficult to believe anything people would tell me, and I analyzed, questioned and dissected everything.
Forming new relationships, whether friendships, or romantic, was almost impossible as I struggled to trust people’s intentions and felt scared of possible underlying, hidden motives and agendas for their words or actions.
I dissociated from most of what I had been through and pretended, even to myself, that the abuse wasn’t as serious as it was. Partly because I felt ashamed that I had not left sooner and also because I wanted to defend and protect the person I was involved with, as I still cared for him. Therefore, I rarely mentioned the relationship to anyone and froze and shut down through stress (sometimes resulting in a meltdown) if anyone tried to talk to me about it.
It got to the stage where I withdrew completely as leaving the house became overwhelming and a major ordeal because I wouldn’t/couldn’t open up and connect and I felt terrified of everything and everyone.
One thing that became apparent and harrowing was that although I had gained enough strength to walk away and I felt empowered by the decision knowing that it was the right choice for my emotional, mental and physical health, I was suppressing all my emotions and feelings and I was far from okay on the inside.
There were many rollercoaster emotions trapped inside me and trying to ignore and contain them was doing more harm than good. In many ways the ending of the relationship had signaled closure to one phase of my life and had opened up a new chapter that was going to take a little time to get used to.
I soon realized that unless I started to focus on healing myself, I would remain a victim of my previous circumstances as the build up of emotional injuries, wounds and scars needed urgent attention. Otherwise, they would seep out and silently destroy sections of my life without me being aware that the past was still controlling me.
It was up to me to rebuild my strength and confidence, otherwise I would end up alienating myself and causing further damage.
I had a lot of inner healing work and restructuring to do and trying to convince myself that just because I had left the relationship everything would be okay, was not going to be enough.
The first and most significant step I took was admitting and fully accepting that the carnage I had experienced was real and had a huge impact on my emotional and mental wellbeing.
I had been surviving by a fragile thread in a domestic war zone and for far too long I had been intimidated, manipulated, lied to and threatened, amongst many other toxic and dysfunctional behaviors. The whole relationship had been an illusion and resulted in me having serious trust issues as well as losing the will to live. I not only struggled to trust other people, but I also realized I had no faith at all in my own intuition, perception or judgment.
Finally, I gave myself permission to take as long as I needed to heal, even if it meant I would spend the rest of my life slowly putting the pieces of my life back together. I came to terms with the fact that there is no timescale to healing and there was no hurry.
I allowed myself to grieve the relationship and the loss of the person I had separated from. This was extremely difficult to do as I had so many mixed emotions due to the scale of the abuse. For a long time I denied my grief, as it was complex to come to terms with how I could miss someone who had been responsible for vicious behavior towards me.
One of the hardest parts to dealing with this grief was feeling as though I could not talk openly to anyone, as I believed no one would understand how I could remain in such an abusive relationship and still miss many aspects of that person and the life I had with them.
The reason getting over this type of relationship can be so difficult is that many narcissists display both “Jeckyll and Hyde” type characteristics, one minute appearing extremely loving and affectionate and the next crippling, cruel and cunning.
It is not easy to explain that I deeply loved and badly missed one side of the person I was involved with, and disliked, feared and never wanted to hear his name mentioned at the same time. Even thinking about this can make one feel a little crazy as it does not feel natural to love and hate the same person.
One essential step toward healing from narcissistic abuse, I believe, is finding someone to really confide in and who doesn’t judge or question anything that is said. Being free to talk openly and comfortably without having to over explain is vital to start putting the accumulation of experiences into some sort of context. If there isn’t a friend on hand, it is worth taking time to seek out a good counselor with an understanding of C-PTSD deriving from abusive relationships.
The most important thing that helped me to heal was focusing more on healing and rebuilding myself. Although I took time out to research and gain knowledge and understanding of the type of abuse I had been subjected to, I spent far more of my time indulging myself in whatever felt good for my soul.
Slowly and surely I rebuilt myself, formed new friendships, learned to trust people and forgave all of the past. There are still days that it haunts me, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and although it can be difficult to believe that when you start walking through it, as soon as you take the first steps of acceptance the path ahead begins to become clear.
Healing comes by taking one small step at a time, with gentle, loving care and without hurry…
Author: Alex Myles
Okay, I must admit; I was the one who crawled inside the jar, but who screwed the lid???
daily prompt: vegetal
Come up to the attic, come one and come all.
