“To protect yourself, you must stand in this circle.”And so, I stood at the center of the circle of salt.Little did I know the things I was trying to protect myself from were already breathing inside of me.The ritual was like an awakening.As soon as they realized it, they joined forces and attacked me.Not all of them are gripping my neck.Some have clenched their fists on my wrists and ankles.The candlelight is unjust; I can only feel their various forms.Four of them are assigned to my upper torso. They seem quite stronger than the bottom two.Resistance is a waste of energy. I will save it for later.Oh no.I hear footsteps.”Please don’t come any closer”, I plead.They grunt unpleasantly and I feel them revolve around me in an aggressive formation.You see me in the dim candlelight.Alone.You only see me.I wonder if you can see, hear or feel them.You’re smiling. It confirms that you can’t.With an outstretched arm, you beckon on me to step out of the circle.”Step out,” he said.”It will be fun,” he said.Where’s that strength I’ve been saving for later? I need it to explain the battle I’m currently in. I am not ready to step out when the war is still in progress.But you are greedy.You pull me out.You still didn’t get the explanation.Wait.For the first time in a long time, there is tranquility.But I fear they are lurking; waiting to pounce on me.I know they are watching.The silence is about to break.They attack again. Dragging me by my feet, back into the circle.I told you to wait, that I wasn’t ready but you didn’t listen.Now you’re judging me by what I was trying to fix before you interrupted the battle and the healing process.It’s my fault you’re hurt?It was eventually going to happen.You returning me like an unwanted shelf toy.Back to the circle of salt.Where I slowly wither away.Because I don’t want to be a burden to someone else.Because my oppressors have started to cut me again.And it’s rather comforting.Soothing pain.I will remain.Where never again,Will I be a burden for reasons the same.