On the rare occasion of being accused to be a goth, I reply with a general state of horror. "I am NOT a goth," I invariably reply. "I am a darkling."
So what is a darkling?
First off, it's a word. Darkling means, literally, "spawn of darkness". Am I spawn of the darkness? No more than I am the spawn of the light. I am a dweller in the shadow realms of twilight. I exist of equal part of dark and light. Without light, one cannot see shadows. Without darkness, the shadows are burned away.
To me, a darkling is more than just that, though. I am a darkling. I am not a goth. I am not a particularly unhappy person. Quite the contrary, I try to have a love of life, even when it's at its worst. Life is such a precious gift to me now. I honestly have the only thing worth living for.
A darkling is someone who is born to the light, someone whom would have been a perfectly happy, intelligent, healthy, productive member of society had they grown up in the light. Darklings, though, don't. Through Fate, choice, or actions of others, we are cast out of the light. We grow up in mental darknesses, where pain and hate are our bread and water. Where we forget what true emotion is, where we forget what trust truly is, where we forget what love truly is. I consider pity to be the most despicable of all emotions, and yet sometimes I can almost pity the Darklings whom are lost and may never come back.
Some of us, the luckier ones, escape this darkness. We find a path out of the darkness. We see the light once more. But we are changed. Forever the darkness leaves its cold seed inside. Some of us fight it, some of us embrace it. Some even share it with others. Some even prefer the cold caress of the darkness to the warmth of the sun and willingly enter the darkness once more. Few are the ones who find paths back to the light after this choice.
I am a darkling by my own definition. I was a curious child, and generally happy so long as I didn't have to deal with my family. My father was an alcoholic programmer absorbed in his work. My mother was a severely depressed minister who had to take care of my blind sister. Somehow, I fell in the cracks. It's funny how never really learning to trust in those early stages can make things so difficult later on.
For many years, I wandered the darkness within myself. I found many fires in the dark, where people danced, claiming that the light was dead and their fire the only true light. I even danced with a spirit of these fires. Fitting that the burns took so long to heal.
But I found the dawn, and my angel. I am happy. But the seeds of darkness are still inside of me. The numbness seeps in when pain prevails. My soul does what it thinks it needs to save my sanity. I'm still trying to convince the former that the latter was lost long ago. But oh well.
The cold caress of the darkness changes us all. We are perhaps smarter, perhaps wiser, perhaps stronger, but at a high price.