You never left.
You saw your moment and crawled your way back in, slowly at first, but I saw you. I knew what it meant and I didn’t stop you. I guess I hoped you wouldn’t be here to stay.
You were supposed to be gone for good. In fact, it’s a talent, you know, how skilled you are at holding on. You wait on the sidelines until you see a moment where you swap yourself in for play. Sometimes I wonder if you’ll always be there, ready to get back into the game.
And you’re making yourself at home, changing things to suit you, it’s about what you want now. I tried fighting it but you know what to say to talk me down. You always have.
Some days you’re quiet. Maybe I get better at shutting you up, or maybe you just let me. Either way you always come back louder than before. So loud that I can’t block you out, that it’s easier to join in with your tirade of negativity than it is to fight it.
I can feel your presence, even when you’re hiding away so that no one can see you, I know you’re there. Occasionally you’ll give me a nudge so I don’t forget. You exhaust me.
When we’re alone it’s different, you’re not shy then, you wrap yourself around me, squeezing down on my chest, pulling me backwards, inwards, downwards. You thrive on my inability to fight you. Sucking the energy from me to feed yourself.
You’re getting less shy now, not so afraid to hide yourself, perhaps you know you’re not going anywhere, you’re embedding roots again, and you know I won’t be weeding them out. I can hear you in my voice, in the words I say or type or think. The worst part is that people think it’s me, they can’t see you up above playing me like a puppet on strings. For them it’s just me, and they don’t like this me.
I wish I could thank you, be grateful for the lessons. But I’m not. I want you gone, never to return. Or at least I want you silenced. I want my voice back, I want to breathe again.