Climb the steep ladder, its right down the hall.
I promise, I’ll hold your hand, and you won’t fall.
Come up and play with the rest of the dolls.
Come sweet little “precious”, your new journey’s begun.
But, darling, don’t cry, the mascara will run.
Come up to the attic, we’ll play dress up sweet angels.
Don the brightest of pearls ‘round little necks that’ll strangle.
Wrap ‘round slender waists flowing sashes that’ll mangle.
Fluffy boas ‘round bodies that’ll clutch if not handled
Prance streets with bright costumes, dirty school girls to nuns.
Please, darling, don’t cry, the mascara will run.
Come up to the attic, don the make-up of time.
Cover up with blue shadow those heavy eye lines
Replace blotches with blushes, bruises hidden, skin fine.
Bruised lips ‘placed with red ‘stick, stash borrowed from mine.
New look beheld by dank alleys hidden from sun.
Oh, darling, don’t cry, the mascara will run.
Come up to the attic, and play romance games, honey
With grown men that give gifts of sedative candy
Bring you to rose-petal rooms with lights that are dimming
And lay you on holy mattresses that are ever so comfy
Now, just lie there pumpkin, let the men have their fun
No, darling, don’t cry, the mascara will run.
Come up to the attic, and play with sharp things.
Poke ourselves with needles, for a moment they’ll sting.
Make you shake, make you tremble, make your ears ring.
Shoots down your spine, make your bones rattle and sing
Then dance for more in the streets from Monday to Sun.
Hell, darling don’t cry, the mascara will run.
Now come down to my basement, and see what’s in store.
See angels fall from flight, to scratch the blisters that sore.
See the doves turn to crows, into scavenging whores
See pumpkins turn ill and rotten, fall dead on the floor.
See the dolls wander aimless for futures so bleak.
And I turn away while mascara runs down on porcelain cheeks…
~ found poetry
Daily Prompt: Eerie
I was in vacation for four months that year. To avoid the usual holiday misery, I decided to rent a place for myself (but I took my mother with me for safety precaution, hers; not mine) and pursued the peace I was desperately longing for; away from everything, but mostly from the people who wanted a piece of me one way or the other.
So, there I was in my two-bedroom, cute, pink bungalow in the middle of a park (which serves as a multi-purpose function hall for private occasions such as weddings, baptismal and such) minding my own business, singing karaoke, roaming around the gorgeous garden, walking along the beach at sundown, chatting with the people who manage the place, life is indeed almost perfect.
At least I thought it was; till one stormy night.
I got it in my head to wade in the water to bring warm clothing, money and food to ‘someone unfortunate’ who was always hanging around the town’s rotunda.
I said to myself: the person will have some difficulty doing the usual routine of begging for the things s/he needs in that kind of weather. I reckoned I have the means and the time to make a difference even for a day so I thought: why not. The gesture seems noble enough but in hindsight, bad idea. The result was: an unpredicted asthma attack!
So, wheezing, coughing, laboured breathing, I tried to find sleep but to no avail. Then, all of a sudden from nowhere, I heard someone whispered: “There is a chest. Go! Look for it! It’s there!” There was no use searching for another person, my mother was sounds asleep and it was 2:00 o’clock in the morning; I was the only one awake for miles. Besides, the voice was clearly in my head. I tried to concentrate and listen to it. (More like ‘feeling’ for it) After few minutes, I woke up my mother.
Armed with a big bolo, I began dismantling a portion of the wooden wall in the upstairs bedroom saying to myself: I can afford the damage. I could if I don’t get too carried away. And so I went on, thinking: if my hunch turned out to be wrong and I was only hallucinating (I had the right to be, I was having high fever) and the chest is not behind this part of the wall, I could end up breaking the whole thing for no reason at all.
After creating a sizable hole, I lit a candle and shone the light in the cavity I found behind the wall. First, I saw nothing. It was too dark to see anything, but I was too stubborn to admit defeat; I cannot be wrong. (not after I wreck the wall of a rental place) when my eyes were finally adjusted to the darkness I saw an outline of something rectangular; I asked my mother to lights more candles (she by the way was trembling) And there it was, old and grey; the darn chest.
It was difficult to haul the casket out; simply because the hole I created was directly above the stairs. There was simply no place to put my feet on to balance myself and the thing was humongous.
