I believe wholeheartedly in the phrase “When one door shuts another door opens.” However there is a bit of a catch to it, how can one tell if another door has opened when you're stuck on the other side of the one that had shut? To put it simply, you find the strength and courage to open it and see what the outside world can look like. To some its impossible and they continue to stare at the same wall, their minds filling in the images they want to see and they grow content, settling for never truly being happy but never having to hurt. For me it was one of the hardest decisions to make and keep a hold of, to stay steadfast. There were so many things to consider when I opened my door, “How will this affect my daughter? What kind of life is she going to live because of my decision? Am I doing whats best for her AND I? Am I doing the right thing?” Finding a compromise or even an ANSWER for all of these has been the hardest part, especially when my mind swarms me with “what if's” and “could be's”.
I'd be lying if I said I hadn't cried more than a few times after opening the door, that I hadn't regretted my decision and had entertained the thought of shutting myself back up in the dark room I'd lived in for so long. It'd definitely be easier, more comfortable. But who would that be helping really? My daughter would grow up thinking that feeling trapped in a relationship is a normal thing. She wouldn't see the love and light that I want to raise her in. She'd only see that overbearing darkness looming over her mother, the fear that controlled her and the paranoia that was placed there by the deeds of the one causing all of the darkness, regardless of the flecks of light that floated around like fireflies taking their final breath. After opening my door and stepping out into the blinding outer world I've felt free yet terrified, inspired yet suffocated, I've found clarity yet have been faced with even more confusion than I could have possibly imagined.
I've been taken in and collared by a Reaper of lost souls, a collector of the damned wishing only for the salvation of themselves and those most important to them. I serve alongside a Creature of beauty so elegant and bright that there is nothing in existence to compare her to and not sully her image. I often feel myself twinge with jealousy ever so slightly at how gorgeous she is, only to realize that to this Creature and our Master Reaper I am beautiful as well. They have welcomed me into their home and family, and their generosity has been staggering. For them I have shed tears of joy and sorrow. Feeling their arms around me and their heart's warmth in mine fills me with such adoration for them, yet knowing that I can never truly repay them for every thing they have done and all they wish to do in full fills me with such sadness that I cant help but feel like a burden on them. But then the collar I have been given reminds me of their hold on me, my servitude.
His collar is perpetually warm, energizing even. His touch even more so. The longing and desire, nay, NEED to serve these beings is paramount and second only to my life as a mother and the love I have for my only daughter. In secret I devote ALL of my spare time and thought to knowing his rules and his requirements for the slave of a Reaper. And where it sometimes feels like there's so much to learn and apply, I make break throughs faster than I thought possible. Even my wishes to have a life long friend has been fulfilled in his Creature. She is so much like myself yet different enough that I have something to aspire to transform into in the coming years. Her art is abstract and poetic, she is strong, steadfast, resilient beyond measure. A true wonder. And if she really feels as highly for me now as she lets on then I have been given a gift I don't entirely feel I deserve. And even in her touch, as infrequent as is it, as subtle as it can be there is an energy that fills the emptiness I find growing larger and smaller the more time comes to pass.
Within their words I find small pieces of my former self, the self I have been trying to bring back to the surface for years now. Slowly but surely small pieces of the puzzle I though I'd lost are reconnecting themselves and revealing more of me to those that are choosing to see it. And it saddens me to think that if ever the day comes the door to that dark room reopens and the room itself has changed, I may not be allowed to return to it because of the changes I have undergone. But then my keepers remind me that loss isn't mine to feel, but that world's. It is there that my being is wasted, and it is the person in that room that will long and pray for my return but with little to no avail.
In this new world I've plunged myself into I have structure and a sense of purpose. Here I have found more than companionship and life long friends, I have found love and light. I have found a GROUP that I can contribute to and be a part of. I have found kindred spirits so that I may no longer walk my path alone. Here I have discovered that regardless how I view myself, there are people that think I am a work of art, and its beginning to spread into my own way of thinking.
I loved the one that was in that dark room with me, and I still do. But what is love if you cannot trust? What is trust if there is no room to build and grow something so fragile? What is a life where there can be no evolution into something higher than what was broken and filled with pain? In my new world I am evolving, growing, trusting, and loving. I am trusted and loved in turn. I am not the only one being leaned on and I no longer am without something to lean on myself. Even a mountain needs something to hold on to when the ocean's crashing becomes too great.
This Reaper and his Creature have shown me something spectacular, and they continue to do so. Every day is an opportunity to learn, to show what I am capable of at my very core. And every chance I've had to show them just what I can do and who I am, they've been impressed with me. It is here with them that I am feeling most at home, at ease. It is here where I have the purpose I have been looking for. It is within my Master Reaper and his Creature that I am needed. So it is here I will continue my servitude, and do my best to give to them the light and hope they have given me.
-Iseley Lorraine Black