(Photo Credit: Flickr)
”Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu
John Parker wanted to tell the kind man who’d saved him from death, but the words caught in his throat. He mumbled inaudibly then coughed loudly. He desperately wanted to unburden and bare his soul to Anselm but realised his new friend would probably call him a monster.
Time dragged on, and Parker waited. The silence in the room was as thick as a winter fog. How could he utter such words to a total stranger? How could he tell Anselm that his girlfriend of 12 years had been diced to pieces and kept inside his deep freezer. Why? Anselm may ask. ‘Oh,’ he may simply shrug his skinny shoulders and just give an excuse, maybe, because he caught her cheating and their seven-year old daughter, Amber, wasn’t his after all. How could he tell Anselm that he, Parker, was a psycho, a sociopath, a sadist whose pain went deeper than imagined? How in heaven’s name could he tell his new pal that he’d been in prison; a prison of the mind where walls whispered obscenities and the only respite he got would be to slash himself open. How could he say such words?
‘I don’t think I should be in this room,’ Parker finally said and a sad sigh escaped his trembling lips. ‘I should go now.’
He stood up but Anselm stopped him with a wave of his large hands.
‘Sit down,’ the older man said firmly. Parker obeyed, his eyes staring straight ahead.
‘You’ve done bad things. I see it in your eyes. Even there’s pain in death, killing yourself doesn’t make it all go away. Get yourself treated, ask forgiveness and turn yourself in. There’s still redemption son.’
John Parker stared at Anselm. His English was flawless, he’d dropped the German accent.
‘Who are you?’ Parker asked slowly.
‘I’m your conscience,’ was the apt reply and the room began to spin.
John woke up with a start, his heart beating wildly. He sat up and checked the bedside clock. It was 3 a.m. in the morning. He’d been dreaming, it was a huge relief but the incident in the dream wasn’t far from reality, his eyes sought his wife of 12 years who was sleeping soundly. He’d been hiding the voices in his head well, it was difficult explaining to his GP that he’d been battling severe depression for three years. After the loss of his job and his wife became the breadwinner, he’d slowly sunk deeper into the quagmire of depression.
There’s only one brave thing left to do, he tapped his wife gently on the shoulder, it’s better safe than sorry, he thought.
NP: Guys, I’m sorry I couldn’t post this story yesterday, I tried but life just got in the way. I totally had a different plot to this story but then, it occurred to me that men hide their frailty. They go through life as brave hearts, pillars, unmovable and then they crumple! If you’re a man reading this, please, don’t bottle things up if you’re not well. Life is in phases. Talk to your spouse, close friend or even your doctor. Depression affects a lot of people in our society today and some needless deaths could easily have been avoided if things hadn’t gotten out of hand.
The first part of this story is here if you want to catch up: https://seyisandradavid.org/2015/08/11/dreaming-when-awake/
I hope you’ll all have a wonderful weekend!
Much love, always!! 🙂
Now that’s what I call an unexpected end. John Parker seems to be battling noticeable signs of depression hence the nightmares. You’re right Seyi. Men finds it hard to communicate their feelings expressly. It could be due to their macho image or the popular saying that ‘men don’t cry.’
Mental health problem is a serious malady in our society today, I hope more could be done to help vulnerable people regardless of their gender.
This is a very interesting post. Have a fantastic weekend and see you soon!
Thanks Christy. I understand that men are strong and that kind of stuff but most of them suffer in silence. It’s terrible to be classified as mentally ill and doubly terrifying for men to admit that they have a problem. It’s just so sad.
Thanks for your kind comment and I can’t wait to see you too.
You’re welcome Seyi. I guess it’s the reaction of people that really pushes some to commit suicide. Yet, it’s not supposed to be so. The world is just lacking in love. That’s it.
You’re right Christy. Love conquers all.
I enjoyed reading this, Seyi. It’s sad that depression has a negative stigma that people suffer in silence. Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks Jill. Depression has a horrible stigma, yet lots of people are affected by it. I appreciate your visit and comment. Do enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Wow, not what I expected to read at all !! I had no idea where the story was going. Quite riveting, and such an important topic to write about !!
I’m glad you liked the way it ended, it was a spur of the moment thing. Thanks for stopping by Stephie!
Very well written love. Depression kills quicker than guns.
No matter when you post it, it is fab.
Thanks for your kind comment Mojisola, it means a lot. I really appreciate your visit!
You should him wrestling with his thoughts very well. I love that it was his conscious he was speaking too and that he woke up from a dream. Well done.
