My trauma and depression are cheating on me with one another.
They have entered a love affair that I did not say was okay. I sit in my living room with the only visible light the one glowing from my computer screen, and they are somewhere a thousand miles away. Together. I am alone in the dark while they fuse together, sharing my secrets, bonding over my insecurities.
Depression tells Trauma about that time in 6th grade when I locked myself in the bathroom with morbid obsessions and thoughts, like what would people say at my funeral? Who would come? Would my popularity soar if I downed my mother’s sleeping pills?
Trauma tells Depression that sometimes, I still wake up with damp pillows. She says that even my dreams are nightmares. She says that I laugh all the time, but she knows what my laughter really means. Depression remembers that laughter too, the same laughter after my father died. Trauma says I try to escape reality too much.
Depression embraces Trauma. Trauma encourages Depression.
I still sit there.
I was the one who broke up with Depression. We just weren’t working. She wanted me to be someone that I knew I wasn’t meant to be, and I couldn’t give her all of me. She needed me selfishly without any love in return. Sometimes, I would sneak away from her bedside just to look at her from a distance. It’s true, she was beautiful at night. She was the moon and would come alive when the rest of the world fell silent. She said she didn’t know how to glow, but she did. She illuminated parts of my mind I had never seen before. She was my muse, and yet, the worst partner I’d ever had. She wanted me to go all the way with her, but instead, I ran. She got too close, and I ran until the smell of her gunpowder fingertips disappeared. I guess I’ve always had trouble with commitment.
Trauma came barreling into my world without a single warning. She was different from Depression. She was loud and unapologetic about everything. Depression would leave me passive aggressive post-it notes by my shower, but when Trauma wanted something, she screamed into my eardrums. She played tic-tac-toe with my body, drawing lines across my stomach.
She marked me, like I was a country to divide into states. She owned all my states, but I never voted for her. I wanted to hate her, but she had lips of forgiveness. I was ready to make it work, but this time, she ran from me.
But she comes back. She likes to show up when I’m not expecting her. She rings my doorbell the minute I’ve crawled back into my skin and feel whole. She throws rocks at my window when I say I’ve moved on. She only wants me when I pretend she never existed.
But Depression and Trauma found each other. I was running from Depression, and Trauma was running from me. I tripped on my self-worth and somehow lost my footing. And as I fell, Trauma saw how much Depression needed me, and she was intrigued. Depression was attracted to the way Trauma asserted herself. But as they grew closer, they both forgot about me. They forgot I was the one who introduced them.
And now when they visit, I can’t tell who’s who.