I’m burning down my shadows…

You saw yourself through my eyes and you loved it…that image of a strong, loving, bright, handsome man. You saw the hero in you…and you wanted more with every moment…

I was always afraid, you know? Afraid that I’ll say the wrong things, afraid that I’m not good enough. I was wrong. It wasn’t about me, not a single moment. It was all about the fragility of our love. A castle build on quicksand…

And you were honest from the very beginning. “I need to be needed.” I ignored your words, just like I ignored everything that didn’t fit on my perfect picture of the perfect love…

A hopeless love. Falling in and falling out our own fantasies. I needed you, just like you wanted…But our precious moments faded into banality and the fantasy was broken. And it broke my heart along with it.

Please remember our last moment. Please…don’t ever forget what tore us apart. I need you to remember while I need to forget. The touch of your cold hand and your eyes…hungrily searching deep into my soul…and you found…nothing.

“Where once was love, now is just an empty place. And I don’t know what to do. Please, help me…” -my words-

(love me…

hold me…

tell me that you really care…

want me…

fight for us!)

But you just looked away.

And I gave up on us.

“WOW. No faith. Absolutely no faith at all.” -your words-

And these words exactly killed the remains of our broken fantasy. Along with my heart. You know…you had every right to blame me. I took away my love. I asked for more when you thought you gave me all of you (you were wrong). I wanted to be about us…more than about you. You had every right to blame me…

But…you had NO RIGHT to talk about faith. Something so precious…on your lips it sounded like a blasphemy. And I blame you for that.

So I took my murdered love along with the faith you claimed you never witnessed in me.

I raised my head and I walked in dignity.

And you desperately followed me. You turned my head so you would look into my eyes for one last time. And you thought (how naive) you’ll see The hero. The savior. The powerful. The wise, strong, handsome and bright.

Oh no…not this time.

This time we’ll face reality, my love. Look. Come on, I dare you. Look deep. See who you are. Face the truth,

my beloved Shadow.

P.S. You’ll never read this letter and I couldn’t care less. I’m burning these memories and I’m facing the light. Be well and be careful…another shadow may need you to need it…

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Chasing illusions that you’re longing for…

Her eyes were lost somewhere, far away…in a world I couldn’t see. Not anymore. Her trembling hands were cold, too cold. Too pale.

“She’s already gone…that’s why we called you. Her last words were “Call the princess. Tell her to bring the magic mirror” and then she entered in this catatonic state…We’re losing her. So we thought…considering the connection between you two…”

Sister Isabel was almost crying. I knew how she cares for Eleanor…and the guilt kept growing inside my heart, like a huge shadow. I encouraged her to tell me the story…and now she’s trapped in the same story she created so beautifully…

A story where I’m The Princess…in love with The Shadow. A story of passion. He wants me so he destroys me. He speaks of eternity and serenity and faith but he creates wars inside me. So I fight. The rebel in me finally awakens and I come back home. A hero. A brokenhearted hero…

-I’m here, Eleanor…can you feel me holding your hand?

Princess.

Was it real or was it just my imagination?

-How do you feel? Sister Isabel told me you don’t want to eat…we’re all so worried…Eleanor…

Magic. Mirror.

That’s how she named my laptop. In a world where technology brings us closer…she felt alienated. She felt unsafe. Knowing that a window to another world can open anytime…

-It’s only me and I miss your stories. I miss your poems. I miss you. We all do…

Shadows. Are. You. Real? Real? Real?

The nurse tells me that she needs rest and she hears. I see tears on her face and it makes my heart ache. She repeats the echos in her mind.

Real?

-We’re all real and we all care for you. You are safe. Sister Isabel watched over you every day and I came as soon as she called me. Please tell me how can I help.

Her body suddenly stiffens and I see her fighting. I see her trying to stand. I hear her voice, weakened but still strong.