Thanks for your kindness Kim. I’m glad you like the plot and conclusion of the story. I’m so grateful you stopped by! 🙂
An outstanding story on the plight that many men struggle with. I had written a short 100 word story about a man suffering an illness that forces him to retire. Depression is often caused by forced issues like retirement or a diability from an illness. I’m sure their masculine pride is at the top of why it isn’t talked about.
I enjoyed reading this very much.
You’re right my friend. Depression could be caused by most of the issues you highlighted. I’ll stop by your blog to read the story. Thanks for stopping by Isadora!
I think that you capture the mind of some men so well.. I can even see a little bit of myself. Maybe there is no coincidence that suicide statistics is highest for middle aged men… hope he makes the right decision.
You’re right my friend. That mid 40s downward could be precarious for men. Especially taking the nature of men into consideration.
Thanks for stopping by, I’m grateful!
Totally unexpected and an utterly excellent story dear Seyi. You not only had me gripped with the plot (and did not expect it to be a dream, nor that the man who spoke to him turning out to be his conscience), but the message you give at the end about depression and asking for help is so, so important. For all those wonderful ‘Brave Hearts’ out there. Men do suffer depression so silently and we so often overlook it – until they crumble. You touch my heart with your beautiful heart my dear friend. Thank you so much for highlighting this very important message in such a wonderful story. I hope you are having a good week and I’ll see you again very soon. With much love and blessings always 🙂 ❤
Thanks for your kind comment dear Sherri. I had a totally different approach before I changed it. Depression is a huge problem in our society and it’s kind of scary that men seems to be at the receiving end, mainly because of their macho status.
I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂
I can’t believe this week is almost over, I’ll be over at yours tomorrow. God bless you my friend.
Much love to you! 🙂 🙂 🙂
It takes a brave person to talk about such things and it can be tough and just the thought of it can add to the anxieties. That was a great twist to the story and it really made me think.
Glad you think so my friend. I know a few people who had this and it was one of the last things they like to talk about. However, just been there for them and having someone to talk to helps a lot.
Yes it does, it’s a good safety net to have and just knowing the option is there is sometimes more helpful than actually using it.
You’re right Ste J. Life could be a lot easier if words could erase all of life’s problems.
Oh how sad. Depression really sucks!
It does!! Thanks for stopping by my friend! 🙂
Terrific. As someone who has been suffering from ‘the black dog’ I appreciated the tale and the reason for it 🙂
Hey Ken, thanks for your visit. I hope you’re ok? Apologies for just replying now, have been busy with kids resuming school and all sorts. I’ll stop over at your blog soon!
No worries Seyi – I’ll love to hear from you whenever you have time my friend 🙂
Thanks Ken, I appreciate that!
I love what you do with words. Your writing is phenomenal.
I’d love it if you visit my blog too.
Take care xx
Thanks my friend, I’ll stop over at yours soon. I appreciate your visit!
I was captivated by your story about John. My oldest daughter lost two people, my friend lost her stepson, I lost a 14 year old young man who was bullied at high school, walked out in front of train. . . Just too many people who have probably showed signs but were not given treatment or taken seriously. Your story was a relief and powerful message given meant a lot to me.
I wrote a post about Benjamin who was always unique when I met and babysat him from elementary school. My tribute post was a 10 year anniversary of his death. Truly sad, Seyi.
what an imagination, loved reading , great p ost
Thank you so much Tanveer, I don’t know how I missed your comment, my sincere apologies. I appreciate your comment and so have a blessed weekend!
my pleasure, wishing you peace, more wisdom and blessings
Thanks my friend!
You are quite talented and your writing pulled me in effortlessly.
Depression and other mental health issues don’t receive nearly the attention and treatment that is desperately needed. I’ve dealt with this first hand. Men do tend to burrow inward instead of seeking help. Excellent post! Thanks for reaching out to me.
Thanks for stopping by, I agree with you. I have male relatives who fought bravely to beat depression, and with the right help, men can beat it.
Appreciate your visit and I’m glad I found your blog.
Much love and blessings to you. 🙂
It is really a great story Seyi, I am glad I found your blog. I agree although different gender suffers with depression, it is more devastating for men since it is usually hard for them to ask for help or express their feelings. I hope people who are suffering ask for help as those who care and love tgem were equally hurt and devastated if they were not able to help them and it is too late. I hope and pray that those who are suffering will know that people cares. Kudos to you for being there for your friends and family, just really giving the time and listening will be of great help. 🙂 God bless!
Thanks for your kind comment. You’ve aptly described the essence of my post. I don’t have words for my gratitude to you and your kind visit and comment; I’ll be following your blog asap. God bless you and do have a wonderful weekend!
Glad also to find your blog…I don’t write often but I see to it that I am able to read posts and comment since I really love doing it. God bless to you and your endeavors 🙂