Asthma forgotten, I tried to hold my feet steady on both sides of the baluster and with all my strength, hauled the darn coffer out! (The voice said I will find my picture there and things I needed to further help unfortunate people) I thought: you bet.
Ignoring the rattle of my mother, I opened the chest and what I had found???
Lying inside the chiffonier was a bank book, an insurance policy, an SSS insurance policy complete with all the necessary papers to collect the money. What on earth I’m going to do with all these??? I thought to myself.
There was also a glass box with jewelries (that looks white gold or silver to me) no picture of me but a hand-drawn likeness of eyes, nose and lips! No actual face but the resemblance was striking. I immediately stop digging. (I never reach even half-way into the chest, too creepy even for me) and stared at the damn thing dumbfounded.
The next morning, I went to the owner of the park and told them my story.
They confirmed the name I saw on all the papers. According to them, the person was the original owner of the house. But there was something they could not understand, the place was sold three times over already, and the man whom the crate belonged to had died recently; a week ago to be exact. They said he has one daughter only; a teacher. Whereabouts? Unknown!
I tried to find the daughter or any relatives for that matter. My search turned out fruitless. All the time I was doing this, the house smells like a rotten flesh. I know the smell; I used to be a nurse. But I was the only one who can smell it, strange.
I have questioned myself about the darn trunk: Why on earth he hid the chest from his family? Why he never remove it from where it was when he sold the place? And the million dollar question of course was…why me???
I left the house and the country case still unsolved. The chest… I left it in the care of the people that managing the park. I have no idea what they did with it. I’m not even sure if I want to know.
Sometimes, I wonder… why these things always happening to me???
Where to begin?
Today, (3:51) for the first time, I really start to consider a probable solution for my on-going problem. (Insomnia) I never even toy with the idea before, but months of not being able to sleep at night and being drawn to bed at dawn forced me to think the unthinkable.
As long as I can remember, I have this strange bond with the night. I could be dead tired working whole day, but when the sun goes down, I feel re-charged! Energetic! As if there is some electric current running through my body. I feel excited, euphoric, alive and almost happy!
When it gets dark, I feel so different, like I suddenly possess some extra senses and the other five are working much, much keener, sharper, stronger. It makes me restless. I want per se to move, to do something, to channel energy and whatever it is that is happening to me. I started taking long walks at an early age, later, it manifested in different strange ways and habits; like hanging around videokes, doing graveyard shifts, combing the whole areas for fiestas, outdoors parties for no matter how recluse or introvert I am, I cannot be confined. I hate discos and closed places. I need to be in the middle of the people in open areas, I need space!
What I did when I was younger was organized get together in strange places in the middle of the night, like playing spirit of the glass in town cemetery, breaking in empty houses, sitting on the roof of some school building watching the moon, sleeping in churches, and spending nights in catastrophe areas. I remember when a whole subdivision collapsed due to some engineering faults, the place looks like some ghost town but to me it looks beautiful! I did everything in my power to be able to get in there even though the place was heavily guarded. We spent few nights there, me and a group of young kids. Till some few years ago I always surrounded myself with pretty, young people. I like them around me. I fed on their innocence, energy, enthusiasm and zest. They inspired me and heal my wandering soul in some ways.
When I get older and circumstances rendered me almost prisoner, I turned to books, and later in writing. I often let myself be locked in, in a library or museum. The time I spent there was one of the few happiest moments in my life. I felt like a kid in a candy/toy store.
When situations unable me to continue my odd nocturnal habits, I contented myself by redecorating my house or rearranging furniture in the middle of the night till dawn. Of course it wasn’t the same, but I’ve got to do something, anything. In worse cases, I sorted out my closet and watched old films. Very degrading.
Today, lying next to D. I think the unthinkable; what if I give in to inevitable? What if I taste blood? Before, I would not even consider it, I thought the idea would repulse me, but no, it was… tempting. I closed my eyes and imagine a warm blood sliding across my tongue through my throat, the thought is sort of inviting, exciting even. I could almost taste the fluid, and contrary to what I expected, it brought smile on my face.
I reached out and touched D.’s warm body, it felt good! I looked at his neck and felt the main artery underneath, it pulsed and throbbed under my fingers, I thought… would I like the taste? Would it be liberating? Will I find my true calling? Could it ease my nerves? Can it cure my restlessness and insane wanderings?