I had to cross the bridge, Princess. I had to meet the Shadow. I looked into his dark, cold eyes. He looked back and now my soul is frozen. And I’m back but I’m not back. I’m here and I’m there. And he wants you to know. He wants you to feel. You belong to him. We are all shadows…

She shakes her head so violently and her voice is unrecognizable.

No, don’t bring me back. I want to be where silence is stronger than pain. Princess…when you chase your illusions, he knows what you’re really longing for…

To believe the lies and to fall into the deception. And it’s only natural for the shadow that you are. But don’t…We need you to rise. For LOVE.

More of Eleanor’s stories:

https://betweenthelines2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/remember-me-to-the-one-who-lives-there/

https://betweenthelines2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/thats-how-you-reshape-destiny/

 

Heavenly bound

Maybe outside the air will be easier to breath. Maybe if I move slowly, no one will notice. Maybe if I wear these sun glasses, my eyes wont be able to betray my tormented soul. Maybe…

I was right, wasn’t I? I left the church with slow moves, so no one saw…I wore the sun glasses so that I’d look perfectly calm and…in peace. And I found these stairs, right here, behind the big entrance. No one would find me here…I can finally find some rest. But…

Is there any rest for the restless?

-I hope there is, ’cause, like it or not, we’re all a bit restless. Especially today. Want some?

He was offering me a doughnut with such a warm and friendly voice, like we would had been friends for years. I tried to ignore him, hating myself for this bad habit of saying it out loud. My inner conversations…

-So, you’re a runaway, just like myself, aren’t you? I saw you running out of the church. Gracefully, indeed…but you still need to work on your moves…that door made a terrible noise…So, let’s hear your story. And, please, I already saw the tears, just take off the glasses…

I still ignore him but I try to figure out…he’s too clean and decently dressed to be a homeless…And he has this attitude, like he knows me…but I feel such a good vibe, like I’m completely safe. Yeah, right…safe…

-Okay, I’ll start then, since you’re so quiet…The bishop’s voice is always making me sleepy. Well, today…I was too hungry to sleep and the doughnuts were getting cold. Are you sure you don’t want one?

I smile. I don’t want to, I’m afraid I’m encouraging him, but I can’t stop smiling. And I take off the sun glasses.

-Oh, my God! Look at your eyes. Greener than green. Are they always like this when you cry, or does it happen only in old churches?

-Only when I’m torn apart. And when the darkness wins. 

How could I? I just…spoke the words, exactly the words in my mind. I mean…I never spoke so honestly…What’s wrong with me?

-Well, Light won too many times, right? It was about time to let a little room for the darkness. So, how is it when darkness wins?

-Horrible! I look around me and everyone has more. And I hate them. More love, more care, more attention, more…everything. More than I’ll ever have! 

-Brrrr…that sounds awful. Are you sure you don’t want a doughnut? I have more than I need. Upsss…I have more! Can you believe how insensitive I just have been?

He sounds so childlike, so funny, so incredibly innocent. I laugh through tears.

I think I’ll go home. Thanks for offering me your doughnuts…

-You are home. And you are loved. Look above…you have the Heaven’s love. Everyone there is sending you love. Every day. An angel is watching over you permanently with complete care and attention. Saints are praying for your heart to be healed. And when you cry, you are held and cradled by heavenly arms.

And THIS. This is all yours. The fresh air, the cold rivers, the restless sea, the calming rain, the earth was created for you. So you can enjoy your every step into this journey.

I look above…I was so wrong. Forgive me…

And you are forgiven even before saying the words. Even before feeling the regret. That’s how much you are loved.

-Wait…who are you? How do you know…

I’ll never know. But HE knows and now I will say it out loud.

Darkness never won.

And nobody knows it but me…

“Can I cry a little in your arms? And then, I promise…I will tell you everything. Every little detail of my haunting nightmares.”

