I used to pray, I wasn’t sure who I was praying to, but I always made a note that I was thankful, so grateful for my family’s health, I knew I was lucky, I knew it was precious and important. Now I’m grateful when she has good days, when she doesn’t get worse, but I miss that pure feeling of relief that my family was well, that that heart wrenching tragedy was not mine, I think I knew it would come at some point; and it did. I miss hanging out with my mum, I miss calling her whenever I wanted, I miss being excited and over the top, I miss being silly and crazy with her, I miss calling her to moan because I lost my keys or my temper. I miss falling back and having her catch me, I know she still would but I’d crush her, it’s my turn to be the strong one now. I miss popping over for dinner, I miss being selfish and not even realising. I miss seeing her whenever I want and I miss calling her everyday. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m fine, that I’m carrying on, that the rest of my life is making me happier than ever, other times there is a sickening pit in my stomach and it creeps up behind my eyes making them prickle with tears, my breaths get deeper and I feel the sadness in my bones. I worry this is forever, when I wallow I worry that I’m a selfish fool for worrying when in time she will get better. I feel guilty I’m not there for my dad, but what it means to be there for my dad makes me tense up and I can’t stand it. I want her better, I want her better for me so I can feel like her child again, for my dad so he can feel whole before he breaks, for my sister who hasn’t had the chance to learn how lucky we are to have her and for my mum and her kind and firey soul before it becomes crushed by this cocoon.
There are certain things that should just never be left unsaid; I like you, I love you, I want to call you my girlfriend, your breath smells bad, you’ve got cum on your face. Not everything has to be expressed like a leaf falling from a tree in a Thomas Hardy classic, but it’s useful to get these pieces of information out into the physical world, they are more useful there than as musings in your head.
Without limitations, transformed through the kaleidoscope of love
Everything’s beautiful now
Home’s not a room anymore; it could never be a house
It’s always where you are, my home is where you are
A close up of a corner, the curve before you smile
The shape of your shadow, with your shirt hanging down
Kiss, touch, look, laugh, push me, take me, hold my hand
Everywhere I look i’m seeing you
And everywhere I go i’m taking you, with me
I was 21 years old and we had shared a friendship group for about 6 years. He was good looking with dark brown hair and dimples when he smiled, that’s why I felt like maybe he was right, maybe I did want it. Our group went camping at the nearby park, in a clearing surrounded by woods that I wasn’t completely convinced was flat enough for a decent night sleep – i’m not exactly a camping enthusiast. We drank, we danced around the campfire and we laughed, there are photos to prove all of that. There are no photos from after everyone went to sleep though, as he lay next to me in our cramped tent that was only meant for Anneke and I. Noone saw him put his arms around me and say that he needed to spoon and noone else felt his grip tighten as I asked him to get off of me. I was silent when he pulled my top up and bit my nipples and stomach. He told me I liked it, he said I wanted it and all I said was that I didn’t, that he needed to stop. I was very quiet, I was very shocked and I lay there. I banged Anneke in the head, twice, and watched as her head shook from the force, she didn’t wake up, she never wakes up. Steven groaned and hugged her tighter, enjoying the only opportunity he would ever get to sleep with his arms around her. I was alone. I remember it went on for a long time before I found my voice, before I firmly raised my voice and told him to stop or I would wake everyone up, I would scream. The sun was beginning to show and I ran, I took my things and I ran. I ran through stinging nettles after stinging nettles, they brushed up against my legs and I looked down as blotches appeared but I felt nothing.
I told Anneke what had happened and she was shocked and upset, she was angry and she stared at the bruises on my arms and chest. I told my parents and they were shocked and upset, mum said that this was exactly why I shouldn’t have been sleeping near boys, dad said it could have been worse. I was scared, and upset, and I felt like I must be overreacting. Everyone was still talking to him. He messaged me saying he was sorry, he wasn’t like that and he was so sorry. I wasn’t going to tell anyone was I?
I pretended it was ok and he was so nice to me. I flinched as he hugged me, he stared deeply into my eyes and thanked me for not ruining his life, he cried one night and I comforted him.
It wasn’t until I moved to New Zealand and was able to grow that I realised that I hated him, that he had wronged me and the memory of his touch would forever be on my skin. I hadn’t dealt with it at the time, I was so changed on the inside that I couldn’t face changing my world on the outside, I didn’t have the fight in me. When I came home he told everyone I had lied, he told everyone that I was disgusting and he wouldn’t come near me even if I had my legs wide apart and begged him. I lost all my friends, Anneke had been my best friend since I was 14, and she said nothing, except that she thought I was lying.
It’s haunted me, i’ve carried guilt and shame for something that was not my fault, something noone would ever choose. I lost my dignity, my credibility and my friends, it’s taken me 4 years to start to rebuild those things. It’s taken me 4 years to forgive myself for not screaming, 4 years to forgive myself my unhealthy obsession with sex for the years that followed and 4 years to accept the truth about what happened, my truth.
After having someone close die, a broken heart is the worst pain my body has been through. It wakes me up at 5am, I can’t eat and sometimes I can’t breath. There is no mental release and my muscles ache as much as my chest does. The foreign idea that this will get better is all that keeps me going.
Not only am I mourning the loss of my best friend and home, I am also acutely aware that she is going through a similar pain and somehow that makes it all ten times worse. I do not feel happy or hopeful, this doesn’t feel right, how could anything this painful be done with conviction.
I’m trying to comfort myself thinking of the resetting of bones, the pain that has to be experienced and even after that, the restrictive cast and the unreachable itch. I think I’m suffering some aftershock from the reset and I’m waiting to have my cast, some much needed support and structure even if im sure that too will come with its own struggles.