There was this beautiful girl. She had anything a girl could want: a loving family, a safe home, friends the she held close, hobbies that filled her mind with purpose, and a God which held her heart. Her imagination filled her mind with dreams, stories, songs and ideas making her a little off, but that didn't bother the girl. She felt that it made her unique and special. No one told her otherwise.
Now this girl was very independent and didn't like the thought of asking for help. She was a middle child, and therefore didn't beg for attention like her other siblings.
Despite her vivid imagination and willing heart, the girl liked to be by herself, contenting herself with the company of books and music. She had close friends that she saw at school and church, but once she was home, her room became her world.
Regardless of this self inflicted solitude, she longed to have the approval of others. She lived to be praised and complimented. She used the talents that she had been given to seek out this approval that needed constant reassuring. She played sports to get her coaches’ acknowledgement. She joined theater and choir to earn her classmates’ approval. She took hard classes to gain the favor if her teachers and parents.
Little by little, the beautiful girl forgot the biggest supporter and fan that she needed was herself. Self worth became her biggest struggle.
Then, there were demons starting to naw at her heart and mind causing her worry and pain. They cause scabs to cover the beautiful girl’s face and arms and sores on her fingertips. The demons also attacked her health, keeping her home with fevers and flu's.
Not wanting to admit that there was anything wrong, she plastered on a smile and acted like nothing was wrong.
The demons never left. They whispered in her ear that she was unwanted, unlovable, ugly, and a freak, but the girl just kept smiling, dying little by little inside.
She buried herself in her books and writings, reading about women who smile in the face of danger and writing strong female characters that had big hearts and even bigger attitudes.
“If only you could be them,” the voices whispered. “If only you could change who you are.”
Then came a boy. He said he loved her for who she was, and the demons were silent.
Months past, and the girl bathed under the light of the love that the boy gave her, but it didn't last. The boy put her in a place that only One Person should be. A cloud started to cover the light, and the girl fought hard to keep that light bright. “If I fix him,” she said, “then everything will be alright.”
But it was too much for her. She wasn't the help he needed. She sent him away with a kiss on the head, pointing him to the Only One who could help him. The boy didn't accept that. Little by little, he worked his way under her guard. The girl didn't realize this, not wanting to hurt the boy again, but mostly because deep down she hoped that there was a chance that she could return to that place of light and love.
Nearly two years later, they made a terrible decision.
After, as the girl sat in her room, the demons returned. They had grown bigger and brought new friends to play and taunt.
“Filthy. Disgusting. Unworthy. Look at what you did. No one will love you now that you are filthy. Nothing ever can redeem you for what you did. You are a sorry excuse for a human being. What you did was unforgivable and it was all your fault. All. Your. Fault.”
Her room, so long a space of solace, had become a place of torture.
Next to her bed lay a gift given to her by the boy. The girl pulled out a single blade, the sharp edge glinting in the light.
“You deserve to be punished,” the demons whispered. “You are dirty. You deserve to hurt.”
The girl realized that these were lies and put away the knife.
“There isn't anything wrong. I can fight this.” she told herself over and over.
Day by day, she looked at the knives by her bed, each sharp edge looking friendlier and friendlier with each passing day. Each morning, she begged for her Father to give her strength to make it through the day and for relief from the demons. He always gave both, but the relief was fleeting. The demons pounced at every weak moment, tearing and re-tearing scars and wounds they never let heal.
Finally, she lost. She let the darkness overwhelm her, giving the demons what they wanted. It was the farthest she ever fell.
As the knife hovered over her skin, a voice called out to her.
“You know I struggle with them too, right?” The girl’s strong, smiling mother stood over her.
“So do we.” The girl looked around to see her closest friends over her as well.
“Forgiving yourself is the first step to coming home.” The girl cried at her pastor's words, as they cut and healed at the same time.
The figures faded and blue walls covered in sharpie surrounded her with loving words and words of encouragement from the Word and people she admired. The words that had been in that place of solace all along, but she just hadn't seen them. The demons had made them blurred in her eyes leaving only their words to fill her ears.
A moment of clarity and the Words of Truth poured into her.
She was loved.
She was beautiful.
She was valued.
Loved. Beautiful. Valued.
Loved. Beautiful. Valued.
She cried out for help and people came. She looked for love and reassurance and found it in the arms of her Father, family and friends.
The demons were still there and they always would be, but the beautiful girl had learned to live with her demons and not let them control her.
This girl is not a figment of my imagination. The beautiful girl plagued with demons is me.