I’m in the train, looking at the window, contemplating a devastated world. Everything turned into ruins. I wonder if that’s the end of the world and I feel like crying. But I wear a brave smile. My children are with me and my little one is holding me so tight. I will be brave for them…

Dust and stones everywhere outside. The train itself looks like it has been hit by a grenade. People in the train are tired and defeated. Some are hurt, but no one complains. No one cries. We’re all silent, a silence that makes me tremble inside. My little girl is playing silently and I want to believe she’s safe…

It all happened in a second. She jumped from the train and I followed her. The silence was broken. I heard a very clear voice. “Let her go, save yourself. If you jump from that train, you’re not safe anymore.” It was a matter of choice and I choosed. 

We’re walking on that field that once was green…People are lying down, my girls are asking me if they’re dead. “Yes, they’re probably dead.” We’re not scared, we’re not sad, we’re not cold anymore. What I feel is beyond any human emotion. Is a void, a deep, dark void. I’m passing along the dead bodies.

This woman, I know her eyes. She just turned and grabbed my arm. “I thought you’re dead.” I hear myself saying the words and I still can’t feel anything. She looks deep into my eyes. 

“Here is the place where the living ones are waiting to die. You just take your place. Do nothing, feel nothing. In time, you’ll believe you’re dead and you’ll act like it. It is so easy, just lay there and wait…”

I see my place among the others. I go there with robotic moves and I lie on the floor. I cover my body with a white sheet. I try to feel nothing and I feel everything. I’m cold, I’m afraid, I’m sad, I’m horrified. I’m suffocating. I’m alive.

And I wake up crying.

He holds me so tight and it feels warm and safe. “Oh, baby…I’m so sorry…I love you and still…I allowed your inner world to become a devastated place. The war between us, my love…this silent war between our hearts…you, making heartbreaking choices…”

He kisses me like he didn’t kissed me for years. And I just cry. He’s wiping away my tears and whispers soft words in my ear. He tells me it will be okay, we will be okay. And I feel I was given a second chance. I am alive. I am right where I belong. He’s still the love of my life.

“Your love is the most precious gift…to hold you, to make love to you, to feel the soft touch of your skin on mine…this is a dream, baby.”

A cruel light is violently pulling me out of his warm, loving arms. I’m back on the train, I’m cold and I know this dream. I know it by heart. And all I can do is to make the choice. To wear a brave smile. To pray that I’ll break out this circle. Knowing that his loving arms wont be there waiting…

And I wake up crying.

 

How can I try to right the wrong?

“This is one of those moments. Your future may depend on your intuition. On your inner voice. This is when there are no answers, not in your books. When you, my fellow students, future colleagues, are supposed to use your talent. Your gift. So, let’s begin.”

And here I am, completely unprepared…exhausted after so many sleepless nights, emotionally drained after so many fights. I can’t be a good therapist now, when I feel I have nothing left to give. And this professor, he obviously saw the dark circles under my eyes. He probably thinks I came straight from a party. When the truth is…

The door opens and it’s too late for me to walk away. I’m about to lose everything…

I hear rumors around me. He didn’t mentioned that we need to review the chapter about psychosis. Look at the case he brought…he’s doing this intentionally. I wonder if she’s under any medication. 

I try to concentrate on the case. I can’t. All I see is a girl my age, scared, confused, with a teddy bear in her arms. Her name is Deana and she’s telling us her story so that we can present our therapeutic approach. She speaks so fast, laughing from time to time. Short laughs…I wonder if my colleagues see that she’s trying hard not to cry.

And there’s something in her eyes, in her voice that touches my heart. There’s something in that faked laugh of hers that brings tears in my eyes. And I realize…oh, how it hurts…that we’re studying her and she knows. And, for a reason I can’t understand, she’s looking at me. Straight into my eyes, with a trusty smile.

And I hear my colleagues theories and they all deserve the best grade. And it’s my turn to speak. And I’m afraid, not that I’m losing my scholarship, not that I wont pass this exam.

I’m afraid I’ll let her down. I’m afraid that her trust in me is misplaced.

“Will you please present your approach on this (very clear) case of psychosis? So that we can all go home?”

The professor’s condescendent  tone makes me aware that I already lost. So, why wouldn’t I risk it all and just speak my mind?

