Everyone has monsters that plague them. Some even call them demons. At times, these monsters take on theorectical forms. Other times, physical forms. Sometimes, both. Usually, they’re manifestations of fear, doubt, hate, etc. And, at times, it can be difficult to escape them. It can be even more difficult to conquer them. Whether they plague us for a few days, a couple months, or even all our lives.
I’ve had a monster haunt me since I was fairly young. It had a physical form. I’ve written about it a few times. Its haunches peaked at around ten feet, back sloping to a mechanical tail ending in a sharp spike. The body covered in a gross mixture of robotics, bones, decaying flesh and muscles. Green-tinted blood and black oil oozed from it. Chunks of flesh filled with maggots constantly fell from it. The mechanical spine always ground and moved with black smoke pouring out. Serrated talons ended large, metal paws. The skull of this monster has been hard for me to describe. Other than it being a strange mutation of a feline, canine, and dragon skull. And, of course, it had glowing red eyes. Sound familiar to anyone?
The first vivid memory I have of it was when I was little. Though, I cannot recall if this was an actual memory or a potent nightmare. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. So I did what any young child does. I went to my parents’ room. But the door was locked. Somehow, I ended up on the floor, trying to get their attention. Then I looked down the hall. All I saw was the monster coming for me. The last thing I remember is me crying while being utterly petrified.
I speak of the beast in past tense because I like to think my dealings with it are over. There was a time when I worked until midnight at my job. I would come home half asleep. Since my first encounter with the monster, it had occassionally plagued my dreams. Liking to rear its head when I was particularly anxious. But when I came home from work one night, I felt like I was being followed up the stairs. I saw it there, waiting for me. Making sounds akin to a demonized velociraptor. It was after midnight, and I was exhausted. I rolled my eyes at it. Turned my back on it, demanding it go away. That night, I had a dream I defeated it. And the monster I was so afraid of dissolved away, revealing a baby dragon. Funny how brains work that way.
For a long time, I never had a problem with it. Never even thought about it. Not until after I married two years ago. I knew it would be a life-changing experience, but I didn’t quite expect everything that went into getting married, moving out of my parents’ house, and basically starting a new life. Guess what came back. Yep. My childhood monster had returned. It actually dominated my daydreams for awhile. Then it became a nightmare again.
One thing had changed, however. It didn’t chase me this time. It went after my husband. That was the final straw for me. And not only did I kill it, again, so did my husband. We tag-teamed that sucker and defeated it action movie style. You know. Like bosses.
I cannot say it’s gone for good. I still think about it. I’ve included it in a couple of stories. However, I haven’t had nightmares about it. And when I start to see it again, I challenge it, dare it. Go ahead; try to take down a duo of awesome. I’m much more confident in my head than in real life. But one thing I’ve found is having someone to talk about monsters/demons with really helps. Just having a reminder that you’re not alone.
My monster was definitely a physical manifestation of my severe anxiety. That was something I had to learn. At first, I didn’t know where it came from or why it bothered me. Once I pinpointed its reason, I was able to deal with it better. I had discovered its purpose. I knew why it was there. I could react accordingly.
The thing I take most from my experience is that I could, indeed, control it. I told it to go away, and it did. Every time it tries to resurface, I make it disappear. It’s not always easy. Monsters have the ability to fight back. Until you regain control over your own mind. It doesn’t matter if your monster stems from anxiety, fear, low self-worth, whatever it extends from. What matters is identifying the root, the soul of said monster. Working on the real issue. Not until you are able to control your mind are you able to make them go away.
A monster’s sole purpose is to distract. Keep your mind off the real issue. Your monsters, your demons don’t want you to get better. They want you to wallow in suffering. That’s how they thrive. But when we take back our own life, that’s when they die. For however long depends on how long we keep fighting. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not perfect. We fall. We stumble. We get tired. And that’s when they love to strike harder than the last time. What matters, though, is if we pick ourselves back up. If we unsheath our swords. If we unleash our power. What matters is staring your beast in the face, yelling at it to come get some, and attacking it before it can attack you.