My Palace of Darkness

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Why is darkness always seen as bad thing? The familiarity of darkness, you know where everything is and you can mold your thoughts and feelings around what you feel like you can “deal with.” Darkness is familiar, however empty it can leave you.  I always thought that my Palace of Darkness was a place away from the world,  with vast defenses and fail-safes  to keep myself distant, away from a world that often doesn’t make any sense for the fear of winding up lost, be it without a purpose, or to lose someone who i cared about deeply, that meant so much to me. Its never been a “Fear of the Dark,” more a fear of the light.

Once you let the light in, these feelings, thoughts and beliefs in, once you even think about opening the doors of your grand palace of darkness it changes things. Your walls and closely guarded fortress has been found to have a weakness, the question being how I deal with the light penetrating through the shutters of my mind. What if that was the entire point though? What if you wanted someone to find their way into your palace, for if they were willing to try, to do what they can to make you feel good as you would do them, then maybe beyond meandering through the corridors of the Palace, the world and this brilliant person could make you feel, or even just want to feel so much more than you ever thought possible…reasonable even.

Yet i have found these last few weeks that to be “close” to someone, to be happy in this partnership that has been forged through as many years as they have, with the people who mean so much to me, takes far more than the logic and order, more so than i could have ever even imagined.

This learning process began a few weeks ago in that i was wondering about these friends of mine. I have often been able to share things with them i never thought i would with anyone, with them helping through the times of darkness so powerful in the corridors of the palace i have felt like i couldn’t handle alone, even though once upon a time i would have seen no other way. I worry a lot, my logical and rational thinking often being used as a “safety barrier” of some form, where i would spend more and more time in the “Palace of Darkness” for what’s happening on the outside wasn’t “interesting,” as it couldn’t be cut down to manageable bite size parts of information, like it was some form of revision that was going to make me “better at life.”

I’ve known my best friend for some time now and found myself wondering why she has remained in my life as long as she has, knowing all of my instabilities, confusions and about the mere existence of the Palace of Darkness, even if we don’t take my logical, rational ideologies into account. Beyond why she has stuck around, i have found myself thinking about recently why she has kept me around,  for something i did totally naturally, was so far from what being a “friend” was about.  I have never put much thought, emotionally speaking into what i think or say, convinced i was saying “what needs to be said” or “doing what needs to be done.” This way i would be showing her a path to removing misery from the problem, by solving it. Its as if somehow, if she was sad or feeling low somehow, i would worry i wasn’t doing a good enough job of taking that misery away, for i would rather live with it than see her not being and feeling as brilliantly wonderful as i believe her to be.

I believed for many years that the point of me, to her, is to take that misery away, to put it into my Palace of Darkness, to be dealt with. I wanted to do that, because seeing her sad, angry or miserable is a remarkably difficult thing to deal with, especially considering how much of a good friend she had been to me. True or not, i really lived to this ideal.  This was, my purpose in her life, a job i was all too happy to do.

So, when she gets mad at me her “close friend” for doing this in a time where she was not looking for answers, when she was not looking for a solution to her problem, when all she wanted was her friend to be there for her, to support her when she was down and feeling vulnerable, i was nowhere. So i guess her being mad makes sense, even though for a while i was oblivious, until i started wandering,  thinking about how she was feeling, away from the logic and order of myself and away from the events in her life. All that mattered was making it go away to me, when all she wanted was a friend to support her through that difficult time.

Whats more i remained confused for some time, having provided her the answer and she wasn’t taking it. “What is she doing?” i remember thinking, rage and confusion building within me.  I thought for a long time i was mad at her for not seeing what to me seemed so “obvious.” I was watching her change and this was causing an emotional change in me, something that in truth was terrifying. I felt like she was pushing away when i thought we were so close, for i hadn’t been there for her and to lose her is scarier than any corridor, or any chest in the Palace of Darkness could ever be. I was annoyed that i let myself care about someone, as often i can obsess over ignoring human nature for the outskirts, for the darkness because it can make for risk of less discomfort or loss and pain is never far behind.

I learnt something about myself when at dinner with her. I know very little about what it means to be “close” to someone in a genuine capacity. I thought i had it figured out, but the truth is i will never stop learning and this understanding cannot be forced, idealized or manipulated to come the way i want it to. I am scared of the way she makes me think and feel sometimes, its really an alarming jump from what i’m used to. But at the same time it makes me feel so happy and privileged to have this brilliant person in my life that i can share this connection with, this friendship that is there no matter how far i fall and be there to celebrate when the highs come round. I assumed that i didn’t need this, for a very long time. But when the Palace gets a shroud of light through the curtains, you let it in. I may be scared of how i think and feel, of the light she has let in to my Palace of Darkness, but its OK, maybe even good.

Its good that i feel like it would be wrong to try and control this situation, its remarkably exciting letting things just happen, for it could bring about those wonderful moments in life where you just so fucking happy to be there.

What i do know is that whatever happens, my brilliantly beautiful powerful best friends will be there all the way. And no matter how comforting my Palace of Darkness can be- this seems so much more. It makes me want to work harder to learn- to be “a better friend,” to be part of the process and not living on the outskirts in my vast Palace of Darkness.

A good fear. This is new.

Yours, with love as always.
DR

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