Cave Dweller Me needs love too

There’s a bit in my head, a bit that won’t leave, firmly nestled in there pulling on my energy and attention in between the pulsing goo and sinew. It’s the bit that feels loneliness the deepest, that is so sad she can make me cry on a sunny day, the one that makes me feel alone in a room full of loved ones, sometimes she has the loudest voice in there. And I know it’s Me, at least it sounds a lot like Me.

I call her Cave Dweller, not only because it matches my initials CD, but because she is hiding in darkness, wild and gloomy and hermit like. She keeps me away from the positive, grateful me, she steals my inner joy, smears the windows so that I can’t see the horizon when I am lost in a stormy sea.

She tells me dark dirty untruths about myself, but so convincing is she that sometimes her stories are the only ones that I can recall.

She hates me. She tells me that I am worthless, reminds me that I am undeserving of love, that I am alone and unloved. And she is gleeful in it sometimes, the bitch. But I have to befriend her, and show her that she will not burn in the light, that not everyone will hurt us, that trusting others is a risk worth taking, that I will look after her and together we can step away from the shadows and breathe clean air and get through anything together. If I punish her it only serves to break internal relations down further.

She is bitter and mutters away and I try to drown her out with a clear crisp voice but it doesn’t always work. Last night she told me that I was alone and abandoned, and I found myself lying in the dark listing everyone that I knew for sure loved me, my mum and dad and sisters (beyond that I swing between surety and uncertainty), but she spoke far louder and quicker than I could. My voice came out small and shaky and unconvinced. I can feel it, this deep familiar knowing, it is not a thought but a sense of self, that I am no good and wrong. And she speaks to me in sharp daggers while I repeat the mantras I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, and I am good enough, I am good enough, I am good enough, over and over again, before my body finally gives in to sleep.

Today I start the day anew and instead of two warring sides, I let myself sit empty and sad, because it is close enough to calm. I try to fill in with music and dancing and thoughts of all good things. But good ‘things’ are only temporary, and I know the greatest healing is done from within.

I try to coax her out, to soothe her, but she lives on fear and controls the guts of me. So for now I sit and observe her, one hand always outstretched, lest she decides to join me in living.

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