Updated: Jun 13, 2019
It feels weird asking you to read this as it feels like you’re looking over my shoulder as I write this but I wanted to write it down and get the words out.
I feel like you have been my shadow, with me all the time but only coming out when the bright lights seem to be on me, whether they were external or internal. I am so grateful that you were my friend before I thought you were my enemy. When I knew the shivers to be an invitation.
I remember when men made you howl and grab my shoulders. The crook in their smile the desire in their eyes. You would scratch at my insides until I made space, took to safety, hide in large enough groups to become invisible again. You lead me to safety even when there was no visible threat but you did so because there were threats, and there were real crooked smiles leering from the faces or real predators and it was you who kept me safe. You who built a fortress for me to hide in, and you who knew when it was time to ask for help. To say this fortress is unsafe now. It is stagnant with fear guarded by memories that had become watchmen to the reality of lived outside.
It was you who helped me open up again, done with the loneliness and the sadness of my own keeping. It was you who set me free. Free into the world of love, free into the world of new pain and fresh suffering but at least I would be free. You were my trusted advisor, my secret mentor who leads me to challenge myself and you. I let love in, fully in, arms wide open even when you begged me to listen while I revelled in the indescribable safety and connection that felt like the home I had always dreamt of. But you were right and wrong all at once, I learned that day when my earth cracked and I saw the face of my shame like an old friend here to shatter my world. I knew that you were not a compass, not a leader but a whisper. A whisper that was present to ask me to look, to check, to feel. Because it was when I ignored the feelings, when I hid from reality and when I lied to myself. You and your shiver would return.
I have learned your rhythm now, become accustomed to the beating of your drum, I hear it coming from far away, deeply aware of who else is accompanying you. I have run from you, hid within you and know I welcome you, your knowledge, my wisdom, our truth.
So old friend, let’s see what happens next?
And before I forget, thank you.