My Monster - Don’t Turn Off The Lights

I've been reading memoirs for my Dual Enrollment class and came across one that evoked such emotion - I decided to piggyback off it. I don't usually write for fun but this is an exception; I did not have fun writing this, but it came out of me flowing and was possibly relatable. So, here it is...


Author's note

I thank the writer of the essay "I've Taught Monsters", Jessica Lahey.what she wrote that gave me inspiration for this short little memoir type thing.

1. My Monster - Don’t Turn Off The Lights

My Monster - Don’t Turn Off The Lights


My monster is pink, lumpy, and cold. It has a strong barrier protecting it, but one of it’s weaknesses is human interaction, real interaction, the same feeling depressed people get in the shower; the feeling of a hug, provided by the steam of their showers.

    My monster is not the worst: it was created by me and devil hour thoughts, the environment, and interactions. My monster is not as scary as most, but it shuts down and turns off the lights when it feels overwhelmed. It knows what it must do and its obligations, but comprehension is hard for my monster.

    My monster receives help from plastic tubes and interaction, but my monster is afraid to let me be my own person, because if I am, it feels uncomfortable; it will shudder, direct its orders, go into panic, and shut the lights off.

    My monster doesn’t like detection, but I am no blind mice, my monster is afraid of recognition, of being rewarded, it feels as if it didn’t deserve its accolades. My monster is too kind and thoughtful in the worst times. My monster, he rips my pride into thin tissue, my walls to dust, and then shuts the lights off.

    My monster causes me to respond to inconveniences with a thick skull, densely choosing a daunting task with no recognition of the consequences, he sometimes does good, consequences shouldn’t have such a bad connotation. When something goes as planned I suffer, he panics and shuts the lights off, oh for how I wish a hole in the walls of his plans, for some blood to seep through.

    My monster gave up my first, and what I hope to also be my last, it stopped me from breathing, from living, but then it reverts to its coping mechanism and color comes back to me, red is the first and most vibrant, then he shuts the lights off.

    My monster gives me regrets, “why didn’t you say this, Jason?” “why did this work out like this, you have the power?” but do I? Do I have power over my monster, the strength for war? I’m fifteen and have regrets, I’ve lost every time. I start to think my own thoughts and he shuts the lights off.

    My monster is visually coherent, keen as a bird’s eye, nothing gets past it’s vision - despite my very poor luck with seeing the world. My monster clamps up in confrontation, it sees a problem and flees, back to the room, he shuts the lights off. But, this time he brought a friend in trouble, another monster, a new obligation. My monster learned priorities change and that little monsters are to be protected while the biggest monsters dual. The monsters both shut the lights off.

    My monster kicks out the little too soon (as if his rent was a year late). He kicks him to the curb moments into reconstruction, the war smoke just beginning to clear, the little monster is back in the battle zone, the Korean Demilitarized Zone is safer. My monster cries for the little in its cavity like cave, what does he do when there is no light to shut off and the light is coming? He takes my hand and shuts off my lights.

    My mother and father feed my monster a buffet upon request, my monster is the golden child of the family. Feed my insecurities, my fears, feed my… monster, mom and dad. I can’t blame them, my monster gets what it wants and doesn’t stop till it does, no matter how much it hurts me, maybe that is why I’m so stubborn. But, I need my monster, for what am I without him? A cookie cutter boy. I am no one unless he shuts my lights off.

    My monster gives me a purpose. I have nothing without it: no hopes, no dreams, no passion. Without my monster I would overlook every little inconvenience and fall behind, my stress comes in result from my monster causing me to want to do better. Without my monster my grades would take a plunge, my friendship with my phone will somehow increase, and all only as the tiny improvement of my mental health. My monster shuts off the lights when these thought emerge in my mind, “save your complex thoughts” he says.

    My monster keeps me from scrolling through Facebook like the hand that feeds my monster, if I’m scrolling it’s because I’m editing one of my many internal thoughts, all aided by him but told by me, because he...we, are afraid. We shut the lights off.

    My monster keeps me on my toes, whether I like it or not he wears out my soles and gives me knowledge and experiences, human reactions and red. My monster left me for four months and I felt empty, emotionless, I’d rather be sad than… an empty space. My monster came back from its vacation and realized he forgot to turn off the light.


What’s life without a bump?

What’s life without a monster?

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