Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. – Edgar Allan Poe
I am 23 years old and afraid of the dark. My voices snicker at me as I write this. Want to know why?
My voices revel in the darkness. When I used to walk on campus at night, alone in the dark, they would simulate feet walking and heavy breathing near my ear. They would tell me someone was following me with a knife. Or they would say that one of the cars was following me.
They would sometimes speak as the supposed person following me, telling me to stop and threatening me.
Or, my voices would simulate someone screaming for help, and I would be desperately afraid it wasn’t just my voices but someone actually in trouble who I was ignoring. It happened so often though that I know at least most of these instances no one was in trouble.
I remember those days, when I would leave a friend’s dorm. I would linger in the doorway for a moment, half tempted to ask them to come with me to my dorm, to escort me and my posse of voices to safety.
The words stuck in my throat and never made it past my lips. Because an adult should not be afraid of the dark, and I was convinced that help was something neither deserved nor truly desirable.
So I said my cheery masked goodbye and ventured into the darkness alone, accosted by voices and hallucinations.
Post 18 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)
This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.
For the whole series, follow this link.