When Did I Become The Monster In My Own Narrative?

Ashleigh M.
3 min readMar 15, 2020
Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash

When all else fails, sometimes metaphors are the easiest way to express how you feel.

The past few months of my life have been filled with a lot of internal conflict, confusion, and self-imposed stress. The summation of a year’s worth of weight. It’s incredible how much of a burden your pain can be. It was smothering me.

I saw myself as the way people had treated me, and this changed me. I developed a few new layers that I failed to see until it was too late for me to confront them on my own terms.

Metaphorically speaking, I am an emotionally charged wire, whipping around in a self imposed storm, waiting to strike the first person who threatens to subdue me. The thing is, when you create your own thunder, ultimately the only way through is becoming the very lightning that strikes you.

It’s hard to remember when I became so charged, yet hard to forget the feeling of surging — so much energy — so hard to forget. When you’re out of control, how do you see clearly whether you are protecting yourself or burning the very hands that are trying to hold you?

As I felt myself transforming into a person I didn’t recognize, I fell powerless to my feelings. So there were tears. Tears because I felt misunderstood, tears for my own failed potential, tears because I couldn’t identify my feelings, and tears for my inability to express how I felt.

Tears to unwittingly push away the person who pulled this out of me. They never left, and though I never intended to become the problem, I followed my feelings until it was too late to turn back. I became someone I hated, and once you realize that change, the hurt hurts more.

The side of myself that I encountered in recent months tortured me. Our inner duality is such a strange thing. To realize that your best attributes are also your detractors, that your light mirrors your darkness. Passion, truth, loyalty, they are my beginning and my end. I see this now and I have found peace with myself. I want to finally lay everything I had been carrying to rest.

These Are My Necessary Lessons:

  1. Anger doesn’t always look like hurt and betrayal. Sometimes it takes on the form of confusion, searching for answers you’re not ready to hear.
  2. No matter how I am feeling, or what I think I should share, it doesn’t do me any justice to burn the same hands that hold me.
  3. Recognizing that you’re in a bad place is not enough to protect others from the damage you may inflict.
  4. You will always surprise yourself by the type of person you can be — both good and bad. And even when you find yourself on unfamiliar territory, you have more control than you think. Think of the consequences, rather than the intention.
  5. Sometimes we look in the mirror, and we fail to see the full picture of ourselves. There’s not always enough room to reflect the intangibles of our being.
  6. It’s natural to get stuck in a phase, trapped because you’re not sure how to get past it. It’s normal that your efforts to resolve it will be messy and, sometimes, unsuccessful. It happens.

While no one is entirely to blame, it’s useless to get lost in the details of the cause. You may not be alone in the harm you cause, but it’s no excuse to cause any harm at all. So in a way, I am the monster — I’m just not the only one.

Yet, I am also the winner. Because even through my inability to express myself, I have been seen for all of my complexity, my light and my darkness. I know I have, and for that I am grateful.

It’s such a beautiful feeling to reunite with yourself.



Ashleigh M.

Comfort-obsessed, unfixed being. Always trying. Continually coming to be. Currently working on Dark Matter: the publication where unspoken thoughts find words.