I removed my hand from his neck reluctantly saying to myself: “Maybe next time. Maybe next time…”
Someone said to me that only those you truly (love) care about can drive you to the brink of insanity. I disagree. Even random strangers, co-workers, neighbours, people in the streets, bosses, supermarket clerks, authorities, door-to-door salesmen and religious visitors; the government and the ones on the news can drive anyone raving mad at some point. And drivers on the road. Especially drivers on the road… Oh, Lord! Please don’t make me start with that.
“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.”
Don’t laugh, but what he said is true, at least for me. There are some things that I do obsessively, like before I go to sleep, I will check the bathroom, the dressing and the two guest rooms for any sign of intruders. Then I will go to my own bedroom, look under the bed, switch on the night light (can’t sleep without) lock the door, be sure that my phone and my knife are under my pillow and start making a nest. I have a big hotdog pillow on my right side of the bed and two more square ones on my left. These I believe will keep a Ju-On or anybody from laying next to me. Then there is another set of pillows against the open headboard of my bed to keep someone from pulling my hair from under the bed. I never forget to bunch up the sheets/comforter around me and fold them under my feet because like Stephen King said: to stop that thing from grabbing my ankle…
images: taffytoy2 & chemical babygirl
By unanimous vote they elected me to be the one who was going to go back home and get some lunch. They were all adults with the exception of few children around my age. But those are direct descendants, I was the intruder therefore I had no right to protest. It never occurred to me to say I did not know the way, it was my first time there, I was not familiar with the terrain and the place was not exactly highlighted in the map (besides, there was no map) in fact, it was in the middle of nowhere and if I remember correctly, quite a long walk from where we came from. Why people had to wash their clothes in God’s forsaken place where the water was so brown and dirty the surface was adorned with floating unspeakable, I had no idea. But who am I to complain? I was only eight years old and knew nothing so, off I went.
It was a glorious day (like most days in that part of the world) the sun was beating down my neck and there was a slight breeze which I was grateful for it provided some respite from all that heat. I have chosen the path to follow from crisscrossing beaten tracks by feelings alone since I had no idea where to go. In my thoughts I was more or less half way when all of a sudden from one second to another it went dark. Not so dark that I could not see any more where I was heading but dark enough to think that from noon the day shifted suddenly to a beginning of an evening. So far so good.
After few hundreds meter, I found myself on a sloping path that leads to a river. Some river. The water was ink black and the trees that were standing on its banks were twisting violently in the wind which for some reason did not affect other vegetation surrounding the area including the ones behind me. I will tell you this because it’s true. When one is so young and one’s mind is not yet corrupted one doesn’t feel easily afraid.
Though the situation might look bizarre to most people, to me that was just another day in paradise. I have been brought up not to ask questions but follow instruction blindly or otherwise all the hell will break loose, so, I waded in.
There were various things in that murky water. All of them floating against the current. One was a small coffin which passed directly in front of me I could not resist opening the already askew lid. Lying inside was a small child of around five years old in a fetal position, eyes closed; I quickly replaced the lid and sent the box on its way.
I emerged in an old abandoned cemetery. It was so dilapidated that some of the graves were broken and lying open. By that time, it was already raining so hard I was soaked through and through. I didn’t remember when it had started because I was so engrossed with the idea of reaching home and completing my task I didn’t care much about the rest.
Negotiating my way between broken debris, I felt the hairs on my neck suddenly standing up and I knew by instinct that I was not alone anymore. I looked up and saw a baby boy of around 6-8 months old, bald and naked perched on top of a broken high concrete wall, smiling malevolently at me, eyes blazing. Most people would run by then but not me, I started walking slowly in reverse instead keeping my eyes on the baby. What happened next will be forever engraved in my memory as long as I live. When I thought he cannot see me any more even from his peripheral vision, I decided to turn around and was about to run when the evil-looking infant twisted his head and turned it around 360 degrees to my direction. My mind corrupted or not suddenly screamed at me to run and I did_ as fast as I could.
My feet brought me to the adjacent newly built memorial garden. I saw that there was a burial going on. I sought refuge from the rain under the rose bushes and watched. A very kind lady noticed me and came with her umbrella. She motioned for me to come with her inside the vehicle which was parked a few meters away. I refused. She begged, cajoled to get me out from my shelter for seemed hours to me, but in the end she gave up and drove away with sadness in her eyes. She told me I was pretty.
