Internal Monster

Her hands shook as new friends welcomed them inside. How would they take her? Life before her partner used to mean refusing these invites; too scared to take risks.
They sat together. She stared at her dinner. Everyone laughed at his jokes as he kept her safe from attention, helped her relax.
She started contributing, a word here, comment there.
“He always forgets things, he’s male,” she said smiling, glancing at him.
The light in his eyes faded.
Her stomach felt sick.
“But I do too,” she added, kissing him tenderly to fend off her hated negativities of old.


As soon as I read that Charli’s CarrotRanch.com, March 11 99 word Flash Fiction prompt for the #1000Speak initiative was “Building from Bullies” my heart immediately turned inward to the demons my beloved partner has inspired me to fight off.

My mind turned back to all of the times I said something hurtful because I’d expected that was the norm, or had tried to be amusing instead of protecting our bond.
I thought of how there are so many negative thoughts we must fight off in a day if we were never taught to think positively from a younger age.
Most negativity stems from the desire to protect ourselves, and the only way I’ve been able to fight off such a toxic mindset has been through my partner’s undying love and support. He has never spoken a bad word about me to others and I cannot thank him enough.

It shouldn’t be expected that partners pick on each other or bicker. A personal relationship shouldn’t be made the butt of a joke. We can’t function that way. No one should be made a joke of. No one can function that way.
Life should be positive. Not about gossiping or laughing at the expense of others.

I chose this particular moment for the prompt “Building from Bullies,” because I think we all have a bully hidden inside. A bully developed by the expectations of today’s society and I cannot believe how incredible I’ve felt since I have been trying to subdue that side of myself in every situation.

I only wish that everyone understood we don’t have to think that way.

10 thoughts on “Internal Monster

  1. This is so powerful, Rebecca! To distill complex ideas (toxic thinking, group pressure, bullies within, relationships) into this 99-word story is brilliant! I would encourage you to re-post this on March 20 and link it to the #1000Speak.wordpress.com event. A beautiful flash and moving post!

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    1. Wow, thank you Charli. As a writer, I don’t quite feel the impact my own words can have. I soar through emotions with almost every other piece I read, but I never quite think my own can have the same effect. Thank you :)

      How would I re-post and link it to the #1000Speak wordpress event? Do I just add a hyperlink in the post for it to come up on the #1000Speak page like what I’ve done when linking to the CarrotRanch.com prompt?

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    1. That is beautiful writing in itself Charli :)
      I’ve so long been solely a reader that I have never experienced the interaction from the Writer’s side. It’s an eye opener, and one, I think, that will only ever be fulfilling.

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    1. Unfortunately there are many different forms of bullying that go unnoticed in society. It’s wonderful that they are making such a stand against bullying between young people but most don’t notice the casual bully in themselves that the younger generations learn from. Thank you for dropping in and sharing your thoughts :)

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  2. Overcoming those long-term ingrained patterns of negativity is difficult. Most people don’t even recognize they have them and accept them as “normal”, as you have said. But you have both recognized and overcome them. Well done. I love the way “he” had been so protective, and she was able to save her error almost immediately. A great development of character :)

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