Reminiscing about her childhood, she saw another side of herself. A child filled with joy and love, nothing but happiness in her eyes as she laughed innocently. She was free as a bird and cared less about the troubles of the world. Still reminiscing about how her life took a horrible turn, insecurities started creeping in slowly; her social circle shrank until she was alone with no friends to vent to. She had no one, only herself she felt, thus she only expressed herself the only way she knew how to.

She expressed her feelings using a pen and paper. She wrote about all her humongous issues that no one could ever solve. Even though she had her parents, that never filled up her heart, she was still empty on the inside crying and yelling to be free and happy again. Why did it have to be this way? Her heart was distorted, she looked in the mirror and did not recognise herself. She was different.

More than anything else, all she ever wanted was to fill that hole in her heart, to remove the hurting knife and restore the peace she no longer had. Anxiety was her best friend now, a best friend that was a reminder of how miserable and troubled she was. Filled with a heavy heart, her days were that of a claustrophobic person. She could not breathe! Why are all these feelings burdening me? She would ask herself.

A mask she wore for the public. Was she living two lives to hide what truly bothered her? She was afraid of the world, she was afraid to put herself out there. She did not know what she was capable of; she questioned her purpose in this world. So young yet troubled, what rooted all this pain in her? All the pain she felt was draining her energy. Was she missing something in her life?

My father, she thought. Was she missing her father? Was she missing the years when she lost him? Is it because my father was not there when I was born? She would ask herself. Was this the missing piece of the puzzle? Was it enough that years later he resurfaced into her life? Unanswered questions, or was she searching for answers in the wrong place?

She had so much darkness in her and felt so much anger that she could not subside, no matter how hard she pretended. Always bottling up, she was slowly exploding with all that self-hatred she had inside of her. She felt worthless and always apologetic even when she did no wrong. Conversing was foreign to her now gloomy world. Not confident in what she had to say, she talked less without sharing her true thoughts. She was shy by nature but growing up made her more reserved and fearful with so many trust issues. Afraid of speaking the truth, when asked for her opinion she told lies to make people happy. It then came to a point where she found herself living in the shadow of other people; she was slowly fading away and replacing herself with this creature that had no identity. Everybody seemed be talking on her behalf, it was like she was only expected to speak when it suited them. Her voice was gone.

With no voice and always feeling misunderstood, she knew she could not live her days like this so she picked herself up. Slowly, with time, she began to search for herself inside of herself. It was not a smooth journey but she knew she had to get rid of all that pain and it started with that mask she was always wearing. Expressing herself more openly, slowly coming out of the shadows, she faced nothing but criticism. She needed a friend and she was the friend she needed.

Her mother had a loving and caring heart but was too cautious for her liking with no sense of humour. Being the paranoid woman that she was, and judgemental, she was always too loud and sometimes too strict. That stirred up conflicts between the two of them. Being the only child she was at the time, she then lived with her granny, not having blissful memories of herself and her mother. Granny gave her peace, granny was her pillar of strength, and granny was her muse until her days were no more in this world. At the age of 21, living alone far from her parents, all she had were the walls her granny had built, and the house that was full of memories. This was her place of tranquillity, her hideout.

Why did her parents have to move in with her? She lost her sacred space to them, the people who did not know how to respect her peace and her feelings. It was rather a confusing feeling and she was not used to being around them, their presence was invading her and they knew no boundaries. It was torture living with her parents, she felt disconnected from them. They were toxic for her she felt, and they saw through her that she did not welcome them in her space. You know how parents will call you names because of how you see their toxic ways; her mom was not different from other parents. She would call her a trouble child and rude whenever she tried to make her mother understand how deeply they were hurting her.

She felt like she was running around in sorrows again, that her life revolved around pain, and so she slowly went back to that shallow place she was in. She felt alone again and it seemed like being alone was the only medicine for her mind. She learnt to compromise her feelings for her parents. That self-journey she was on was now impossible to finish as she was unlearning all the things she had taught herself to be free and happy. She was going back to that place where she had no voice and she was starting to accept that was her fate. Nothing but sobs at night and a wet pillow, that was her life now. Back in that space where she had to question her existence again and ask God to ease her pain. Wanting to be loved and understood by her parents, she became mute about what was truly hurting her. She did not want to be called disobedient and so she did what she had mastered the most: to live in her parents’ shadows and be pushed over by them. They were hurting her, but to restore the peace between herself and them she had to bend through all the injustices.

Having to live with her father for the first time, his true identity was revealed to her; maybe it was better when she did not know him, she thought. She thought her father was a sadist, a man who inflicts pain by his selfish ways, nothing but a cheating liar. A patriarch he was and never apologised for his arrogant behaviour that carried his cruel heart. He was no father, rather a monster.

Nothing seemed to work for her, so she saw her life was pathetic. She tried to kill herself using pills, she even cut herself in different places to numb the pain she was feeling inside her. As she was fading out, she wondered if she would ever find inner peace or self-peace in her soul?

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