More often than not, I always approach my old poetry with an air of depression. I was quite sad when I wrote them, after all. Part of me is amazed with just how sad some of these are considering how much harder middle school was on me. I think it has something to do with being beyond survival. My depressions, hate and fear has a purpose in middle school. They were dark feelings, but they were the only way I made it through the day. Now, finally in a place where I had less to fight, what helped me survive turned on me.
I laughed when I first came to this analogy, but if you’ve ever read the Wheel of Time series (which I started in middle school), I think my dark feelings are like the male side of the true source, Saidin, tainted by the Dark One. When the main character is using it to survive, the taint can be ignored. In the absence of life threatening situations, there is only the taint and it rips at the soul.
Yet, perhaps there is hope somewhere in here. Can you find it? This poem was written on March 1st, 2005. I was a 14-year-old freshman in high school.
Into the Darkness
I sit in the darkness
Surrounded by my hate
Surrounded by my sorrow
Surrounded by my fear
I feel so cold, so alone
There is no one to save me
No one that knows
In this darkness I sit in my fear
No one can save me now
No one can stop the tears.
I believe this is another that points to those moments I spent locked in my closet. Around this time, I also took to meditating. I had a song called Someday the Dream Will End play on repeat and would time my breathing to the melody (listen. The breathing starts around 24 seconds into the song). There, I would be surround. That’s what my life felt like. I didn’t understand where these feelings came from. All I could do was wallow. I didn’t dare tell anyone.
Honestly, I don’t know that anyone would have listened anyway. I was a smart girl and I talked to my parents about things they needed to hear, but this? This darkness had me cornered more often than not. In my college years, I remember a sort of coming out to my parents, telling them how close I came to taking my life. I got little more than a pat on the shoulder and a “whelp, glad you didn’t. Pass the potatoes.” I can’t blame them, though. How often do adults look at the pettiness of teenagers and roll their eyes. Oh, how hard they think life is, they tell themselves. They’ll get quite a shock once they get our of high school.
I’m sorry, but that kind of divisiveness would have done me no good. I was just as alone as I claimed to be in this poem when it came to my inner demons. Yet, there is some good to see here. Nothing here says the darkness is winning. I’m not wallowing and I’m not begging someone to save me. Perhaps saying “no one can save me now” can be interpreted negatively but I think it’s a positive revelation. It was my responsibility to save myself. The taints I talk about, hate, sorrow and fear, where my burdens to carry and mine to overcome. Despite the desperate voice of this poem or how often these feelings caused the writer to cry herself to sleep, there is a strength that can be found here.
For some, the realization that no one is coming to save them might cause them to lose hope. To me, it filled me with an angry determination against myself. I would overcome. I would prove every bully, every nay-sayer and every dismissive comment wrong. On the day I wrote this poem, I had already started down that journey. By the time I walked away from high school, I would have overcome.
What issues did you take seriously as a teenager that adults in your life thought was petty? Did you try to talk to adults about problems? What did you do when your problems were dismissed?
If I spoke to the adults in my life about my depression and they took me seriously, what do you think would have happened? In a perfect world, what should happen when a teenager expresses dark feelings?