Many years ago, during a very hard time in my life I had a nightmare.
A nightmare so powerful that I felt compelled to share with the world.
I call the story about the nightmare “The girl in the shadows”
The dream started out with me entering a door way to a dark attic.
Empty with the exception of some boxes and a trunk in the far right corner only a small beam of light came down through the ceiling.
It landed on the floor just before the boxes in the corner.
I remember hearing a soft sobbing noise and feeling so sad for the small voice making it.
Scared but curious I made my way to the sound.
I don’t know why but I knew I needed to help her.
Setting aside my own fear I stepped forward and softly whispered to her as I walked that I was a friend and it was ok to take my outstretched hand.
The closer I got, the further into the corner she went.
For fear of scaring her away I stopped just outside of the light. It was all that separated us.
I took this time to try to get a look at her.
Squinting my eyes through the light I took one more step forward for a better view.
As I did I could only see a silhouette of a small body in what appeared to be a simple white dress. curled up, hugging her legs.
Confirming that it was a young girl I was now determined to help her no matter what.
I told her it was ok and that I would not hurt her.
That I was a friend and was there for her.
She only sobbed louder and shook her head.
So I did the only thing I could think of…
I promised her I would help her.
I made her that promise because I meant it.
Because I just knew I was her only hope.
As soon as I said this to her, the sobbing stopped.
For a couple of moments there was nothing but silence.
Frozen, I crouched down with my hand held out, mentally praying that this poor girl would trust me enough to just come out and let me get a better look at her.
I could feel my breath deepen and my heart rate grow faster.
I was scared but knew what I had to do.
I waited till finally she reached out and took my hand.
I let out a huge sigh of relief. I thought to myself “The worst is over”.
I remember having a small smile on my face as I gently helped her up.
…I was not prepared for what I was about to see.
As she stepped into the light and I got my first good look at the girl before me.
I could not believe my own eyes.
The smile faded, my eyes widened and I let out a gasp.
I was standing face to face with my own reflection.
A younger version of me, dressed in a torn dirty white dress.
Pale, beaten, body riddled with scars.
Dirty, unkept and uncared for.
Face worn and swollen from crying.
I looked deep into her eyes and felt a sadness and pain that I will never forget.
It literally takes the breath out of my chest when I think about it.
The girl who stood before me was me.
I was the girl in the shadows.
It was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen in my life.
Terrified and in disbelief I froze.
Not wanting to face the fact that this was a clear representation of my inner self I did the only thing I could.
I did the one thing I always do…
I dropped her hand, took two steps back and then ran away.
As I did I could hear her crying again and begging me not to go.
The further I got, the louder the cries became.
I covered my ears trying to block her out as I ran.
I ran through the door to the attic and slammed it hard to make the voice go away.
As the door slams shut, I wake up.
No matter how many times I have had this dream it still scares the hell out of me.
As time has gone on I have come to realize that the girl in the shadows is a clear reflection of the damage done to my inner self by people, things and time.
Worst of all, me.
It took me many years and attempts to face her without running but about a year ago I did.
I have made it my mission ever since to help “her” to see that I will keep my promise to help her and save her from the hell she has lived.
With the ultimate goal of letting go of the past and beliefs that got us here and reaching our dream of true happiness.
I share this very private part of my life with you in hopes that you will understand my journey and maybe set free the pains of your past and present to do what we as humans are meant to do.
Just be happy and learn to love and accept yourself for who you are.
I wish you nothing but the best of luck in all your journeys and dreams.
Thank you for reading.