Initially you scared me.
You were so dark.
You made me feel inadequate;
A reflection of my flaws.
You wouldn’t let ignore my weaknesses,
Constantly highlighting my shortcomings.
At times you sucked the life out of me.
You made me scared to speak up,
Reluctant to go out.
Your presence made me self conscious;
Eventually your power forced me to withdraw from the world.
It was just me and you.
I had no place to run,
Nowhere to hide.
At first it was hard.
You constantly told me all the things that were wrong with me,
Reminded me of all the times I had screwed up.
You made me own my faults,
You forced me to feel the pain I had inflicted on others.
Then came the worst bit.
You showed me the pain I had inflicted upon myself.
Through you I saw how little I valued myself.
Ironically, your bullying made me see how little self-worth I had.
My boundaries were non-existent,
Allowing anyone to tell me how to live my life;
Where I was going wrong when I did not submit to their view of the world.
Through you I came face to face with the darker side of myself.
The side of me that punished myself and others for not being perfect.
I desperately tried to deny your existence for so much of my life.
The more I tried to ignore you, the more powerful you became.
Now I understand the importance of not only acknowledging, but also embracing you.
You have taught me so much about a side of me I never knew,
A side of me that was orchestrating much of my life, without my conscious awareness.
But now I know my shadow, I can love my shadow;
I can love me.