The ‘Silent’ Intruder
‘He charged in! Streaming like a herd of wild wildebeest in a flight of panic’, as he broke down the door, spontaneously transforming my tranquil surroundings into a pit of anarchy and chaos.
This was his usual entrance.
On occasion, he would have the courtesy to ‘knock’ on my door. At first, I would ignore his presence, but his eerie rapping would rapidly grow louder and louder, until the sound engulfed everything, ‘leaving me unable to think, unable to do, unable to escape, like a prisoner in my own home’.
I could smell his pungent stench of sweat when he was close. I could hear his coarse ‘breathless’ breathing, which sounded like he had been running for miles. ‘My hands and feet, would become cold like ice’ when he spoke; “You need me”, he cackled, “You cannot survive without me, I’m in your blood!”
Sometimes, this alone, was enough for me to concede defeat, and unlock the door.
In braver periods, I hid when I sensed him coming, but he knew I was there. “I can feel you”, he would chide under the gap of the door, as his shadow danced through underneath. As he said this, ‘My heart would beat erratically, like an African drum beating to the stampede of hooves of scattered buffalo fleeing pursuit in the savannah’. ‘My breathing became shallow, and I felt his invisible hands reaching through the cracks, grasping my throat, and suffocating me.
He knew my every weakness and played upon it, like an impulsive impetuous child knocking over the delicate ambitions I had sculptured.
His visits becoming more and more frequent, I even began to leave the door unlocked expectedly, for his arrival.
Over time, he grew large, as the gluttonous creature fed on my hospitality, and distracted me from all my dreams.
He preached panic and rashness with all my attributes; coaxing me to drink from his cup of longing, and to choke on his ‘medicinal’ chemical smoke.
I struggled, refusing to conform to his ways, but he would become violent and aggressive. His anger showed no bounds, it was continuous, and ranged from physical to psychological torment. ‘When he was really angry, he would pull my hair out from the roots’, telling me ‘I deserved it’. He would open my mouth and pour acid into my innards. Then he would ‘slice’ chunks of skin out of my arms, watching me bleed, to ‘measure’ my disobedience. He deprived me of my basic needs, starving me; as he ate my portion, growing stronger and more overpowering.
My home was no longer mine, I was his prisoner. He contributed nothing, extending beyond the parasitic realms of symbiosis. It was clear, he was living, and I was dying there.
‘I hardly slept’, he would kick me in the mornings like an animal that had disobeyed its master. ‘I no longer felt hungry, or happy, or sad....I no longer felt at all!’ ‘I had resigned my future and self-worth to accept my fate, he was in control’.
That very same night, like a stranger he stole away, leaving me alone in the darkness. I had been abandoned by the only thing left in my life, although I hated him, he was all I knew, and I had grown dependent on him.
Then, out of the silence, there was a ‘knocking’ at the door, I got up to answer. A tall thin elderly stranger stood on the step, looking dishevelled in his ill-fitting clothes. I did not know this man.
Looking down at the floor, he brushed past me into the house. I noticed he had coarsening of his facial features, his face was expressionless, and he had a slumped posture. Once inside, he turned and addressed me, his speech was quiet, and he spoke only few words, “you looked after my brother”, he said. “I am ‘depression’; I have come to stay with you”.
I closed the door behind him.
Stress and his brother depression
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