Eyes Half Open

“I took care of your… uhm, sensitivity…” the acupuncturist said in a tone that scared the hell out of me.

I jumped to my feet the moment I heard it, and he assured me it was okay. I had so much I wanted to say, a lot of complaints I’d like to throw his way. Yet I decided to hold it in, for what was the point of making a fuss of that now?

Immediately I turned to my mom and said, “He never asked for my permission to take care of that!”

She shushed me and told me that it was just a mild treatment for my stress. It was nothing serious, and that nothing was done permanently.

My grandma used to tell me that I was gifted. Ever since I was a child, I was able to see people nobody else could.

I had friends that people, except my cousins and my grandmother, wouldn’t be able to see. And growing up, my cousins and I were told that we had “a gift.”

To see and communicate with spirits was considered a talent, for some unknown reason. To be the one people went to for, “Can you pray for this haunted place?” was for some reason a good thing in our family.

My cousins and I hated it. Yet there was this sense of pride whenever we were reminded of our gift. Despite the pain and confusion we went through as children, we felt that our gift had been a part of our identity.

Later on in life, I learned that souls were always able to see everything; however, they were told to close their eyes the moment they were born. It was their gift, to not remember their past or see their future. To live boldly and to just enjoy the moment without disturbance, that was the true gift.

And yet there were those like me, born with flaws, the children who refused to close their eyes all the way. We went into life with our eyes half open, and it was not a gift. It was a mistake.

I used to look at people passing by several times before confirming their living status. “Are you alive?” would be the first question crossing my mind. I never asked, due to fear that the answer would be no.

I would see many people walking around in an empty room. And the only confirmation to my sanity would be the fact that my cousins would see them too.

Once I called my best friend and asked him why he never introduced me to his little sister. I’d spotted a little girl following him around, yet for a reason I could not understand then, I never greeted her properly. He only replied with, “I’m the youngest child. What child are you talking about?”

I had to make up some story to avoid telling him the truth.

Many times I’d wake up to a stranger. And I could not scream or do anything, because I knew I’d sound like a lunatic if I’d done so.

And I didn’t enjoy it. The careful choices of words, the sneaky glances at the dead, the fear of waking up to some stranger, the many reasons why in a world so full of people, I was always alone.

But we were reminded that it had been a gift.

I didn’t know it had been a part of my identity until in high school when we were told to share our secrets in groups.

When I timidly shared with my closest friends what I’d believed to be a gift, I received cold shrugs and accusation of being “Satan’s child.”

That day, I felt robbed off my security. And I knew that there was no such thing called safe place in the world for people like me.

In college, away from the constant reminder from my grandmother that what I had was a gift, I drifted away from that thought. Fear was constantly at my door, and I felt trapped every single day.

There was nobody I could talk to, and even I knew I’d sound crazy to anyone who listened.

So when I discovered that I had another gift, which was to see glimpses of future whenever I wanted, I decided to block it. I read somewhere that I had to do something horrible in order to “lose a gift.”

Until today, I still regret losing that one eye.

Our souls make choices, every single time. Yet the moment before we were born, we were asked to make the choices on everything. The people we’d meet, the places we’d go, the lessons we’d learn and hopefully master, and what we came here for.

Everything we walk through, we’d decided before we took our first breaths. Then we were given the gift of not knowing what we’d decided to have. Our eyes were closed for reasons, and it’d be our choice to open them if we wanted to.

The mistake in my birth, the half closed eyes that I’d sometimes wished were fully shut, was possibly a choice made by me. I must have known something, I must have acknowledged the importance of not closing my eyes all the way. My soul knows something I still can’t figure out, and I hope I meant well when I’d made the decision.

Those of you who struggle because you see people who are dead, things you’re not supposed to see yet or now, timelines that aren’t your current one, perhaps you ‘chose’ to see them for reasons.

And that thought would grow on you, as it became a routine to live in fear you can’t share with anyone and harbor an odd pride in knowing your eyes are half open. Not that anyone would understand that.

But apparently, it’s not as strange as we think it is.

If anyone told me to choose again, I’d still choose to have my eyes half open. Until I figure out what this mistake is for, I will hold onto the belief that it’s somehow a gift. And it’s hard to get rid of a lifetime condition. Be it a mistake or a gift, it’s become a part of my identity the moment I was born.

“It really isn’t permanent, is it?” I asked my mom at the acupuncture house, while going around Google to figure out what each location of my needles represented.

“It’s just to suppress your stress whenever you’re haunted,” my mom said, “So that you won’t be too affected physically. It’s necessary.”

I wondered for a bit. Just how much I wanted my eyes closed at times, and just how much I feared that to happen.

But then, I wasn’t alone by myself. There are many of you who have their eyes half open out there.



Artwork by David Padworny: https://www.etsy.com/shop/padworny

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