The rain stopped and I hopped on top of the low wall surrounding the property to find my way home. I like walking on that small tight space. I pretended I was on a balance beam. After a while, a cat joined me. S/he walked on front of me and once and a while throw me side glances as if to see if I was still following. When the wall ended, we both jumped off and I was amazed to find out that I was home! I never see the cat again.
To this day, I am still wondering… how things would’ve turned out if I have made a different decision in the past… like going with that (kind?) lady?
I have a weapon in every room. No, not a gun (though I prefer to have one but…)
In the master bedroom, I have an axe which I bought accidentally without even knowing I did. I mentioned it already before, being in a DIY shop and admiring this beautiful little axe and testing the weight in my hand. In my memory, I put it back; but when I checked out I found that the cute axe was among my purchased. I didn’t return it. Not even crossed my mind to do so.
In the guest room I have this gorgeous ice pick. It feels good in the hand and looks so… harmless. I keep it in the laundry basket. The axe is hidden between my clothes. In the other bedroom there is a hammer, sleek and thin and all steel. It got a slim neck and easy handle of perforated rubber material for a good grip.
Kitchen… also a hammer but in different style, square head and really, heavy.
I know the place by itself is an arsenal, I don’t have to secure it one might say, but I feel better that way. Besides, anyone would know about the knives; but I’m the only one who know about the hammer (grin)
Next to the TV is a real axe, almost as tall as me. I found it in the shed when we bought the house. Must be for chopping wood, but I like it so much I wanted to hang it on the wall; but I can’t do it without damaging too much the already damaged wall, so on the floor it remains.
Why on earth I have these things? Same reason why I am locking doors of whatever room I’m in, I don’t want to be surprised defenceless. I remember buying two; no three massive bronze cats with extra long necks (for easy grip) from auction and putting them on my night stand simply because I thought it will come in handy. And I even hate cats!
And of course all that beautiful fireplace accessories! Poker and all! Handy.
All my candle holders are bought with the same purpose in mind. I can be anywhere in the house and I will be able to depend myself (ha ha) I remember the look on everyone’s face when I decided to put grills inside the French windows of the garage.
But they don’t see what I see. I can understand why they have to put locks and bolts and that entire security thing on doors but will leave the garage at the mercy of anyone who wants to come in. That window there take up the entire top half of the whole place, and it’s not even double glazed! Amazing! It’s like saying: come in, come in.
What my-reason-for-living-in-Europe thinks about it…? I don’t really know. As far as I can see, it doesn’t bother him at all. He said he sleeps better when I’m in the room (God knows what that means) and I sleep better when nobody is around. I cannot even stand a smell of another individual on sheets and pillow cases. I want the room to smell fresh forever and its damn difficult if someone is insisting to sleep in it…
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”
(Edgar Allan Poe)
…this time I got a clear view of him!
He was wearing a black and white striped shirt and some light coloured baseball cap.
He even was carrying flowers! White, unknown species of some prairie blooms.
I saw him by the door; the b*stard!
Then, all of a sudden: Wham! Bam! He was by the bed choking me!
I can smell his rotten smell! Feel his protruding stomach, my nails digging into his forearm… the s**t!
Reciting the names of my dear children (I didn’t know why? Just felt I needed to call someone who is important to me) and praying to God; I gathered all my strength and one by one prised his sausage fingers away from my throat, bending them backwards till he howled in pain!
I opened my eyes and he popped out of my sight!
G*ddamn being! Unlike his predecessor, this one is ruthless!
He didn’t do any preliminaries like the others; he just came to do his business.
Bad, bad person! He thinks I’m scared of him?
No way Jose! They have been visiting me for so long I have gotten used to them and their untimely arrivals! Bunch of no good….!
But this was the first time I encountered him though. For years it was always been the same someone who was paying me a call. The one I called Humprey Bogart, the gentleman assassin. Didn’t worked out; so, they sent somebody new?
The altered appearance of this visitor maybe designed to scare me. Who knows?
He will come again, that’s for sure. I’m not looking forward to it but hey, what a girl can do?
Reply To Daily Prompt: Second-Hand Stories
“For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream.”
(Edgar Allan Poe in Eleonora)
I saw him. Yes I did. I wish I hadn’t.
