The Darkest Hours… Literally

“As I sat in my office, unable to identify the people around me, I couldn’t tell what was going on or recognize the emotions etched on their faces.”

Was that concern? Horror? Sadness? Was it pity maybe? One of the ladies asked me a question, was that worry clouding her expression? My name, address or emergency contact…It was some basic information she needed to get me home safely. I had no answer to give, I couldn’t remember things about myself.

That was the last time I would sit in that chair.

Someone told me to drink, handing me a bottle of water. Desperately, another woman started praying, saying she didn’t know what else to do. Another insisted, “It’s not good for her here.” Still another said closing the door, “Don’t let anyone see her like this.” Who were these people? I couldn’t recall the names of these women, I didn’t recognize anyone. A kind voice whispered into my ears, “You need to go home. Don’t return to this place.” Someone else agreed, “They won’t stop until they break you.” They should know.

That was the last time I saw my co-workers.

One month later, I was approaching the end of my sick leave as stated on my doctor’s note. Officially, I was approved to return to work. In reality, my mind was not prepared to do so. That day, I woke up in a panic, refusing to get out of bed. Gripped with terror, smelling of fear and sensing an emotion I never had before. Was that self-loathing?

That was the last time I saw my confident self as that part of me retreated.

By insisting that I return to work to make a living, I was forcing myself to go back to that torture chamber and surrender my life. Dignity dictated that I simply quit. My debt said that I couldn’t. Why was it so hard for me to make a plan? Decision making was always my forte. Whatever breakdown I went through had cut that cord, I had lost my ability to reason.

That was the last time I tried to force myself to push for my career.

Somehow, my mind had internalized that I was their property and subject to their will. As I slid off my bed I landed heavily on the floor. Pain shot through my back and I fell to my knees as my arm reached behind me to trace the welts. Where did these come from? I felt raw from the sensation of whips slicing through my back. Was that just a nightmare or a memory of ancestors past? I blacked out as the imagery threw me back 300 years.

That was my last vision before I melted into the wood underneath me.

On the 5th day, the caller from my workplace said that I had to return to work. I got up after two hours of trying to find my feet to pull open the drapes. Over the past few days, I had lost the will to shower. Everything looked hazy so I went back to sleep. This time when I woke up to get dressed, I could not see beyond my arms due to the mist in my eyes. It was just mist, right? As I blinked rapidly, I slowly began to realize the truth. Everything had gone dark.

That was the last thing I saw – my arm.

I had lost my sight.

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