There was a time when I was afraid of the dark, as most children are. It wasn’t the lack of light so much as simply the unknown since I could no longer see. I had to learn to go on blind trust that things would be okay, even when the last bits of light disappeared from the windows. As I grew, I learned to almost embrace the darkness in a different sort of way. It’s almost as if I connected the darkness to you, like I connected it to the loss of innocence and the feelings that came with age. I found a comfort in what you offered, in what we both had inside. But as the sun rose each morning, it was time for you to hide. I’m not scared of the darkness now, but I was afraid I’d lose you then.
There was a time when I was afraid of elevators after we watched that episode of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Oh, come on, you know that one! I think it was the panic, the thought of being trapped, that made me terrified. As time passed, I found myself getting trapped in other ways, ways that didn’t involve walls at all: I became trapped inside my mind. Sometimes it would be replaying the day’s events, someone’s voice, the way I felt when they’d all throw me aside. I learned that the only time I felt free was with you, and together we learned how to really hide. Now I’m not scared of elevators all that much, but I was afraid I’d lose you then.
There was a time when I was afraid of men, specifically, well, you know who. At first I tried to be brave, but everyone either laughed or said I’d told lies. So my only choice was to let you lead, let you decide. You showed me how to shut it down, how to be the doormat. “It’s better this way,” you’d say, and even in those most difficult moments I wanted to believe you because I couldn’t afford for you to leave. I’m still a little scared of men, but not as afraid as I was that I might lose you then.
Now I’m 30, and here we are: we’ve come to a crossroads. I’ve spent my entire life trying to be this perfect person while inside I’m screaming in the dark. I’ve never known who I really am or why I’m even alive. There’s always been that part of me, though, that I knew was mine: and that was you. You are the scars all over my arms and some parts of my legs. You are the secrets and the fears, you are the calm but also the storm. You are that voice inside my head, but not the voice of reason. They’ve given you a name, initials BPD. Apparently this entire time what I thought was me was actually a personality disorder. So was any of it ever real, what was you and what was me? Although most of the world is black and white, we’ve always been blurred together with shades of grey. Now that I’m finally aware, and working on improving me, I’m terrified that recovery means losing you, which is really losing me. Does practicing these skills and the knowledge that helps make “life worth living” mean that I have to give up on you? Does this mean the end? What if all I’ve ever known crumbles and falls into the sea? I’m not afraid of much at all, not even my own death, but I’m so fucking scared of losing myself today.