“I believe in my heart to hold the line to truth, even when my heart starts bleeding right there in front of them all.” —Annabelle Lennox
The One Who Sees.
Fiction. Based on a Snapshot of Self.
By Kaitlynn Romain
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
They told me. They told me many things.
I didn’t know.
I stood naked before the amphitheater of judgements, each dripping with the sweet aroma of roses, freshly separated from their thorns. Though I can still feel the ripping sensation as it wafts across my skin.
I am three; I am five; I am twenty; I am fifty; I am dead.
I have stood always before this amphitheater.
SO that they may tell me who it is I am.
“You are brilliant,” they say.
I must be.
But I am not the version they describe. And they do, in detail. They meet with a panel. They tell me what I am, what i do.
The pain builds in me; for i have been standing on this pedestal for my life’s length now. I measure that time in what i have achieved. But what if i am sleeping and none of this is as painfully cutting a I am told by the dragons of wisp and smoke?
Can I look down? Can i look to the right and the left?
Why do they speak of of softness, while i feel only the cold press of metal?
What is that?
My turn is up and i know i return to my angular box.
It’s odd; I don’t quite fit in here.
I never thought that before.
I can see the horizon beyond.
Has it always been?
Or have my eyes always been lowered to the solid surface below, worn only by the repetition of lying in place?
Another year. I think.
Where do i learn these terms?
And the dragons survey.
I look to my left.
I can’t do that.
But i have done.
And i’ve seen it.
The world shatters. And I notice we are held together by paste and string.
The one to the left of me; if that is what I am, then brilliance has been done a great dishonor.
He doesn’t seem to yet realize.
None of us do.
I slide my gaze downwards, knowing whatever I see will forever shatter my knowing.
I realize now, it was I who empowered these dragons.
I handed the collar and created the cage.
All because I had forgotten. It escaped me.
And what would happen If I looked down at what I am, at this thing I dub “ME,” and it’s horrid and putrefying?
Then I will KNOW what I suspect.
And it’s over.
But my heart has been bleeding.
The cage is shrinking.
And the horizon is calling.
I look down.
First I see blood.
I see rot.
I see carcas.
I see rivers of pain and tears woven through the years.
My heart shrieks.
But I stand there still.
I have looked.
The dragons stand there; for they are not there, I know now, to block me from this truth.
They filled their role.
And behind their eyes I see a gleam.
One stands and opens his coat.
Within, there’s dark. And then there’s light.
Then, he’s gone.
I look at my own chest once more.
The mottled darkness bubbles, but beneath it, I see the light.
And I know that isn’t me.
Neither is the dark.
I am neither.
I am not mind; and I am not heart.
I am not even here.
I am the one who sees.
And I, too, am gone.