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Spark in the Dark

To defeat loneliness, one needs to own and acknowledge one's past traumas and move forward.

By Waffa Batool | July 2022


Loneliness is a feeling and a state of being where you sit back and try to figure out what your true identity is. The darkness that surrounds you, the past traumas that haunt you and your thoughts of not being understood make you feel anxious, worried and distraught.

Mostly, loneliness is not what you tend to feel every now and then but it is in fact what others make you feel. Remember in grade 2 when your parents decided to go for separation and you didn’t know what that was. You would miss those Sundays spent together when you had breakfast in the bed, those long walks with your parents and that endless Q and A session with your father, you are confused why you meet him outside the house as if you are sneaking out. It was all sinister; neither you could describe what you felt nor you could ask. You would go for strolls on weekends but only with him. Hours spent in the mall and park were as if it was all past gone in a trice yet it was your only day spent together with him. You would tell him your weekly schedule, how you are losing focus on your studies and why you can’t sleep with him anymore just like you used to.

Eventually those Sunday trips were now monthly trips. He would visit you once in a month and now you feel it! You felt your childhood fading away. You would cry yourself to sleep with hiccups. Following uncertain weight gain and Ah, what about the society which is always questioning you where he is or do you miss him? Now you feel aloof and helpless, nor could you tell anyone how you felt without him and there was no one you could talk to or to describe how you fell down from the stairs and made your friend eat your lunch because he didn’t make it. Your thoughts were alienated and now you knew they were not living together although you have seen her cry and yelp in pain. Was it the financial crisis or did he cheat her or is he moving out of this town? Whatever the case may be, it was all eerie, dumping down your childhood bit by bit, thought by thought it wasn’t worth it. It was painful, traumatizing and yet yearning maybe for love or attention but something was in need.

Fast forward. You sit back in darkness in your room and a tear trickles down your face following your smile lines which were merely made during late night crying. They were together, at last they stuck together but now you are dazed and in a dilemma of accepting that he is with you, you can still tell him stories, ask questions, tell him how your day went but now that desire is long gone now. You are an adult who thinks that she needs to be alone in order to become strong, past had touched you up but there was still a spark in the dark pit of your heart that wanted him to ask you about your day and what you felt but adulthood had alarmed given you loneliness which was hard to let go.

As the time took a turn, you fell for those pretty lies. It meant eternity but it all lasted for 6 months until you found out he wanted to explore every inch of your body like he did with the rest of those 5 girls. You were smart but you were a woman, who needed love and attention. It wasn’t your fault that it wasn’t love but yes you experienced labyrinth it was painful. Laying on the washroom floor shivering and overwhelmed, balling your eyes out and covering your screams so no one ever knows your secret, you experienced your first ever heart break and panic attack. You still remember those dates; the first I love you, the first long paragraph, your first fight, the first time he manipulated you, the first time you allowed him to insult you and assault your mental health and at last the first threat note you ever received. Do we need another fast forward? Umm yes! For sure.

It’s been a few years, you still remember those smallest details and you still see his resemblance with other strangers walking past you, you sometimes panic when someone's voice sounds like him. But now neither you are scared nor you are in love. You are lonely because you were left with no choice but to experience the deafening roars of maturity which were forced upon you. You still hold both of them responsible of what you have become, in the end pain didn’t make you stronger it made you weaker bit by bit until you couldn’t bear the cost of relying on anyone or love anyone more than yourself because it had already cost you inner peace and those memories which were meant to be pleasant but are now are those past demons following you and they won’t stop until you have learned to forgive yourself.

No one ever tried to understand you and it’s none of their fault. The true discovery of yourself is yet to be carried out by yourself. You have no courage left to face anyone, and you are too burnt out to love someone. All it requires is acknowledging your past traumas, owning them and moving forward. Reflecting on your feelings, paying attention to the voice in your head, practice self care and mindfulness and challenging yourself but all also spreading boundaries across your matter. You’ll soon learn to walk without anyone’s hand and read without stuttering.