The voices are back. Those whispers that wake me at 4am, making sleep impossible. Doubts, fears, panic, turmoil, whispering into my brain, my companions in the night. I had thought these demons tamed and placated, slumbering in my dark recesses. But I was wrong, again. They wake as easily as I do, from the lightest touch, the slightest movement, gentle soughings, soft sighs. Any slight disturbance and they are reawakened, invigorated by their brief rest. My nocturnal visitors stay with me until dawn finds me groggy, distracted and incoherent. Their gentle gropings, sibilant slander, hissing harassments deprive me of much needed sleep, rob me of my peace, steal away my confidence. When dawn arrives and sends the demons back into the shadows, she finds me raw and brittle. Once again.
The demons do speak truths in their own derisive manner. They remind me of past mistakes, delight in revealing that I seem doomed to repeat them. They show me the path I find myself on to be all too similar to paths I have trod. They show me landmarks that I should remember, must remember, in order to flee from what may likely be imminent doom. The path takes me to graves of my buried past, shows me that cold, heavy rains have washed away loose soil to reveal skeletal fragments I had hoped decayed into dust. The demons make me examine the shards of bone for forensic evidence that will prove to me my own serial nature, my modus operandi. It seems I cannot step outside of my profile, no matter how I try. I actively seek and pursue what I think to be a different route, going so far as to head in the opposing direction. But it seems to be of no avail. The tangled pathways of my heart and mind keep slowly turning me back towards what the fates have deemed to be my inevitable, lonely, solitary existence. I feel lost in a dense forest, circling back on myself, stumbling over roots, tripping over brambles, bruised and scratched, returning again and again those exposed graves. I want to sit down in the dirt and sob, weep in sheer desperation and frustration, cry out against fate, finally succumb to the dark loneliness of my predicament, lay down and just give up. But is it reality? Or demon trickery?
Demons are well known for subterfuge, mind games, deceit. They can conjure images from sulpher and smoke, images tangible, visceral and solid. Or seemingly so. But they are really just fakery, smoke and mirrors, slight of hand, deception. The pile of clothing in the corner that takes on the visage of a horrifying night terror, exposed for a fake with the first light of day. Though there is truth salted into their nocturnal whisperings, it is only there to add to their believeability. Any truth can be convoluted and twisted until it becomes an obstacle to reality. Demons take my truths, mold them, torque them, contort and crumple them, until they are no longer recognizeable. My convictions and beliefs falter, my sense of reality distorts, I believe their truths instead of my own.
But knowledge is power. I know what my demons are attempting to do, I know their methods, understand their techniques. They make me see insurmountable obstacles where there are really only challenges, they try to make me give up before I truly get started. These bastard demons attempt to make me feel unworthy, undesireable, unwanted, rejected. At times they stage all out war on my Sense of Self and Self Worth. Clever as they are, I am more grounded than they give me credit. Despite the fears and doubts that assail me when I am vulnerable in my lonely nights, I can hold these fears at bay until light reveals their deceptions. Fatigue may leave me brittle, raw, emotional, delicate, but I have inner strength that I can draw upon as reinforcements while I fight back. It is a battle I fight over and over. But each time I back the demons into their cave and do my best to block their escape, they lose a fragment of the power they hold over me. I refuse to let them twist and trample my dreams and desires. I will keep my eyes lifted to the sun, and follow its path, until I reach the edge of the tangled thicket and look out over the vast expanse of my future.
"Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable." T.N. Vail