Dusk 2.0

Sleep. Intricate pieces of memories that replay violently the minute my eyes drop in demise. Flashes of rooftop quests and dusk-filled skies. Delude my dreams, leaving a trail of blood behind. Every night another story, ending in goodbye.

Break me open and you’ll see, there’s no more fight. Just a white flag drowning in memories and rough tides. Pain so great it seeps into time. Weeks become months enabling thoughts that aren’t mine.

Each night I feel the touch of your hand, perfectly entwined. I see hollow eyes that were once kind. Finger tips trace each freckle with another lie. Visions of your neck falling onto mine as I grip into flesh until the pain subsides. Teeth bite so hard, I want it to hurt, feel my cries. Tears paint a story that neither one could survive.

Dusk, once idolised.

My favourite time. Now embedded in nightmares I wasn’t equipped to revise.

Some nights I manage to distort that last piece. I turn the gun from my chest and place it neatly at our feet. I beg you to finish the job, please end this defeat! Impossible, when your hands are tied by regret and deceit.

You scream in a language I can’t understand. I was never taught the tongue of misguided men. I shout back my pain yet nothing comes out. Instead dusk-filled colours stream from my mouth, writing the word stop upon your self doubt.

There’s a shadow behind you, broken in despair. Holding a shattered heart in one hand with blood stained fair hair. “Thank you”, he whispers. He seems relieved. Only now I realise he was you, before me.

There are voices of people, muttering a circus of words. Always lined up in red & begging to be heard. They have mirrors to reflect all that I’d ignored. Flashes of apologies light up every turn, with three broken bodies hurled over my bedroom floor. I run away and glance back only to see, those people were my warning signs I’d failed to see.

Fragments of colours have built a home in my mind. Every night I visit a kaleidoscope of death disguised as dusk skies. The burnt pinks blend with the dark of night. That leaks into blood and drips heavy down my spine.

Lucid dreams are an incredible art form in itself. I’ve felt every move towards death as I tighten the belt. Grabbing a paint brush, black acrylic every time. And I paint over colours that flash over my goodbye.

I can hear the cracks from my heart mend with each final breath. Recluse from dreams you’ve hijacked as the unwelcome guest. A peaceful darkness for a second as I step off that ledge. Only to awaken in reality, frightened and without rest.

Months turn into years and I’m still waking up in sweat. Haunted by the memories of that afternoon…

you left.

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Reality Of Grief

The kettle appeared different.

Pressing a button was a new experience. It became something my brain had to process instead of second nature. I had to really think about it.

Nothing made sense.

I had to work to move my arms. It was painful. And evident. Conversations were a mere placement of bodies, standing in front of another with an exchange of vocabulary.

Nothing was said.

The world seemed misplaced. The sound of birds calling in the morning became an excruciating silence. Null and void. Present but not perceived through the ears.

Nothing was heard.

A physical pain protruded through my chest and I embraced it. Clinging my arms around my hurting body as not just a form of comfort but holding onto the only shred of feeling I had left. When all normal emotional and physical processes diminish, any familiarity is welcomed.

It was all I had.

When one experiences grief or post traumatic stress the brain flicks into survival mode. It transforms into a system of unfamiliar energetic responses. You embody a new mind and in my case, a new being. Chemicals are released, internal reactions are disrupted and important bodily systems shift into emergency. The right side of the brain shuts its doors instantaneously and the journey of grief begins. And what a path it is.

Nightmare.

My mum was my security. She was my comfort. I held her hand at the shops in my twenties, with the same confidence I did when I was four. I would still sleep in her bed at any chance I got and would hang around her room, just to be close.

I was safe.

Since her passing I’m now left with a whole suitcase of issues, screaming to be addressed. I have separation anxiety from a woman I can no longer reach. Therefore subconsciously latching onto people more than I should, trying to replace the security I lost. Clinging my hands into them so tight they couldn’t breathe. Fear of abandonment seeped into the cells of my body and started running havoc on my life. Imagine a parent dropping a toddler off at daycare for the first time. Well that’s me. Except I’m an adult and usually the person is just walking into another room.

Don’t leave me.

I lost the ability to be with myself and that’s a hard pill to swallow. Along with my memory, my strength, dignity, happiness and half my heart- I lost myself. Same body, completely different state of mind.

Fear is a prison.

This grieving process is a wild one. Four years on and it’s only now I’m picking apart behaviours and working through them. These unhealthy patterns are quite common in cases of grief and trauma. Masking is just another way for the body and mind to cope. Some mask with substance, I chose attachment. The process is rough, I won’t lie. It’s uncomfortable and some days it’s really-fkn-awful-someone-make-it-stop type bad. I naturally want to reach for a hand and it’s never my own.

Girl, enough is enough.

They say when you can admit there’s a problem that’s the start of recovery. Hooray! Heartbreak hurts, yes. But it’s also a remarkable journey of self care (I even cringed typing this) BUT IT’S TRUE. This is life. So here’s to all the people who are battling their own war on a daily.

I salute you.

This isn’t supposed to be comfortable.

This is healing.

Dusk

Coming into my life like dusk, did you know that was my favourite time of day? When the world transitions from light to dark. In this moment there’s a noticeable calm, a surprise of colours and sunsets that still manage to take my breath away. The prospect is short lived yet reoccurring- it’s comforting, powerful and out of human control.

You were this moment.

Coming into my life like that, did you know what was going to happen? At a time my heart was bruised and incapable of repair. You entered, unannounced and self assured. Maybe it was your earthy approach that caught my attention or the fact any anxiety disappears in your company. You were more powerful to me than any force of nature. The only person to overrule my nerves, make a myth out of hangovers and push me through the mundane comfortable hell I’d created. Did you carry these jobs unknowingly? Peace is a very unique gift to bring someone, especially when they’re heavily armed. Words so sharp as they’d launch from my tongue like weapons. I had built a wall and your calm, prudent approach diluted the barrier that once was and I hope you understand my gratitude.

Coming into my life like that, did you know what you were doing? Showing me a different side of love. A love that’s not lustful or selfish- everything I’d never known. A love so patient, I learnt to understand myself. There were no warning signs and no clear trail for navigation. It was the un-known and un-wavering kind. Vibrant splashes of colour started appearing in my clothes, hair and nails. There was a new dynamic to my naturally dark wardrobe. What happened before you? I’m not sure. I just know you arrived so peacefully I didn’t recognise the power. Did you know? You, superseded everything I’d ever known.

Coming into my life like that, did you know you’d be my friend? Your triumphs and failures became mine, like I had lived each minute of your day. I felt every silence, tone in your voice and step in your walk like I was the one walking it. Holding your hand felt more comfortable than my own. Loss of breath from the laughter you gave. Complete lack of air when you leave. And when you’re gone…everything suddenly goes dark.

Did you know? You were my Dusk.