Man in the dark

He returned. The man from my night terrors.
I say he because its always felt like a male presence.
Every night, even if I’m in a good mood, my heart squeezes in fear.
Will I see him again?
The thought flickers through my head as I curl up under the blanket. I try not to give it power. I try not to think about it.
But he’s always there, in the back of my mind.

A few days ago I laid in bed, my sleep unsettled. I kept opening my eyes, seeing his figure at the corner of my bed. I wanted to scream and kick. No sound came from my mouth. I couldn’t move. It took all my strength to reach for the the light switch.
It didn’t work.
I rasped out the word help. None came.
I would wake up from this nightmare, only to relive it again a few seconds later.
Over and over again.

He was there last night. His shadow flickered in and out of the darkness.
Was he real? Probably not. Did he feel real? Definitely.
I started screaming. I started kicking my legs. I couldn’t see anything but the shadows. My legs felt heavy. I felt trapped.
The door opened. I reached for the light, still screaming.
A blood curdling scream.
When the room illuminated, I saw my parents worried eyes.
My father helped untangle my feet from my weighted blanket. My mom tucked me into her bed.
My throat was sore. My eyes were puffy from unshed tears.

I often question what he represents.
I believe he is a mixture between the sudden loss of my security and the fear of being broken into and assaulted.
I don’t know where that fear comes from. My home has never been intruded. I’ve never been assaulted by anyone. I don’t have any memory that could be the stem of the cause.
I don’t know if he symbolizes my depression. Something that is always lurking in the dark corners.
Something that never hurts me, but terrifies me.

I’m not sure I know what or who he is.

I just know I want him gone.

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