“She’s not a case and she’s not psychotic. Her name is Deana, she’s standing right here, in front of us, feeling lonely, humiliated, scared and lost. Hearing our theories about her. Listening how we’re going to treat her. Do we really help her now?”

The room became smaller as the silence around me made my knees tremble. Terrified looks, the sarcastic smile on the professor’s face. That’s it. If I’m losing my scholarship, at least I’ll do it with greatness.

The professor stares at me and I feel like I’m the case here. But he asks me to continue so I look at Deanna.

“Thank you for sharing your amazing story, it was very brave of you. Thank you. Deana, from all the people in this room, including myself, there’s only one person who holds the keys to your healing. And that person is YOU. Please tell me how can I help you in using these keys.”

She comes closer and I hear her whispering “thank you”. And, against all the rules, I go there, in front of my colleagues and I hug her.

Someone is applauding and I wonder how much sarcasm I can stand…

“You see, fellow students, Deana is, indeed, not a case. And absolutely not psychotic. She’s just a really great actress (thank you, Deana, for participating to our little experiment). The script was about the borderline behavior. None of you even mentioned this term. Everyone jumped to treat what cannot be treated: life. Except for our idealist colleague. My dear, allow me to encourage your emphatic approach, but the harsh reality is that your hugs wont right the wrongs of life. It’s simply not enough…”

I passed the exam. And it meant nothing.

What truly mattered and still does…

is that LIFE needs to be lived, not treated. 

The wrong needs to be righted, not only observed and commented

and a hug may not be enough, but it surely is essential and meaningful.

So…this is my warm hug. And my way of saying THANK YOU, my wonderful friends from our blogging world. For all the encouragement, for all the healing words, for being here when I’m tempted to give up. For reminding me that kindness is our universal language. Thank you!

 

With standing ovations!

Truth or Dare? Okay…don’t say I didn’t warned you! So, when was the last time you did it?

I looked at his playful, sparkling eyes and I started to laugh from the bottom of my heart. Like I didn’t laughed for years…

-Oh, God!!! Look at me, I cry from all this laughing! You made me cry!!!

Well…you’re also red like a tomato! Dirty mind! I was only asking about the last time you hugged your favorite toy! A toy…like a child’s toy, you know? Not what you imagine!

Without thinking, without analyzing, I found myself hugging him tight. So tight, like I was about to lose him…

-Right now! I’m the happiest child in the entire world! And I’m hugging my favorite toy!

Okay, kiddo…the toy feels pretty happy too…even if…a bit awkward being objectified like I’ve just been…Nooo! Don’t let go!

-I wish…

A part of me just wanted to say the words. But that part…never wins. That part of me brought me here…and still, it never wins.

That was a good start. You wish. And now…tears. Don’t cry! Anything you wish, it’s yours! 

-Can I make a list?

Only if you stop crying.

How do I tell him, without breaking the magic? How do I say the words? No…

I know…it makes me cry too…almost. But I never cry, just like you never stop playing your role. You’re always on the stage, the lights are on you and you’re charming! The curtains never fall and when they do…you just pretend you’re still on the stage. So that you can continue playing…

-You’re hurting me.

Why? 

-You just called me “fake”!

I called you “desperate”…

-Whatever…I was wrong to come here. You know nothing about me. Nothing!

I know what you wish…

-Really? Let’s see…

You wish you could love him. Just like you pretend, in your every waking hour. Just like you play it…so damn well, with so much talent and dedication. Don’t worry. Lights are still on. Go back to the stage, the public is waiting. With standing ovations.

I woke up. The bed was empty. So was my heart.

 

 

When words are all we have…

His words pierced the silence “Oh, if I only had a gun!” and, for a moment, she looked at me with her blurry eyes, in an unspoken prayer…

-Miss, please…

The falling rain was simply aggravating my own sensation of sickness. The dirt, the stains of blood on her clothes, the horrible smell of alcohol, her hand touching my arm…

Her hand clinging to my arm. It was enough to drive him over the edge. He pushed her and she fell down on her knees. In the mud.

