Pandora’s Box

Today she realized she could be a burden to someone else, because you told her she would one day be a bother to the ones she loved.

She had heard that advice before of course, but today it dawned on her, the fullness of what you meant. The Pandora’s Box had revealed it’s tempting self to a mind too curious not to open it.

Perhaps you meant it as abstract advice for the future, or as motivational speech meant to inspire her towards courage in being decisive about marriage

But she realized today she could be a burden. She has now unlocked a thought she can no longer put back under lock and key.

May God help her mind recover from what it may never recover from.

Just like for so long, how she thought she never needed friends because you always said her friends would never be there for her in the end anyway. Family would always be there. ‘Stop prioritizing friends over family’, you had said.

And she always listened. Even when you seemed wrong.

Even when her family seemed to ignore the blatant truths written on her face, in favor of what they wanted for her, while her friends acknowledged that they saw what she was saying, even if they didn’t agree. Oddly one seemed a more loving and truthful response than the other.

And you may not be so happy to learn, that there is a part of her fighting your voice, as it lullabies her into the gritty clasp of learned helplessness.

There is still a part of her that knows and believes her kin love her. Perhaps it will soothe your heart to know she was happy, until an hour ago, in the knowledge that the ones she loved, loved her back. But maybe soothing isn’t what you desire. It doesn’t get the right results, I suppose.

And now she hears you, echoing in her ears like the drumbeat that won’t fade out of her consciousness-  Your adamance that there will come day when no one will be left around her, no one will love her like you. And the only way out, is to hitch herself to any warm body that will take her till she dies.

But is love really love, if it makes her weep so? If it makes her feel like a burden to this world so many layers deep, that no one seems to be able to undo it? If it makes her feel like she’ll never be enough to be truly loved for who she actually is? Like she has no choice but to choose the crumbs you hold out to her, shrugging your shoulders as you drive spears into her already wounded heart as the persuading cherry on top?

It’s for her good, afterall.

How can she believe any strange man will love her, if she’s being told she can’t even trust her own kin to love her? You see how her mind’s been poisoned now.

How is anyone to recover from such a poisoned dart? How does one unknow such lies that so much of her mind is fighting a losing battle to? How is she to learn to trust her own gut, when the mother’s milk being fed to her says otherwise?

Again and again she sees the echoing faces of those she loves. And again and again that voice echoes in her mind saying “Who will miss you? They will move on and live their own lives. You will be all alone”.

And she’s a good daughter, she takes to heart the train of thought so dutifully planted and grows it to it’s logical conclusion.

Of course she won’t be missed by children who won’t even remember her. She won’t be missed by the strange men who tire after a few dates with her. She won’t be missed by others who move on with their own lives and their own kids and only use her because she’s single and free. Of course, she won’t be missed.

And the ones that will cry the loudest will be the ones who claim to love her the most. While the girl they will miss, is a girl they don’t even truly know. And the parts they cannot stomach will be erased, just as she was, while she lived.

They drove her to tears when she was joyful, they begrudged her happiness because it wasn’t born of the circumstances they dictated, they refused to believe her even when she told them exactly what she felt. And in refusing to accept her joy, they seemed determined to only find their own joy, if she were miserable.

Is it love that desires such a madness? That seeks the misery of it’s beloved, so they can be strung up to the tune of your desires? To give her the things you are so convinced will make her happy, when those very things seem so plainly, to be staving away your own happiness and hers?

Is she such a fool to think that only madness desires such a love? Was she such a fool, to love in the way she did- with abandon, and no eye for what was coming back to her? When has true love thought of anything but it’s beloved’s delight? Did she not love as she should have?

Yet it will be her ruin, her back humbled beneath the stick of your words, her spirit beaten, her smile reduced to a wearied acquiescence, that will be the source of your joy. Because in all her misery, in the quiet death of her joy and in her self being reduced to an unrecognizable other, she will have a ring on her hand.

And really what good is joy without a ring? What good is talent, without a man? What use is a woman, without a husband and her children? What good is a God if he doesn’t follow your commands?

And that ring, will be your evidence before society, of why your parenthood has been a success. Not the joy of your own children of course, rather what someone you see once a year has to say of your parenthood when they ask ‘what about her?’. It makes sense really, when you think about it.

And what can she say? She has no wind left in her after being knocked down to humility on her true place in life. She will cry herself to sleep and hope for sweet relief to come soon.

She will beg God to end her life, if it makes everyone else’s easier. Her family wouldn’t need to be embarrassed of her anymore, her friends and peers could move one and live their lives well. It would be a true relief to the world, she’ll argue.

Perhaps tomorrow she will find the strength to hope again.

1/13/2023

(Image credit: https://www.lisesavage.top/ProductDetail.aspx?iid=446650106&pr=35.88)

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