When someone asks me why I am spending soooo much time writing fantasy these days….
Now, I could tell you how terrible my life is, how I am worse off than anyone you know. I won’t because I’m not; there are small children in dog cages because they come from the wrong place being looked after by pedophiles. There are people opening fire on little kids, mothers, fathers for twisted, ugly reasons that don’t make sense to sane people. There is true evil walking this earth and I’ll tell you right now, sometimes, it’s wearing the faces of your neighbors. In relation, I’m not really that bad off. It sucks, I’m not going to lie about that, but it could be worse. I have people who faithfully pay me every week to walk their dogs, so I get to work outside some, and I do have a second job which may not pay much, but does allow me to stay home with my mother and care for her. And I have my readers, to whom I give my little stories and thrill when I get the notification that you like them.
I’m not here to try and convince you to cry for me. Nor am I going to go on about the past too much because I seriously don’t want to revisit it any more than I have to. I can’t afford the therapy. So let’s just call this tiny little bubble of reality I’m avoiding ‘shadows’ because that is what it really is made of. Maybe some of them contain things worth really being worried about or afraid of. And others are nothing but shadows on the wall that are scary because I haven’t seen the perfectly unthreatening object that is casting them.
Maybe I should explain that I am less miserable now than I was when I was married; back then I was desperately trying to figure out what was wrong with me while the person telling me how terrible and broken I was – and how lucky I was to have him – was cheating on me so often that he had more of a dating history after we were married than before. He never attempted to have a true relationship with me and told anyone he thought would sympathize that I was a monster. And I didn’t know any of it because I thought I was the broken one and didn’t go looking for what he was doing wrong. When I found out the result was… well. The person typing this now. A person that is caught between one life – the one I planned for both of us and had to walk away from – and whatever comes next. A person who decided losing everything was better than trying to continue on, smiling and pretending that she wasn’t cracking right down the middle while he went on looking for the woman that was his bigger, better deal.
I am ill equipped for the life I am leading; I was told education was unnecessary and ‘too expensive’. This has led to more bills than money because the only thing I have is my imagination, which I peddle to you fine people, a love for animals, and a mind that perpetually looks for the silver lining. I fall apart on a daily basis and spend most of it trying to stitch myself back together, like some sort of fairytale creature come to life – don’t be surprised if you find that story here one day soon. I tell myself that it will all be okay, that I have faith, while living in a world that seems to enjoy eating up the innocent and laughing at their suffering.
I do this because this is how it is. And we all have to find a way to stay sane or we will die. Not physically. But inside, where it counts. If your heart withers up and your hope turns sour, what do you really have left? So here I am. Fighting, because fighting is all I have left. And then someone says ‘Aren’t you sorry you left him? Aren’t you sorry you didn’t empty his bank accounts or wring him dry?’
And this is my reply.
‘No. Because that is how we become demons. That is how we become shadows of hatred and self absorbed lunacy. We believe that it is okay to commit a hateful act because we have been broken, beaten, and left on the side of the road to die. But hate is hate. And that is where your fabled Devil gets in. Through the cracks you let others make in you. Through the shadowed parts of your wicked smile as you serve what looks like revenge. There are those who laugh at me, who call me names behind my back, and I only look at those people and wonder how terrible must their own lives be that they need to step on someone who never did a thing to them. And I walk away because it isn’t worth turning into them or living those lives just to give them back their ugly words.’
‘I will not be like him. Twenty years of living a lie, of twisting up the hours of another person’s life, thieving away their precious moments, their maybes, and their could have beens. And for what? Money? Security? Just to win? There is no winner in that battle. There is no victor on that field. There is only the person in the filth of his betrayals dragging someone else down to drown there with him.’
So stop asking me. Stop wondering if I’m ready to admit I was wrong or regret that I didn’t burn everything he owned. No. No. And no again. I’m not sorry. You aren’t right. If this was your choice, then it was yours and I did not argue about wisdom; one’s life must be their own, decisions made and acted on by them as they see fit. But turning away and choosing not to fight for something that was never, in twenty, long years, truly mine, was my choice. Was it fair? No. But you don’t get out of something like that with fair. You get out and thank all the divine powers that be that you managed to keep some part of you that is still you. That you don’t feel the need to bathe in bleach to scour away all the ugly things that Even would require you to do. That is how it is. So stop asking.
And do not ask me how things are going thinking that I’m going to give in and decide your way is better. We were never alike. We never will be. I am me, I do what I feel is right and I don’t tell you to follow me. I spent my life bending to the will of someone else because I thought it was right. I spent my life trying to be a better daughter, better lover, better wife because I thought it was right. And I left because there was nothing to save, my heart was full of cold fury, and I wanted only to hurt him as much as he hurt me and there can be no relationship from that which is not full of poison and danger because I really am the type of person that, in losing what made me care, loses my desire to be nice or kind or gentle and will use a knife. Even if I cut myself open in the process. That is how it is. That it takes me years to lose love. That I can hold on to even a shred of light in an otherwise dark soul and find your angel wings when you thought you only had horns, is something I am quite fond of in myself. That there is not a cemetery in my backyard is testament to why you should let me remain so.
Even if it means I am not like you or him or anyone else you admire.
Even if it means that you think I’m a fool.
Because there is a darkness in me that, unleashed, would be more dangerous than even Devils can dream of in their wicked night terrors.
This is my life.
This is how it is.