Shadows on the Moon
Craig M. Sampson
Vermont……the place that was once a fond childhood memory for me, now brings nothing but involuntary waves of fear. The uncontrollable spasms of fright and anxiety cause my brow to instantly fill with the wetness of nervous perspiration and bring an unsettling to my stomach that can bring me to my knees. For a short period of time, I really thought that everything that had gone on there was over—that the horror I experienced there was finished. But that was just a respite it seems and when I think of Vermont now, and it’s like some sort of dark shroud has been pulled over my vision—a dark and black feeling so oppressive that I just pray to lie down and fade away. My friends find me moody and aloof and detached these days as I find myself simply not able to get past what this experience has taken from me.
The vivid, pristine images of the snow-covered village of Langston, or the idyllic endless waves of green rolling hills that are stereotypical of northern New England that filled my days as a young boy now consume me with fear and anger—perhaps irrational to the outside observer or perhaps to you as you read this story, but as real to me as the cold gusts of Canadian air that routinely bring an icy covering to the slopes of Stowe in January. Vermont…..I just hear the word now and simply try and forget. So far this has not worked…..the dagger of pain and loss is still as fresh as when I first felt them.
My therapist mostly just endures me these days I think….for whatever reason, I am not making much progress at getting beyond this anymore…I am not sure she even believes me now. In all fairness, I can see her perspective….not sure I would believe this either except that I was there. She tells me I will make progress when I am ready—with a not so subtle roll of her eyes which she thinks I am not picking up on. Not sure if I see this as utter professional exasperation on her part or maybe she is just tired of dealing with me in general….most of my former friends are. Or maybe, just maybe…..she is right and I am not ready yet. It was years ago, but maybe there is something deep within me that is hanging onto a vivid, despite being highly damaging, memory that still bring me a slight hope that one morning I will wake up and all will be well….that all will return to “normal” and none of this will have been real….just a blip in my perception, an altered state that has sent me to another plane for some reason beyond my understanding. Probably not, though….seems to real to not be actually happening. I guess my biggest consolation is that at least I was lucky enough to get out in one piece, at least physically….Sarah wasn’t so lucky. Sarah got caught up psychologically in this thing long before, and it finally became real enough to physically manifest itself to the point of wiping her from existence.
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