The Monster’s Comforting Cloak

She had a monster inside her.

He was shadowy and spiny and ran he laps around his home, inside of her heart.  His talons took chunks out of her flesh as he stomped his feet on her. In her.  The bristles on his back scraped and poked and gouged her insides as he turned and twisted.  He dug in. He chomped at her flesh and took sips of her blood; he drained her. He wounded her heart, leaving it loose, saggy, shriveled.  As tiny as he was, that monstrous speck in her heart, he weighed her down.

On the day the woman became a mother, her body opened up and the child emerged. With the child came gristle, blood, and watery fluids.  And also the beast.  The dreadful speck got washed away, expelled for good.

But, while her body was open and vulnerable, a new monster crept in.

The new creature surreptitiously found its way inside and into her heart. It filled the void The Other had left.  Only this monster was not a speck. It was a giant.  It packed her heart full, and crouched inside, with its arms around its knees and its back squashed up against the sides, for lack of space. The woman felt  an intense tightness in her chest from the pressure.  But she did not complain.

Unlike The Other, this monster was not covered in bristles.  It was cushy and downy soft. The pressure from this monster comforted the woman.  It made her feel complete. Warmed.  Full. Even though her heart now held more weight, the woman felt lighter. Over time, the new monster fed on her happiness and it continued to grow fatter and fatter inside the woman’s heart, which stretched and stretched to accommodate it.  The intense fullness usually felt good.

But sometimes it didn’t.

Sometimes instead of filling her with happiness, the distention scared her. Terrified her. Paralyzed her. Because the tiniest notion that there could once again be emptiness where the fullness now was, was unimaginable. Unthinkable. Unbearable.

The woman came to realize that the new monster wasn’t new at all.  The Other had not actually disappeared.  The tiny, barbed monster had simply put on a thick, cushioned, cloak. He was hiding underneath the happiness, growing larger.  Stronger.  And if the soft veneer were to be shed, the stiff bristles, which would have once left only a scratch, would now impale her from the inside, killing her for sure. The monster chuckled as it leaned back, settled in, and kept feeding, growing more and more obese, stretching her heart even further and further.

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13 thoughts on “The Monster’s Comforting Cloak

  1. OMG please tell me more because I think that monster’s brother lives inside of my heart, right now. And I’m not sure whether I’m okay with him being there or not.

  2. Pingback: The Secret | A Morning Grouch

  3. And one day, the woman realized one very crucial fact. So she sat down to talk to the monster. “You are me and I am you” she told the monster. It looked at her with bright, coldly intelligent eyes. After a long moment, it nodded in agreement, a slow, sinister, smile blooming on its face. “What of it?” It asked. “We don’t have to be enemies. What if we, you know, merged?” The monster was intrigued, then smiled even wider. “You don’t know what will happen. It would make us something entirely new.” The woman shrugged, then looked over to where the child was, sitting happily absorbed in a toy. The monster looked too, then after a long moment, said “Well, what the hell. We live and die for the cub.”. The woman nodded her agreement and stood. The monster stood as well, then, lightening quick, opened the cloak wide and embraced her tight. There was pain, excruciating pain. Then nothing. “Wow, Mommy!” came the child’s voice. “You look so cool!”. The woman opened her eyes, and there in the mirror, stood a creature of terrifying grace, beauty, determination, strength and love. There stood a mother who loved her child, but did not forget that the monster let her be the child’s protector as well.

      • *HUGS* You are very welcome. I was diagnosed with “Disassociate Identity disorder” quite some time ago, in my daughter’s early teen years, along with PTSD, depression and anxiety. It took me a few years and a lot of work with a very kind and dedicated clinical psychologist to learn that those “monsters” were really just aspects of me. It was scary to do what he suggested and “embrace” them. My daughter is now 20 and very matter of factly tells me “I knew when it wasn’t you. I could always tell. But, I was never afraid of them, because they protected me. A couple of them are pretty badass. One is kinda smothery ‘cuz she has to know where I’m at all the time. But, they are all you. And you’re them. I’m never afraid of you or them, because all of you love me, and I love all of you.”

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