Staring into darkness’ eyes.

eyesI cannot move, paralysed by fear. I keep seeing it over and over in my head; A little girl. Her bedroom door creaking. The sound of footsteps moving closer. Her stepfather’s hands pulling back the covers. His hand covering her mouth. She cannot speak. She cannot cry. His hands moving lower, she is frozen in fear. She is just a little girl. She is me.

My heart is pounding and my hands are sweaty as I lay here willing myself to open my eyes, so that I can see that I am safe.

My body is heavy, weighted to the spot. I wish someone could shake me from my sleep. “All you have to do is open your eyes” I think to myself.

I am scared to open them, knowing that when I do the relief will only last a short while. Minute’s later reality will hit me. I will remember that waking is no better than sleeping.

I open my eyes. Darkness stares back at me. I turn my head and see my husband fast asleep. I am grateful that I have not woken him. Just seeing him lying next to me is enough to comfort me a little.

Right now. In this moment.  I am safe.

However, I cannot leave the safety of my bed. I reach for the glass of water on my bedside table, thankful that I always take a glass to bed with me so that I do not have to leave the safety of my bed. I try to calm my breathing. My body is sweaty but cold too. I shiver as goose bumps begin to appear.

I pull the covers up closer to my chin. Apart from my head, my whole body is under the covers now. The duvet encases me like a cocoon, a safety blanket of fluffiness.

Even though I know my husband is lying next to me I am still anxious. All I can see is darkness and suddenly I can hear every little noise. Leaves on the trees blowing in the wind. Footprints of someone walking outside. A car driving past our house. I begin to panic again.

Right now. In this moment. I am safe.

I am exhausted but I cannot fall back to sleep. I am afraid. I know that closing my eyes will take me back to that hell. Back into my nightmare.

I don’t want to go back there, back to darkness, but no matter what I do I cannot stop it.

My head is in a dark place. My dreams are becoming darker and darker, unfolding into nightmares. Except they aren’t just nightmares, they are memories. Vivid, real, disturbing memories.

The darkest places I have ever seen are all inside of me.

My nightmares have no expiration date. Every time I fall asleep I fall back into darkness.

My memories never end. Even when awake I am remembering, reliving, re-experiencing the abuse; emotional, physical, sexual. I feel it all. Everything I felt as a child. I feel it all. Even when awake I fall into the darkness. At least when I am awake I can try and control it. I can cut.

I am angry now. I can feel myself starting to give in to the tiredness.

I don’t want to fall asleep but I don’t want to be awake either.

This nightmare never ends. The darkness never lifts.

Finally as I begin to close my eyes, I wonder;

Will I always be staring into darkness’ eyes?


Thanks for reading.

**Image courtesy of Google Images**

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