Once upon a time…

We were young
We were innocent
We were trusting
We were filled with joy, naïveté and light
Something, someone, some chaos, some certain horror appeared
Changed everything
Used our reverence to silence and bind us
Stole these necessary elements we were born with
Left darkness behind
Left us crawling
Directionless
No compass to speak of
That among the collateral removed from our foundations

The silence we observed in self-preservation
The fear
The rage
The grief
The shock
Too great for our undeveloped souls to manage
We hid in plain sight
We survived
Living was what it looked like to the world
We became experts at duality
We found ways to soothe what the silence could not

And as we grew and the world became more complex
Our power to cope was less and less
We could rely only on what we knew and learn no more
Because life lessons are often lost on those who matured in their own absence
We, seemingly suspended forever in the act of holding ourselves together with tape and staples and gum and lies

The past a tumor growing as we held on to what the darkness gave us
Fear more powerful than the love we needed
Anger and rage the energy that flowed in our veins
Our warm blood cold and sluggish in its wake
Life just a construct we walked through despite some glimmers of happiness we made
Those glimmers that now looked at us with the same eyes we once knew
We wondered what could ever be enough to help us see again

And then
Where could we ever be safe from the thief of our lives?
How could we decide right and wrong for ourselves with nothing to go on?
Why did we feel dead?
Why couldn’t we cry?
When we asked these questions the darkness answered back
Shhh
Don’t tell anyone
And when we listened, we coped, because we knew that voice was the same voice that robbed us
Hearing it made it real
Made us hide again

Maybe we would steal from someone
Maybe we would hide forever what was left of the voice inside who asked the questions
Maybe we would disappear into our own darkness
It would be easier than letting that small self keep talking
Most children don’t keep secrets very well
It’s not in their nature
Our nature was replaced with machine parts
Or so we thought

Yet when we weren’t busy coping the questions kept coming
Why?
Why?
Why?
The catalyst could have been a greeting card or a tree
And all the coping in the world couldn’t answer the questions or keep them quiet forever

What lies ahead
Is the mission to recover what we lost to the silence and the darkness
The answering of questions we never should have had to ask
There are others like us
Ready to march
Many who have been marching
The questions they hear
Now a cadence
Inspired by loss and pain
They step to the rhythm of the answers they seek
We can join forces
We don’t have to just cope
The tumor we carry is only a growth
Not an appendage
We have allies
They’ve seen the darkness too

And when the warmth of the light becomes more appealing and real
Than the flimsy dark covenants we knew
It’s time to inhabit the bodies we’ve been haunting
Answer the questions
Ask more
To feel instead of flail
To come out of hiding once and for all

Once upon a time the past became our present
We felt we were bound to it
But when you’re not alone
When there are forces at your side
It’s time to stare into the darkness
Open the doors on the silence
And get out there and fight for your life

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