I was seven years old when I first met Shadow. He was nice. A soft spot to be engulfed in when I was scared or things went wrong. We first met when I was told that the dad who raised me was not my real dad. I was really upset, that’s a lot for a seven year old to take in. The idea of Shadow came up when I was laying in bed at night. My parents always kept the hallway light on and my door slightly opened so I wouldn’t be completely in the dark. Ironic how they kept me in the dark about my dad, huh? Anyway, Shadow would make a dark space in the light and it always made me feel safe for some reason, like something was there. My seven year old self personified him and would always make up stories about adventures.

But seven year olds always seem to grow up and change and so did Shadow. Shadow changed into my inner dark voice, the one to keep me motivated by telling me horrible things about myself. We talked about him in therapy, gave him a voice. I was told to be more of an active listener to Shadow in my daily life as I have gotten accustom to just listening to him when going about my day. Well, today he was heard loud and clear and it sent me through a whorl wind. The very distinct comment was “you haven’t talked about your rape very much in therapy, but you’ve talked about me a lot. Maybe that just goes to show you weren’t raped and your real problem is not knowing how to deal with me. He doesn’t believe you were raped. But then again why would he, it was your own fault.” I lost it. Even ran to the bathroom to throw up. Sometimes, I even disgust myself. Who thinks those terrible things?

Side note, just to clarify, I do not hear voices. Shadow is to me, how negative thought are to other people. I just gave my negative thought voice a name to better deal with it. Obviously it didn’t start out negatively, but things quickly changed. It started out as Shadow blaming other people for the kinda difficult life of a seven year old, but turned self destructive at thirteen.


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