"It crouches over me as I slumber, waiting for the dreams to start. It doesn't arrive until I sleep, but I know it is around all the same. Sometimes there a sound of breathing where there shouldn't be. Maybe a bit of drool that I didn't create. But more than anything, I can tell it has been here because of the nightmares.
It loves it when I have bad dreams.
Feeding off all the bad inside me would seem to be a good thing. Half the time I forget what was upsetting me or why. But that's the problem. I need to know why. When those bad feelings go away, there is a gaping hole where pain and resentment are supposed to go. Pain is not something we are supposed to have, but once it is there, once it has dug into us and settled under the skin, I think the worst thing you can do is to try and push it out.
Because this cold, evil thing feeds on nightmares, and it gets bored.
So it feeds me the bad stuff. The paranoia about my family and friends and those I love. I steals all the good and trust and happiness, just so it can feel full.
Some people call it a figment of my imagination. I really wish that were true. One time, I tried to prove that to myself. I pretended to be sleeping just to see if I could get a good look at it. But it followed me to the hospital, and I haven't tried to confront it since then. The scars in my chest still hurt no matter how much pain medicine I take.
I decided this thing needed a name. Naming things can be dangerous, but it can also help solidify our enemy.
Its called the Leer, a silly, childlike name. But I couldn't find a better word for it.
Because when I saw it with my own two eyes, I realized that though I had hoped to catch it off guard, that was never going to happen. Because it is always watching, waiting for me to be stupid enough to take another good look at it. But I learned my lesson.
I fight it how I can.
When I am not alone it tends to stay away. It tends to come back harder the following days, but the night of rest is enough.
Tonight though, things are different. No matter how hard I try I cannot fall asleep. I type away, always focused on the screen of the laptop. It peaks over the edges, and I have try hard not to look at it, its face illuminated in dull light. I know it is smiling. It is waiting for me to close the laptop so it can hurt me again.
And I know it will once I stop writing. The Leer doesn't like it when I talk about it. The bad memories of it are the only thing it won't take away, even if sometimes I would like it to. I just want to be free of the pain. If I am going to be free, if I am going to be distracted and distorted then why doesn't it just take all of it? Why leave behind the suffering it causes? It confuses me, because if it is fueled by nightmares like I think it is, then the pain it creates must be the worst of it.
That is the terrible truth of it.
I have good days and bad days. I have watched people fade and had my heart broken. I have had times where I thought I would simply die with all the anguish inside of me that was welling up. But even though I have suffered in ways no one should have to, it still finds ways to hurt me more. No matter how bad it gets, it always makes it worse.
And it is worse.
Its eyes flicker with light in the dark. It loves watching me tremble.
I can't stop shaking.
Gods...I just want a good nights sleep.
But the moment I stop writing it is going to hurt me again. I have no where to escape to, no place to run. Not tonight at least.
This may sound like madness and maybe it is. But please understand that even if I have become entrapped by something of my creation, know that I am trying so so hard to fight back. I am doing everything I can. But there are days when everything isn't enough to make things right. Some days, it wins no matter what you do.
Tonight it gets its victory. It will claw and tear into me until I feel like I will die. And then it will hurt me more, just so I understand how little I understand pain.
Morning will come, and when it does I will have my life again.
But first I need to have the nightmares it so desperately craves.
It won't let me wake until it is full.
I don't want to sleep.
Because I am alone tonight, and it can't help but smile as I hurt.
It looks like a rotting thing, flesh hanging off of it, keeping it from blinking.
It thinks it is beautiful.
I suppose it is.
I've done everything I can, and it isn't enough.
Help me. Someone please help me.