The Shadow Side / by grace mcgrade

I wasnt born afraid of the dark, but rather homesick for other realms, at an unnverving and slightly inhuman frequency. I grew into a protective layering myself, feeling shamed, shaped and shackled by the grueling apparatus of societal illusion. In adulthood, hungry to reclaim the individuality that was stolen from me at birth. Learning to unlearn.

I have a propensity to collect people who live in the shadows, who bear no infatuation or affinity for the idealism that is so prevalent in my character. I experience an allure for people who are contaminated by inner turmoil. I believe that there is always a faction of ourselves which lives above the artifice of time and physicality, the all knowing version of self, the higher self. I am starting to understand that the people who live their lives in the shadow, have elected to. They have done so, so we can differentiate from light and dark. They have chosen it and they are the true warriors.

Without darkness someone(else) can’t have light, so they choose to live it and that is the true work, the dark work, those are the bravest souls, because a part of them has already come from harmony. Darkness is sacred, and lives in every one of us.

I feel like everyone has to interact with their shadow in some capacity, or else it runs rampant, concocting all sorts of sordid scenarios for life to throw at us, brewed of our own blood. Honor the discord so it doesn’t exist in the peripheral.

I have a dark shadow, and I love her, the adverse to my optimism, this catastrophic, uncontained, wrath that belongs to my polarity. Lilith, the dark feminine.

I am getting so drunk on optimism, that I hardly recognize myself. Sometimes it feels dissociative, like I have new neural pathways that feel foreign, and inside there is a punk rock teenager who has her arms folded and thinks “stop with the hippie shit”, but I still have irrepressible feral tendencies,  I assure her, like only wanting to wear black and wanting to projectile vomit on everyone at erewhon. I am bored of surface level. I am bored of being weak, trying to make myself smaller, meaker, stupider, for anyone else's comfort. I am silent in more occasions, solely because I refuse to summon any energy for participating in bland or uninformed conversations. I want to have the room to unravel, unfold and love as openly and wholly as I can. I am not easy in any respect, I have a habit of being inappropriately absurd. I have a hyperactive imagination and I like flirting with my perception of reality on a daily basis. I get high on cognitive dissonance. I am evasive and hard to capture or get a hold of.

Sometimes anger feels the best. I’ve noticed when I’m not getting enough intimacy, I will replace it with intensity. Aggression and conflict as a way to connect. Like some distorted love making. A tempestuous, volcanic orgasm.  I am great at it. Fury is sacred. Anger gets shit done. There is something inherently sexy about conflict, the unbuttoned reveal of dark, innermost feelings.. the below the belt jabs and sharp, lightning-fast magnetitude in tempered words.  

My shadow is calculated, attention seeking, feral and destructive. She writes about people she doesn’t like and then publishes it. She has a limitless propensity to collect secrets. She falls in love with people who are unstable. She leaves doors to the past unhinged. She has, on several occasions, made out with her ex’s friends while they were within a two room vicinity, hoping to get caught. She likes to stay out til four, to not text back, to chainsmoke. And of course, in her fullest form, she likes to assign paramount meaning to meaningless, and unhealthy flings. She attracts partners who act out her shadow for her, and likes to pick up their broken pieces and examine them. Dissect them, psychoanalyze them. Romanticize them. She gets addicted to the cinematic toxicity of people, who are like fairy tale characters. Only existing to serve as an aquatic mass she loses herself in.

She is an immaculate faction of me, whose appearance is less and less frequent- but I value her hunger for power and spontaneity and I would much prefer to integrate her than dismiss her, because even in darkness she is celestial.