Tears stream down my face as their salty residue burns my tongue.
I stare blankly at the ceiling, clutching the ends of my comforter in a tight fist as my head lies on a tear-stained pillow. It is my fifth nightmare this week. Unlike most five year olds with torments of monsters hiding under their beds, my fears consist of a touch of imagination bound shut with reality.
Tonight I dreamed of being lost. Most children would have cried for their mom and dad, but I was thrilled to be rid of them.
As with every night, I was reveled to be enveloped by sleep. There was a park with a beautiful flower garden. The deep red roses have always been my favorites. A rose’s fragrance is overpowering. One inhalation and the sweet smell of springtime is imprinted in my mind. As if the scent weren't enough, they are a beauty to behold. I love how they bring love and light into the world while still acknowledging death through the complex nature of their blood like petals. The roses could have held me in their gaze forever. Unfortunately, time had something else in mind.
The deeper I am pulled into my fantasy the stronger reality fights to bring me back to life. I hear my parents voices. Their deafening shrill can cut through the deepest sleep. Fear creeps from barriers of the mind into my wide eyes as they snap open.
My parent’s voices grow louder. Cold terror flows through my veins. Terror once concealed in a locked box inside my head is now exposed. Courage to overcome these fears seems elusive. The voices discuss everything I don’t want to hear.
They yell with hatred about flaws, mistakes, and selfishness.
They threaten each other.
They talk about divorce.
The meaning of divorce is unclear to me, but I have a feeling the voices won’t have to be dealt with for much longer.
Some people say goodbye to their family or friends. Sometimes changes come with pain, and sometimes they come with bravery. Today I changed. Everything I love has been tainted with lies. The reasons behind my parents’ divorce have become apparent to me. My innocence has been exchanged for a glimpse of the real world.
People say the truth hurts. I now understand the reality of the statement. Truth can be a sharper knife than any weapon known to man. It can destroy bonds and overtake life, but in the end I will see truth as a gift. Being in the light is much better than stumbling through darkness.
I still cry.
My family has blindly torn each other apart through divorce, revenge, and faulty accusations. I have wrapped myself in an endless web to find non existent truth and peace in subjective arguments and am burdened through many sleepless nights and tormenting days trying to separate my life from that of my twisted family. I agonize over matters no child should be concerned with. The voices are now the least of my worries. In fact, a spark of hope shoots through me when they are present. When there are voices, there is potential for communication and truth to emerge from the shadows.
When a grain of truth is discovered, I hoard it like a child with candy. It reassures me of my capabilities to improve life. Truth demonstrates how suffering can provide experience and an appreciation for joyous occasions. It’s always nice to be aware life continues and suffering becomes less intense over time. Every truth comes with a lie, but every hardship provides an opportunity. I can’t let the voices control me once again. Although life has its imperfections, it’s better to embrace them rather than let them overtake me.