The room was dark, it was always dark…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

The room was dark. It was always dark, not a slight absence of light, but rather…it was pitch black. It didn’t really matter though, the next twelve hours or so were to be spent in this fortress. “Go to your room, be quiet and stay in there.”

This had become a way of life. It seemed normal; when you didn’t have anything to compare it to, I thought that most kids lived their lives like this. As per the edict, I always made my way up to my room. The darkness felt like a friend; there seemed to be some security walking in. What else did I know? It seemed nightly that I had done something wrong, so the dark room became home.

It was always the same; I’d walk in and change into the warmth of my pj’s. I’d crawl under the blankets knowing that my “other world” would be with me soon; my imagination would take me to wishful places, to what I saw as happiness. This was a concept that was foreign to me, so I created a world, a happy world, one void of anger, cruelty and living in fear.

little boy

I’d spend the next twelve hours dreaming about baseball diamonds and playing shortstop for the New York Yankees, circuses, happy families, reading Hardy Boy books, laughing and playing with other kids…it’s the only way I survived those twelve hours. The darkness of hell consumed me; until I started creating my own worlds, the nights were terror filled. What did I do wrong now? Is it the strap coming today? Will I be told for the thousandth time how fat and stupid I am. My imagination was my medicine, my coping mechanism.

It’s sad recounting those days…they seemed to go on forever. They still reside within me, forever to haunt and control.

I received this from a friend recently:

“I wish you could let go of the pain from your past
and feel free from all your worries like a child again.
I wish you could see how truly amazing you are and how much
you are loved.
I wish you could see that you are the only one that can let it all go,
you must walk this pain so you can move on with your life.”

Every word of that is so true; the intelligent part of me gets it.
The emotional, fragile part of me doesn’t know how to put all the pieces back together.

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