Standing at the Gate of Hell – Part 1 of 2

A story I wrote – It’s long so I’m posting in parts.

Walking Through the Gates of Hell…

Here she was hanging out with no idea she was in hell…
She was tired, and depressed, she had no hope, no willingness to live, no reason to keep on going.  Nothing went in her favor, everything was against her.  The world was dismal, dark, there was no sky, air, no trees, flowers, just darkness…except for this tiny spark of something that just sort of sat in her gut that when she focused on it she began to get a little bit of hope.  Yet the hope was too much, and so she closed her eyes to it, shut her brain off of it… she wouldn’t see that spark for days, for weeks, for months… but once in a while that spark would glow. Once in a while she would get a glimpse of something, a sunrise, a sunset, a baby bird in a nest. Something would catch her attention and she’d smile and she’d forget all of a sudden that she was living in hell. She had no clue she was living in hell.  If hell was anything to define, she imagined it’d be much worse than what she was living.  She was wrong.

But there are different stages of hell I imagine, hell being kind of nice sometimes where you just can’t do anything you want to do. Where you just give up on everything. Hell being a place without love, a place where there’s no hope.  Hell being a place to lose hope. Often people go to hell full of life, no idea that things are going to change.  The day-to-day ho hums of life they live in, hell is just so normal and so blah and nothing exciting.  But then there’s other stages of hell.  Stages of hell  where you know you’re in hell.  Where there’s screaming, and biting, gnashing of teeth, blood, and broken bones.  There’s crumbled china, crumbled bodies. There’s the place where you scream and no body hears. There’s that hell too.  And every once in a while she found herself there.  She found herself screaming, on the verge of crumbling into nothing, found herself crying and not knowing why.  She was just wishing, wishing that death would come sooner. Still when it was back to the calmer hell, she’d be like “oh, OK, I can handle this”, again.  And so she was happy with her ho-hum, no love, boring, unhealthful day-to-day life.

Except some years those visits with the harder hell would come more often, and some years those visits with a glimpse of light would happen too.  And so she started to think, that maybe the glimpse of light might be better, might be possible to see more than every couple of months, or on a weekend when she was a way.  She started to think  there was something else possible.  She doesn’t know when that thought started, she doesn’t know how many times she thought about it, or how often she dreamed of a better life.  It just sort of crept up on her, kind of like the warmth of a sunny morning.  The sky just starts to brighten slowly, and the air warms, there’s still ice on the grass but you know that it’s going to be a warmer day because the sun was coming out.  Those kinds of days happened every once in a while and she started to believe again, in something else, even though she wasn’t sure what it was she was believing in.

So what does a person a do? What does she do? How do you decide to start living when you’ve been dying all this time? How do you decide that you’re going to live one day? Instead of go to that hell that you know is hell every couple of months? How do you realize that the hell that you’re living in is really just another hell, a trick, a lie, another excuse, to not be alive? What do you do? When that shows up on you? She didn’t know, she didn’t know what to do.  She just started hurting more in the little hell she was living, it felt worse.

It wasn’t like it changed a lot, but when you see something you really can’t un-see it. She’s smart.  She couldn’t lie to herself very well, not when she realized she’d been lying to herself for years… she didn’t realize , or she didn’t believe, there was anything else possible… she just lied to herself and understood that every body’s life was that way and everybody had their skeletons in their closet and everybody had their difficult marriages, their husbands that didn’t love them, their children that didn’t respect them, their wives that treated them like crap… she knew that people lived horrible lives, at least she thought that people did… Every once in a while she’d see a couple that looked like they were happy and she’d think “what are they hiding… there’s no way they’re that happy…” she’d think it’s not possible, they must be hiding something, or she’d think ”just wait a couple of years, you’ll regret it one of these days… not the children of course, but you’ll regret the marriage”, ”it happens to everybody”, she says to herself…

So what do you do? When you realize you’re living in hell and you don’t know where to go, and find out you’re all alone, you are in a house that doesn’t show any love…in fact its borderline violent, you’re scared all the time, you don’t know why you’re scared, but you are…so what do you do when your living in hell? How do you get out… she had no idea… so what did she do?

She tries to leave.  That apparently was the wrong way to do it, because leaving hell wasn’t possible.  You have to grow out of hell, you can’t just walk out.  You can refuse to walk in, but to get out of hell you’ve got to grow.   One step at a time.  She didn’t know that then, but she does now.  So what did she do when she tried to leave?  What happened to her?  She found herself abandoned and alone yet still surrounded by people.  People who were supposed to love her. She found herself wishing that she could just die, because there was no escape.  She tried.  She was left crying at her church, no one bothering to figure out why.  She cried out to her family, they had no idea what to do. They loved her but they didn’t know how to help.  Her father suggested she figure out something, make her life better, so she doesn’t need to be in hell.  She didn’t have any idea what to do.

The one thing she was, was stubborn.  One of the things she got punished for the most too. The things that are a person’s greatest characteristic are also a person’s greatest downfall.  Goes both ways.  Her stubbornness is what kept her in hell so long in the first place.  She just couldn’t believe it was hell, she refused to believe it.  Her stubbornness is also what will get her out.  So what is she going to do now?  She knows she’s in hell.  She tried to leave.  Hell grabbed her, kept her close.  Hell said “here, go kill yourself.”  Hell said “here, you don’t need anything.  Throw away those things.  They’re not important because you’re not important”.  Hell made her believe that her things, her life, her health, her happiness, her clothes, anything that she had was not hers.  She was not deserving of it. Basic needs, food, water, taking a shower, getting dressed, why do any of those things? You’re in hell.

Thanks for reading… more to come.



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