The Bat, The Ghost, The Not-Quite Girl: Reclaim Yourself!
“… when I am alone, I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.” ~ Mary Oliver
I have loved ghost stories since I was a child. My first piece of writing was a ghost story, aptly titled: The Wrong Turn. I devoured anything ghostly, ghoulish, or witchy: television, film, books. I also slept with a night light for the first 20 years of my life.
Now, I can’t say with certainty why I was so drawn to the macabre. Perhaps because I felt like a ghost myself — there, but not quite. Something of the in-between. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to disappear into dark corners and closets and behind things and people.
To disappear didn’t necessarily mean to die or be ridden of life; it meant to live within its pockets, where no one could see me or disturb me. This was a place I could be airy, like a winged thing, hovering over all and seeing all.
Seeing all without being seen. That was the intrigue.
“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” ~ Virginia Woolf
To be buried within quiet was a dream I could never find. The world always seemed too loud, too bright, too much. How does one live with ghosts? What does one do with bats in the daytime? What does one say to not-quite girls?
Why so quiet?
Why so shy?
Why so serious?
Why so sensitive?
Slowly, but over time, these ghosts start to realize that they are not of this world. They are not loved. They begin to forget. They begin to walk instead of fly. They lose their ability to be unseen. They become more and more human. All the while, they lose themselves: their inner worlds do not belong to them anymore.
Ah, but there is the conundrum. As a child, I saw the world as both for life and mystery, dark and light. Some people were naturally drawn to the external world of people, while others, such as myself, were drawn to the inner world of ghosts.
Yet one day, I woke up and realized I was the other — the bat, the ghost, the not-quite girl — and my otherness was wrong: a disability — something to change, to overcome. I was taught to be afraid of myself, and even worse of a word: to hate. For years, I felt like a being of two worlds: one foot in the mysteries, one in society.
The dark feminine is a lonely realm when you begin to live a life of the outer world.
Yet, after years of self-denial and self-depreciation, she still lived within me. She still waited for me — waited for the day I would be ready for her. And it started with the unraveling.
“So, now I shall talk every night. To myself. To the moon. I shall walk, as I did tonight, jealous of my loneliness, in the blue-silver of the cold moon, shining brilliantly on the drifts of fresh-fallen snow, with the myriad sparkles. I talk to myself and look at the dark trees, blessedly neutral. So much easier than facing people, than having to look happy, invulnerable, clever. With masks down, I walk, talking to the moon, to the neutral impersonal force that does not hear, but merely accepts my being. And does not smite me down.” ~ Sylvia Plath
Why so quiet? Why so loud?
Why so shy? Why so obnoxious?
Why so serious? Why so shallow?
Why so sensitive? Why so detached?
I began to unravel the dialogue. I began to understand that every story ever told about me was a lie. Maybe I wasn’t the outsider, maybe they were. Or maybe nobody was. Reclaiming the Self is a deeply transformative process.
I indulged in books, writing, art, sisterhood, and creativity. I learned of solitude and genius, of female poets and artists who were also quite introverted and beloved. I learned that one cannot hate or suppress themselves to healing, which is exactly what I was doing.
Thus, I begin to shift my ideas of what being introverted meant, from something horrific to something of a gift. I learned how to say No and how to be okay with it. I learned that being the quiet one is perfectly okay, and that no one has the right to tell me to talk more or come out of my shell.
I learned to find my way back home again — that I can still disappear into corners and books and dark spaces, and just watch the world. I remembered how to be that winged thing, hovering over all. I learned to sleep without a night light.
And most importantly, I learned to be loved, wholly, just as I am — the bat, the ghost, the not-quite girl.
“Poetry is the light, quiet fire of the soul,” writes Adelina Sarkisyan — poet, writer, editor, and ex-therapist turned creative feminine mentor on a mission to re-sacralize the creative feminine. Rooted in degrees in Anthropology, Women’s Studies, Criminology, and a Master of Social Work, her work is brimmed with realms of self-creation, womanhood, spirituality, melancholia, culture, and mysticism. She now continues her craft with Woman, Witch, Wildflower, mentorship designed to guide the woman creative to reach within and hear the whispers of her own divinity. Her work continues to be a place for women to circle — to breathe, to dream, to unravel, to love — in the underground gardens of the soul. Adelina currently dwells in Los Angeles, California, between the ocean and the willow trees, where she works as Editor for Over the Moon Magazine and writes and speaks on the beautiful simplicity of being. Connect and work with Adelina on her website and Instagram.