I realised last night that I haven’t thought of you in a long time. Until last night, that is. How have you been? You haven’t disturbed my sleep with visions or visited my dreams unannounced in months, and I must say, I’m enjoying the quiet.
You see, dear Ghost, I’ve been trying this new thing where I stop blaming myself for everything that happened. In fact, I daresay none of it was my fault, and allowing you to taunt me for so long after the fact has left me shattered into a million pieces, but, I think I finally have you out of my head.
Here’s the thing, and you really should sit down for this one; I’ve been thinking a lot about the terms in which I think about myself and I realised there are words and phrases I use that I learned from you. Bits and bobs like “useless”, “talentless”, “lazy”, “fat”, “fucked up”, “unwelcome” and the ones I love to use daily, like “sorry”, “it’s my fault” and my personal favourite, “I’ll make it up to you”.
What is it, exactly, that I owe to you, dear ghost? It takes a birthday and a rocky few years to come to the agreement (between my voices and I, your opinion in irrelevant here) that I owe you nothing, that it is time I stopped hiding behind you and start living for myself.
Dear ghost, this is me telling you to fuck off. I know, I know, a lady doesn’t swear, but there we go, I’m not a lady, you made sure of that, didn’t you?
All this time, I was holding on to my anger and only harming myself.
You are, after all, just a ghost. Without a capital letter. Just a wisp of a man that once lived and broke and stole and escaped. Why do I give you agency? Why are you the one visiting while I am the visited?
No more, I decline the offer for any more visits.
I didn’t know how simple the answer was until I gave myself agency.
I sleep, I dream, I wake, I work, I eat, I laugh, I fuck, I write, I fantasise, I hope, I forgive, I leave, I do, I do, I do.
And you don’t.