She cried in silence like she had done a thousand times before. The house of cards she so carefully built came tumbling down after the words of her son cut to the bone. Typically, she could hold tight, push through, and not let harsh words touch her so deeply, but she was tired. She could usually tuck away her pain, but the cracks in her hard outer shell broke open.
She could no longer see the projections others place on her. No, not tonight. Tonight, every word became true. She was strained. She was crushed under the pressure of every expectation weighing upon her.
She sobbed in silence.
She knew no one would come to her aid.
She was the only constant she could trust.
She cried for her childhood, interrupted by loss.
She cried for the absence of her older brother. Her guardian and champion.
She cried for her innocence lost – lost to a strange groping man who thought a little girls’ loins were his property.
She cried for her dismissal when her mother did nothing to keep him away.
She cried, for her voice unheard.
She cried over her abandonment.
She cried for her body because it was never good enough.
She cried for her intellect because it was too much.
She cried for her sister, who walled herself off and left her behind.
She cried for her lost life. The life that should have been and could have been.
She cried for her shadows, who reached for her from the darkness.
She mourned her life as everything came flooding back to her mind. Every memory and every feeling of inadequacy. That familiar sensation of being much and not enough, all at the same time.
Her tears ran like rain as her shadows spoke to her. Each voice was a reminder of her failures. Each word is a reminder of her missed opportunities. Each remark was like a hand pulling her deeper into the black abyss.
It was her choice. She could remain here in the company of all her shadows. At least then, she would not be alone. She could lay on the cold ground and listen as they whispered in her ear. She could remain silent, broken, and out of sight. She could allow the shadow to capture her, engulf her, and blanket her with misery.
It was her choice to rise to free herself from the cold gates of her prison. She chooses to no longer allow the past to hijack her future. Her choice is to reach for the light, taking all her strength and endurance.
Willfully she takes a seat at the table where she speaks with the shadows who whisper in the dark. She intends to learn their names and soothe her pain with hot tea and understanding. She chooses to live her life on her terms.
She took out a large candle, struck a match, and began her journey toward the light. She closed her eyes and called upon the Dark Goddess for support. She leaned into the power Divinity offered. One day at a time, she found herself in the presence of spirits greater than herself. She learned to navigate the Shadowlands each day as she moved closer to her purpose.