After your inappropriate touch, the scars left on my body have tormented me for a lifetime. The thought of someone forcing themselves inside is earth-shattering in every form. You no longer have any power. You can be pushed down. Forced quiet. Beaten. Taken. What makes it even more unbearable is the memories of noises and expressions insinuating you enjoyed it. You actually enjoyed it. Breaking a child. Taking their innocence and replacing it with your darkness. Removing their softness to make space for your violence.
A purple dress she wore.
As a language of its own, it communicated happiness.
She had spoken through colors for years,
Only recently had she found her happy one.
They had seen her dreariness through her previous lack of color.
Therefore, when she wore purple
Her joy became prominent.
She is a tsunami. Powerful, overwhelming, terrifying. As soon as you see the wave, you already know it is too late. That is how she swallows me whole, as I only notice the danger I am in when safety is no longer in reach. It is kind of like I am eating a peach. When I initially began, it looked juicy and tasty, nothing abnormal about it. Yet, as I continue to eat it, the further I get towards the center, the sourer the taste becomes.
Nevertheless, this transition from sweet to sour is so micro that it is not until you are at the center of the peach that you even notice the sour taste. The moment you look down at the peach, it becomes apparent that it has gone wrong. However, it is not until you take a bite of the worst part that you even notice. That is her, my depression. It is once she has consumed me whole that I even realize that I am drowning.
I begin a routine while being lost in her chaos. I am hoping that an early morning might remove her late-night thoughts. A made-up bed in the morning complimenting my ideal persona of having things in order. Yet, there is no secret that with her, I am the messiest. Nevertheless, something about the clean and organized bed makes it seem like she is manageable. With each self-care ritual, I weaken her a little bit. Like kryptonite, taking care of myself threatens her very existence. Overly chewed bites of food in a desperate attempt to remove her distaste for nutrition. She brings it back up each time, assuming I’ll give my attempts a rest. On the contrary, I research everything I can do and eat to help keep my food down. With each bite that stayed down, I became stronger, once again weakening her control over my body.
A simple routine to create, start, yet overwhelming to keep up with. In my every movement, she pulls me back, making every step forwards tiring. This tiredness is her savior. Every time I ignore a task out of mere exhaustion, she gathers a little more fuel. A little more power. My fatigue and her need to return compliment each other better than peanut butter and jelly. I remove the pillows and comforters that are so gorgeously laid on my bed. As I lay down and fall back into my cocoon of comforters and self-despair, she applies herself over me, making a perfect thick peanut butter cover over my already emotional layer of jelly. I might be the one who creates the first layer by laying me down, but with her additional layer, I am forced to stay down. Together we become more powerful than she ever imagined. In my darkest of times, she comes alive. She thrives when I lose, lives when I emotionally die. My worst time is her primetime.
Nevertheless, I think there might be a reason I have been fighting this routine with every inch of my body. She has lived in me so long she has become me. Therefore, no part of me desires a routine as it would be the end of my depression. Organizing and cleaning my chaos would be the end of her, the end of us. Considering the broken family ties and abandonment issues, leaving her is more complicated than one would think. Despite knowing her kryptonite, I keep her around. Make changes but not enough to altogether remove her. Even in my best signs of progress, I leave some damaged room for her. Unconsciously for the longest, but somehow semi-conscious now. The awareness is there, but it co-exists with another understanding. If I leave her, honestly, then I would only be left with nothing. Although having a routine is one way out of my depression, away from her, maybe I don’t want to leave her quite yet. Although she puts me in discomfort, something about her pain is so comforting to me. She reminds me of home.
There is only one reason for that. The way she hurts me yet provides me with comfort feels familiar to my not yet grown heart. I’ve developed the mind of an adult, yet I continue to emote with a heart that has refused to grow up with me. In the center of my heart is a miniature version of me as a child, still being abused by parents, bullied by peers, neglected by the rest. Thus, even when I create peace for my mind, I am still left with an unsettling feeling. The battle forever continues in my heart. In that way, I am always leaving some space for her to enter. I can board up all the entrances and shortcuts that I am aware of, but the child in my heart does not share this same need for separation from her. She loves her, and leaves crumbs for her to follow, providing her with another secret path to my emotions. Thus, even when my mind researches and implements all kinds of tools and plans to diminish her effect, I am somehow convinced to give up before I know it. You can’t kick someone out if they are already inside, not when they are stronger than you and understand all of your weak spots and scars. It is impossible.
