woman sitting on bed with MacBook on lap

The Monster Isn’t Under My Bed Anymore

3 a.m.

As a child, waking up at this time would be accompanied by fear. The monster under the bed had me frightened and tucked into my blankets to avoid being grabbed. But as an adult, there is a much different fear.

The notification pops up like a beacon in the night. I hesitate to check it, knowing something this late can only be from you. An innocent post about my day. A picture of coffee on an airport table. There it is. Hiding under the kind words of loved ones lurks your poison. I don’t know what your goal is or what your motivation could be.

“Crash plz”

“Ur so fat”

“Fix your eyebrows”

“Hope ur baby dies”

All words with no real bite in them.

You lack the knowledge it takes to hit me where it hurts. You read too much into innocent words not meant for you and take the opportunity to try and be cruel. Hiding behind false identities again, I see. I call you by name and you retreat. Brave enough to strike but too afraid to face the consequences. Though you cannot hurt me, my anxiety rises. It stings to know you’ve gotten to me, no matter how small of a part it may be.

You are a bully, a master at cyber stalking but a novice at the follow through. Though I admit, I have not been perfect. Apologies have come and gone from both our lips. Though with each agreement to move forward, the same old issues are thrown in my face. The same issues you insist are real. That you admit aren’t my fault. That you blame me for. That you say were a misunderstanding.

You’re a whirlpool sucking me into a never ending cycle. Things are fine, you’re upset, I’m the enemy, I ask for clarification, you back down, you apologize, things are fine again. I cannot fix what I did not break. You smear my name in every way you can. You’ll smear my name here as well. The transgressions you have made up are now concrete in your mind. Your decisions, your actions, my fault.

I do not want to be your enemy, but I know better than to try to be your friend. Even in my silence, you find ways to try to bring me down. You’re dedicated to making me as miserable as you feel. But unlike you, I will not wallow in my pain. I will not play the victim.

You can live your life in darkness, finding happiness in trying to hurt other people you deem a threat. But I will shine in spite of you. I know who I am, and you’ve made it clear who you are.

The monster isn’t under my bed anymore.

It’s infiltrated my family.