“As I said, if I only had a gun…”

-Please don’t say that, you don’t know what you’re talking about! I could be…her.

Come on, honey…

-Do you remember that storm, that terrible storm in Budapest…

…we were there, laughing and talking and the sky was sunny and clear. It happened so fast, twenty minutes or even less. I found myself running terrified with our baby in my arms. I fell…my clothes were wet, filled with mud…our baby girl started to cry desperately…

…a branch fell and hit me and I saw the blood running down my forehead. I was afraid I’ll die there. Trees were falling, a chair almost hit the baby and you were nowhere…

…and I begged for help, with tears in my eyes, knowing that they can’t understand me…like I can’t understand them…I was just a stranger with clothes covered in mud, with a baby in my arms, scared, desperate, hurt…

WHAT IF THEY HAD A GUN?

“You are being melodramatic.”

…someone came with a blanket and they took us into their home. Without understanding our language, they gave us dry clothes, a glass of hot milk for our girl, toys, cookies…they helped me clean the mud and the wound on my forehead. And then you came…

“And I thanked them, remember? I offered them money but they refused.”

…that old lady hugged me.

“Babe, that’s irrelevant. I mean…well, why do I bother anyway? If that stinky creature touches you again, she’ll wish I had a gun!”

With blurry eyes, the woman pointed at me in a silent prayer. So I went to her and I helped her stand. I gave her my umbrella and the little money I had over me.

She said nothing. Then suddenly and unexpectedly she spitted towards him.

“Great, just great…Where’s that GUN when I need it!!”

-You have a gun. Please don’t use it to hurt an innocent one…

“So now I have a gun? Where is it? And where’s the innocent one in all this?”

Your words are your strongest and most dangerous weapon. They can create hate…So, please, don’t use them to hurt someone. That someone could be ME someday. Or YOU. 

So, why are we wasting time when we have so many bridges to re-build? Through words, because that’s all we have left to give…

 

 

Tonight, for the first time…

His fingers were warm and their gentle pressure on my lips made my heart race. The smell of tobacco filled my lungs, a sweet intoxicating scent, making me painfully aware that I’m on foreign territory.

He wanted me to stop. His simple question needed an honest answer, but all I was able to offer were my pathetic attempts to explain, to make excuses, to make a fool out of myself…And he was right, I needed to stop.

“Why are you here?”

He repeated the question with an almost childlike curiosity. His fingers were slowly lowering the pressure and I was relieved…I took a deep breath. His eyes were glowing in the darkness…the eyes of a predator. My lips were burning, the absence of his touch became unbearable.

“I’m here because…I needed a place to escape.”

He came closer and the anticipation made my knees tremble. If he were a hunter, I’d probably had no chance…is he a hunter? Am I his prey? A sudden move and our fingers crossed. My wedding ring was burning on my finger. The circle of trust…

“Does he love you?”

“He thinks he does.”

I whispered the words so desperately that the pain became physical. The wall behind me was cold…If I’d say one more word…The fire in his eyes burned my exposed soul. He knew how to read me and he knew I can’t lie…And it seemed to be enough…

“But you need more. And you know better, isn’t it?”

I looked down, trying hard not to cry. Not to be the lonely child, the lost little girl, the broken one. He let go of my hands and I covered my face. This stranger. This room. This darkness. This emptiness inside me. I wasn’t ready to face them all…

“I just…want him to…make me feel like…”

He made me look into his eyes. His deep dark eyes, filled with empty promises. Or maybe…had I just seen the reflection of my own heart? He cupped my face so there was no where to run. No place to look away…

Then he laughed. A bitter laugh.

“A woman’s greatest desire is to feel desired. That simple. You hide behind words but all you really need is to feel like you’re the only one for him.”

He wiped away my tears so tenderly, so slowly, like all the tension before was just a mask. To protect himself from more heartache. To protect me from my own self destructive decisions.