Like I said before, I cannot sleep when there is someone lying next to me. I need to be alone in bed, or otherwise I cannot fall asleep. Besides, I can’t stand the smell of another person on my sheets and pillow cases. I want my bedroom to be clean, fresh and smells like me. So, since the beginning of time, I have my own corner and later my own room. Even back then when I was with my ex and he raised hell because of it, I insisted to have my own private quarter and got what I wanted. The result was nobody can lock any room in our house. He made sure of that.
That particular (extraordinarily dark) night I was not in my designated space. I didn’t want to risk the chance of my ex bothering me there so, I decided to hide in my son’s bedroom.
I could have put a dresser against the door in case__but experience taught me that it will only encourage him furthermore.
My son that time happened to be sleeping at my aunt’s house, but my ex didn’t know it and that was good; it means my son’s room was the most unlikely place he was going to look for me. No matter how fuck the man might be, he more or less still is a good father; unless it’s that time of the year again, then nothing counts.
My son had two clever annoying spoiled cats named Dulce and Snooze, they were mother and daughter. Both of them loved to swing themselves on my draperies and could open doors by themselves. I caught them in the act of doing exactly that. From a reasonable distance they would run at full speed, then jump; grab the handle and hang on there till the door opens. Hateful little pests. If only my son did not adore them…
I was already deep in my slumber when I felt some presence in the room (I sleep like a duck or a dolphin, with one eye open. With my ex in the neighbourhood, you never know…) and I thought: Snooze. She was the favourite and treated the room of my son as hers, technically I was the intruder; I sighed and told myself for one night it didn’t matter, I could share a room with a cat.
After a while I felt some weight pressing down on the mattress. She must have jumped in the bed with me. A moment later I felt something was on my chest so, I said: “Snooze, go away” and I swept her off me.
My arm must have fallen off the side of the bed because I realized that it was on the floor and the darn cat was licking my fingers. Once again I shooed the animal away.
But she continued sucking my fingers, biting at them tenderly, then harder and harder slowly swallowing my entire hand bit by bit.
I reached the top of my patience and retrieved my hand from inside her mouth and put it under the sheets. Yet for some reason I could not go back to sleep. So, I opened my eyes and saw that the cat was sitting next to the bed watching me. I could see the top of her head and half of her body sticking over the guard rails of the bed. My uncle put it there to stop my son from falling off while sleeping.
That was when all the warning bells in my head started screaming at me: “Wake up! Wake up! There’s definitely something wrong here!” All at once I realized that it could not be the cat.
She wasn’t that tall. If it was Snooze who was sitting there, I would not see her at all; even in sitting position, the bed plus the rails were going to hide her entire form from my sight. So, I sat up and I saw him!
He was the most handsome man I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. His face wore a kind of indulgent amused expression one might wear when looking at something or someone he is very fond of, not threatening at all!
I could cmearly see the outline of his perfect muscular naked body kneeling on the side of the bed. For the rest, he was shrouded in darkness except the tips of his horns; there was this sort of red illumination, like the kind of light you get when you put your hand over a candle light, or shine a flashlight from under your palm.
When our eyes met… he smiled.
That did it. I jumped out of bed, got tangled up in the sheets and landed face down on the floor. I got up and ran; hitting every light switch I passed by and ended up in the room of my ex. I dived next to him, put the cover over my head and hugged his back.
The next morning, he asked me what I was doing in his bedroom and why all the lights were on when he woke up, and why my son’s room looked like a tornado had been there. I didn’t know how to answer him so, I just cried and cried…
To this day, from time to time when I think about the whole thing, I question not only my sanity but the authenticity of the creature’s existence. Did I really see him? Or it was only my imagination. Did I dream the whole thing? But If I did__ weren’t I supposed to wake up in my own bed instead of running like mad to the very place I want to avoid at all cost, to someone I will never feel safe with hitting the lights on all the way through? I doubt it…
If I would be in costume this Hallows’ Eve, it will look something like this…
I will wait for the children to come to my door asking treat-or-trick. Before I hand them apples and candies, I will tell them scary stories first (I have tons of those courtesy of my mother) like about Aswang and Manananggal and so on… by the end of the evening I will have a bunch of angry parents at my doorsteps demanding I will be burned alive at the stake for practicing witchcraft. They will tie me to a post and light the pile of wood under my feet but before the fire can consume me, I will magically disappear in a puff of smoke, laughing…
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