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Love in the Dark


I've come to believe that real happiness requires transparency. It's the things in ourselves that we try to hide in the dark, the things that we're shamed of, that cause us the most pain. Open the doors. Open the windows. Let in the light.

We need community. We need love and emotional support from others, but we need self love even more.

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I dreamed that I'd become smitten with a man. Our interactions were pure magic. I couldn't get enough of him until he revealed his dark truth.

He had a son, and, finally, he introduced me to the child. The boy couldn't have been more than three or four. He was frail with skin so fragile and pallid that he couldn't go outside in the light of day. He could only go out to play at night.

This child had also been born with large, delicate bat wings, which were completely non-functional but helped add to the boy's disturbing appearance. The man explained that the child was prone to illness; that he spent as much time in the hospital as he did in his own home.

We took the child to a playground in the middle of the night. The boy was ungainly and awkward. His father had to help him ride one of the jump horses at the park. i felt increasingly uneasy.

After a few moments, the child began to cough. Alarmed, the father said that the child had developed a sudden fever. They were heading to the hospital.

I watched them go, knowing that for me, it was over. If I were going to date the man, I would have to accept the child and that I was burden I was unwilling to accept.

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I awoke feeling troubled, with a side of guilt. How could I feel so repulsed by a helpless child; a delicate child that couldn't help being born with bat wings? What sort of person would reject a man for being a devoted father?

I put aside the guilt and let the dream sit in my mind for a time until I was ready to unpack it.

When is a child not a child? When it appears in a dream with bat wings.

Yes, being open is important. Embracing community is important. Being vulnerable to love is important, but not when that vulnerability comes at too great a cost.

Just as important to happiness is self care. We deserve the space and the time to be ourselves and take care of ourselves. We deserve to have boundaries and be allowed to enforce those boundaries.

Anyone that tries to tell you differently, isn't worthy of you or of your love.

Pallid creature, suffering in the darkness, I pity you your frailty; I pity you your need, but I can't make a home in the darkness with you. I want and need to live in the light. I deserve to thrive.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to just walk away.

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