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Misplaced Sanity

Places Of Neutral

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 2 min read
Misplaced Sanity
Photo by Mihail Tregubov on Unsplash


They say you don't feel it until it’s lost, gone, misplaced or broken. Most days, I am convinced, you haven't even realized I am gone.

We have always walked a fine line, you and I. Constantly pulling those lines tighter and tighter, attempting to smooth out the blemishes. The bumps and wrinkles that living gives. The ones that might allow a little peek behind the curtain we've put up to cover what we have hidden behind it.

I observe you in the mirror as once again, you feverishly apply the make-up needed to cover the crippling fear and anguish that consumes your mind. The broad strokes that painstakingly reveals that gorgeous, flawless smile that has become a tool to soothe the masses.

Proudly you present the plastic image you've created - preserving the falseness needed to slip, undetected, under the radar. Keeping the truest parts of you hidden in plain sight, buried, protected and concealed to remain untouched by the cruelties that surround you.

I watch you pack away the panic and wonder: does she know, has it even occurred to her that I am missing?

I ache for you, remembering the tense, anxious moments you struggle through, never wanting the real you to be exposed.

The constant pressure you feel to meet the mark, fearful you will never measure up, so to avoid failure, you create a product worthy of purchase, void of any realness.

The barrage of vague conversations and shallow relationships mastered, a forged counterfeit to fit the mold created, under the guise of normal.

The never-ending network of false information, employed to flood your persona, masking reality with the fake life you’ve worked so hard maintaining. Giving those around the illusion that everything is fine, that she is fine.

She is not fine but she could never tell you.

No matter the cost, refusing to allow the cracks to be seen, madly patching and repairing it daily, keeping it intact, untouched, unseen, undiscovered.

Lately, that has been much harder to pull off.

Once she realizes I am missing, she will see that without me, any semblance of order is gone.

When she admits she has lost me, acknowledges I am gone, then she will discover the depths of her denial. The denial I kept at bay.

I watch you helplessly as you sit on the shore of your reality, observing darkness in a lake that no one else can see, sitting quietly unseen. Looking at a reflection, you no longer recognize. Unemotionally listening to the voices softly calling from somewhere across the water, as everything you created slips through your hands like the sand you built it on.

Realizing for the first time that all things end.

I wander through the house trying to make you see that you don't have to go through it all alone, but I am afraid you have gone too far.

Closed off to the signs I've left for you to uncover. Longing to help you become again.

That the hollow stares and stinging loneliness are only symptoms. They are the signs you need - proof that you are less than without me. But I am here, right here.

You only need to let me in.

Stream of Consciousness

About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

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Comments (6)

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  • Joe O’Connor2 months ago

    “No matter the cost, refusing to allow the cracks to be seen, madly patching and repairing it daily, keeping it intact, untouched, unseen, undiscovered.” Such a telling line when discussing issues around mental health and well-being. And “ as everything you created slips through your hands like the sand you built it on.” is beautiful! Is the ‘she’ the same as the ‘you’, as in the same mind/person? Just wasn’t sure whether the narrator is addressing different people, or if they’re switching perspective. Nice work:) Good luck in the challenge!

  • This was so poignant and profound. It's so sad that this is how most of us are. Loved your story!

  • One this journey of self-rediscovery, doing all we can to avoid or at least postpone it, afraid to surrender to the reality that it is ultimately what we need if we are ever to become whole again.

  • Heather Hubler3 months ago

    Ooo, this was so deep! Magically written, Kelli :) You have such a beautiful grasp of language.

  • Shirley Belk3 months ago

    Self awareness in the midst of change can be chaotic. Nicely done, Kelli.

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