Understanding the Darkness Within

So, a while back, I made myself a promise.  At the time, it seemed easy enough to keep.  After all, there’s not a lot about me that isn’t an open book (no pun intended).  I’ve never made a secret of most of the facets of my life, even if I’ve never exactly hung out a billboard for everyone to read…

But then I discovered something… As I did some soul-searching one evening, trying to uncover the source of my general unhappiness with the run of my life, I realized that there’s a great deal about me I don’t ever let out of the bag.

I try very, VERY hard to be a good person.  But, as a writer of dark fiction, I know that even good people have dark secrets, and even good people feel horrible things from time to time.  But I thought I wasn’t allowed to feel those things, or to have any thoughts or feelings that might make other people uncomfortable.  Bad enough I’m a Pagan, which puts many people off… I often feel like I can’t help people if those people think I might have any flaws.  But the truth is, it’s BECAUSE of my flaws that I can most often help people…

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem issues?  I have.  I’ve gone through periods where I hit rock bottom.  Times when I was utterly convinced I was fat, ugly, and a total idiot, unworthy of friendship or love.  The struggle back out of those periods, away from the self-depravation and abuse, was long and hard, and there were many times I felt like giving up.  Am I out of it, now?  No, not entirely.  There are still times I feel majorly insecure.  I often wonder what people think of me, what they see when they look at me… I tell myself it doesn’t matter, but the truth is, it DOES.  Whether I want it to or not.

Being an Empath makes this problem even more difficult, because I’ve literally been subjected to how people perceive me, lots of times.  I sense what they feel, at times – the strength of hate, prejudice, repulsion, or annoyance.  Those things tend to reinforce my insecurities.  I’ve had to deal with that, but it’s not easy.  However, it does make it very easy for me to understand the insecurities and fears in others.

I face a very difficult opposition, within myself.  On one hand, I crave solitude.  I want to be alone, where I’m not faced with the bombardment of all the intense emotions (both good and bad) that exist outside my home.  But, more than anything in the world, I fear being invisible.  I fear complete isolation, being forgotten by all I care about.  I truly fear that, with me, it’s out-of-sight, out-of-mind to others — that they no longer remember I exist when I’m not in their face.  Perhaps that’s part of my confrontational nature, with people I care about.  Maybe that’s why I act as tough as I do.  I don’t like that fear.  And, even more, I hate that the fear of being completely alone and forgotten leads me to close down, to stew in my own fear and jealousy, when I’m ignored.

All of this might seem like a lot of baggage.  Actually, the combination of it helps me to be able to help other people better.  I turn these negative things into a positive thrust forward by confronting them, and battling them.  The energy raised through this battle is then turned toward helping others to fight their way free of negative thoughts and emotions.  I know what these dangers look like only because I have fought them myself.  If I had no experience with the darker sides of life and human nature, I would not be able to see or understand it – in short, I would be unable to help others.