“So maybe it’s time for you to go home and to tell him how you really feel.”

“Who are you?”

“Just consider me…your conscience. Or better…your guardian angel tonight. Just for tonight.”

So I’m leaving the chat room and I’m closing my laptop.

And tonight, for the first time, I’m not looking at my life with anger, resentment, fear or sadness. I remember our best moments and I hope…

I hope to see the light in our sunset…

Nothing to kill or die for…

“Not even for a broken trust. In fact, that’s the silliest reason to kill for…So he betrayed you, so he played with your mind, so what? Isn’t the grass just as green as always? Aren’t the birds singing the greatest serenades of life with the same passion and joy of living?”

-I know you are right, but the anger I’m feeling inside…You speak of green grass and birds singing…I see a deep dark forest and I just want to get lost inside it. There, where my demons run free…there is my peace!

“You call it peace, I call it bitterness. You’ll lose your minds is this swirling storms created by your own restless emotions. Look above you…see the blue skies…”

-Leave me alone with your blue skies! I need my storms so my rage could howl into the night! And that voice, I promise you, will be stronger than any hurricane! And more devastating than the infernal flames of hell!

“How about your faith? Are you ready to throw this away too? Like every gift He gave you?”

-He will understand! He must.

“Don’t leave yet…don’t let your eyes be blinded by hate. Don’t let your soul feel the terrible taste of revenge. It’s still time. Don’t kill it, set it free…Your inner child did nothing wrong. The little girl inside your heart…

-…I hate her…

“She committed no crime. She does what she knows best…loving, trusting, believing, carrying…Don’t punish her because someone, somewhere took this trust for granted and smashed it to the ground! Don’t…”

Too late. I’m running into the deep dark forest, thirsty for revenge. Hungry for the feeling of self-inflicted pain. I run with my demons and I whisper cursed words. I’m ready.

And she is there, innocent as always, smiling as always, happy to see my hate-transformed soul. The little girl I’m going to kill so I’ll finally have peace.

She looks into my eyes and gently touches my face.

“It wasn’t your fault, you know? My brave hero, how I waited! For years…for you to be angry enough, desperate enough, lost enough…to come into the deep dark forest. I thought you have forgotten about me…”

Little did she know that my demons pushed me into the dark and I was that close…of losing myself for ever.

So I take her in my arms and I run again. This time, into the light. This time there will be no shadow. I’m setting her free so I’d be able to love again…

and to trust…

more than my shadows.

NOTE: This is a fragment of a therapy centered on healing the inner child. The metaphors I used in this context may seem dark, but they only express the path we need sometimes to walk on, in order to find healing. Because, too many times, the unexpressed anger kills more than our inner child…

Do you love him as much as I love her?

Do you love him? Are you happy…as happy as I was with her? Do you fall asleep with a smile? A smile I knew so well…

I hug him tight, trying to feel every heartbeat. A desperate attempt to silence the crying within our hearts. Two lost souls, both searching for peace. He lost her long ago. I’m losing him every day. Little by little, with every embrace I’m not sharing, with every tear I’m hiding away, with every “I love you” not meant to be his…

I remember her singing and laughing, she had the sweetest voice I ever heard. What was the last song that touched your heart? And the reason for your sweet laughter…can you remember…the last time you look into his eyes and smiled with all your heart?

I never laugh…and his songs don’t touch my heart anymore. Why is he singing? If no one listens…does he imagine that my heart still sings with him? That I’m still waiting?

I lost her when I stopped singing for her.

I lost him when I closed my heart to him.

I left her while she was so deeply in love with me.

I gave up on our love while he still believed we can make it.

Look at me…I’m the same boy you fell for…love him once again.

Look at me, the woman in me is still laughing and singing. But you can’t hear her, don’t you? And you don’t want her anymore…You miss…

I miss my girl.

I want my man.

We hardly remember each other. So, while our memories are still burning inside our souls…

Can we create new ones?