There’s a little black shadowesque man who lives in the back of my head. I’m not sure when he moved in, but he’s been there for quite a long time now, I know that, because he’s been guiding me for a while, at least since childhood. He’s faceless, his limbs elongated, and he doesn’t speak. He communicates solely via telepathy. He’s filled with doubt, anxiety, sadness, fear and frustration. He’s constantly getting me to doubt everything I think or do. Anytime I think I might be about to accomplish something, he speaks up, stating, “This isn’t the right way to do this” or “It’ll never work, you know that, don’t you?”
At first I thought he was looking out for me. Keeping me from making mistakes, but no, he’s keeping me from making progress, and yet, since he’s been with me for so long now, I cannot function without him. Sometimes he takes time off, exiting through the small trap door he installed in the back door of my head, and I get left to my own devices. Upon his return, he sighs, rubbing his forehead with his lengthy fingers and says, “Look at this mess I have to clean up now.” He’s been there more than any mother or father, and is just as judgemental as they, but it’s not the same. His disappointment isn’t said with a bitterness, a venomous cynicism, whereupon he’s not actually putting me down but upset that, much like a small child, I cannot be without supervision. He’s upset. He wants me to be okay, but he himself isn’t even sure how to give me that peace of mind.
When in doubt, I often turn to him for advice. If I don’t think I’m making the right decision, I will ask his opinion, and if he even so much as hesitates in his response, I know not to continue with it. He argues with me that others are out to get me, that my family hates me, that I can’t have friends. He doesn’t believe any of that, but he himself doesn’t know how to fix it either. He’s just as clueless as I am. That’s what keeps us glued at the hip, like paper chain children. That’s why he stays. Because he knows I have nobody else, and I need someone to watch over me. Yet I know that there’s the possibility that I will lose him. That one day, I will wake up and feel ok, and he may never come back. That the space he’d occupied in the back of my head for so long will be gone, cleared of his few possessions and he will never return. I will go on to lead a good life, filled to the brim with possibilities, overflowing with happiness. Friends, a good job, a clean safe living space.
And despite this new social life, I’ll always feel alone, because nobody can fill the void that a piece of yourself once filled.