I have been in a dark place lately as all these life changes are happening. With each dark day that passes, I’ve realized it’s not my late husband who is a ghost, it is me. I feel as though I just pass through each day, not being seen by anyone, not being heard by anyone, and feeling invisible. I look in the mirror and see someone who looks vaguely familiar, but she is an empty shell of who she used to be. I sit and think, there’s not one single soul in this world who is thinking of me, wondering if I’m ok, wondering what I may need, or who even notices I exist. He’s been gone for over 14 years. I am just now going through the grieving process after focusing on everyone else all these years. My chapter two who promised to be there for me, support and love me turned out to be a demonic force who swooped into my life only to cause irreparable damage, abuse, and nearly left my children orphans. That was even more difficult than the loss of my first love. He saw how much positivity, love, loyalty, and happiness I possessed and he made it his mission to leave me completely empty, void of any happiness, void of self worth, and left me with scars that keep me hiding in my isolation. I’ll never know why I deserved these things to happen. I feel as though when I reflect on who I used to be, memories seem familiar, but it’s as if I’m watching someone else’s memories. I isolate because it’s my safe place. If I don’t let anyone in, they can’t hurt me. Honestly, who would want someone so damaged, covered in physical, emotional, and mental scars? I float through life and no one sees me. How could anyone look at me and think “she’s the one, she’s so beautiful, funny, loving, and loyal”? They wouldn’t say or think those things because who would love someone so empty, showing every crack, blemish, and emptiness when there is a world full of whole people. I no longer smile, when I do, I see the reminder of the abuse, the smile that was stolen from me only leaving behind brokenness and jaggedness in its place. He took the one thing that made me feel beautiful. He took it and ran, laughing at me on his way out for how well he had been able to fool me and lie to me. I cringe every time I hear people say “the first thing I notice about someone is their smile, they’re beautiful teeth.” Mine was taken from me. I can’t afford to have them fixed, I tried. Maybe that was a sign that I don’t deserve to get it back, my punishment is to live having to stare at the scars and live each and every day with that reminder that I wasn’t enough. I’m a ghost of the woman I once was. I wish I knew the answer of how to get her back, but she’s hidden from the world, too scared to ever open up again for fear of more pain and betrayal. I will live out the rest of my days being a ghost, going through the motions. Am I the only one who feels this and wonders if they’ll ever be whole again too?