I can’t fight her. Despite my most extraordinary efforts. If only I could understand how she works. If only I could understand how to sense her lurking in the hallway before she burst through my doors. Why does the child in me love her when she is the one holding me back from everything younger me dreamed of becoming?
She sat by the water,
Listening to the wind speak through the waves.
It’s soothing touch cooling down the grasp of the burning sun.
A tiny boat carries a family across the canal,
As the children wave to the strangers they pass.
She waves back,
Before laying down on her purple towel.
Finally, the weather Gods had blessed her
with the sun she prayed for all summer.
Consumed me bit by bit.
Oh, the pain of each bite you’d take.
Your teeth sunk in me so deep,
I feel the effect of them years later.
What a bullshit statement. It’s more like the truth will have you alienated and isolated. The truth will give harm to the victim yet never the perpetrator. The truth is supposed to make you feel grand but in reality, it makes you feel small. Telling the truth was once a quality admired by most, now it’s correlated with stupidity. Telling the truth will have people make fun of you, belittle you, crucify you. The one thing that’s worse than all that is telling the truth will somehow make no one believe you. Telling the truth in a world that feeds deception seems dangerous. Nothing about it feels freeing to me.
24. 05. 2021
I don’t know what I’m feeling today. I’ve been in this city for 10 days now. I imagined a freeing feeling walking down the streets. Yet, every time that feeling kicks in, another wave of emotion takes over. An unfamiliar one. It’s as if the feelings I was avoiding in Oslo somehow have caught up, but not in the way I was expecting them to. I’m not unhappy or sad, yet not completely happy either. I’m usually so in touch with my emotions, that this uncertainty is eating me up alive. What’s wrong? You are here, as you wanted to be. What’s the problem?
It almost feels too easy. The number of times I’ve thought that I finally made it out. Out of my family, out of the city that keeps all my triggers, out of my torturous shell. I guess that explains why I don’t understand what I’m feeling. Never have I ever truly felt free. You can be physically free from someone yet be mentally kept somehow. I can feel my mother punch me directly in the face in the most random situations that in no way trigger those feelings. It’s like she’s had her little magical button, that she could press at any time to torture me. Like a secret pathway directly to my scars. Which would make sense as she is the one that created them. If abuser-privilege check was a thing on TikTok my mom would win for sure. She literally created me. She knows all of my weak points. It’s like going to war against someone who has been spying on you for 24 years, you don’t stand a chance.
I feel so stupid for all of the times I would seek comfort from her, unaware that she was the puppetmaster herself. When her usual weapons were no longer cutting and hurting to the degree they used to, she turned my sisters to her weapons. Forcing them into a moral dilemma that a child should never have. Either to receive more pain or inflict it on your sisters. We all chose differently which ensured that none of us would have the sibling relationship that we would need to call out my mom on her bullshit. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the ones who chose to inflict pain are the ones with the most understanding for our mother. They recycled her excuses and used them to justify their own behavior.
This was just one of the many tactics she would use to ensure chaos in our family. Although I caught the physical abuse at an early age, it took years for me to unmask these hidden tactics one by one. Yet, somehow I could overlook a lot of them. The biggest way to manipulate someone who is leaving into staying is by giving the illusion that certain behavior has been changed. Thus, the decrease in my mother’s violent behavior made me think she was no longer that big of a problem. It was naive of me to think she wouldn’t be able to emotionally manipulate me. Because she manipulated me to stay for all these years.
God needed to put my life on the line for me to understand how dangerous my family truly can be. Because that’s when the same instincts that kicked in when I was 10, came alive again. Once they did, I was already out. This time both physically and emotionally. So I guess that’s what I’m feeling… A mix between relief and grief.
I can’t move my body. I’ve been laying on the kitchen floor for what feels like hours. The stone-cold floors almost soothe the aching of my body. I can’t stop shivering, yet I’m not cold. The shivering is so bad it feels like my insides are shaking. I taste blood. Something is running from my nose which I assumed was snot, but it must be where the blood is coming from. I’m just laying here as my blood drips in my mouth. Great!
Time to get up!
I still can’t move. Despite hearing steps coming towards the kitchen. I already know who it is, by the pounding of steps. My sister. She reaches for something in the cupboard, before coming towards me. She takes one big step over me and grabs something from the fridge, and out she goes. Like mother like daughter I guess. Utterly unbothered by the sight of bruises or blood. It must be an adult thing because my teachers seem just as unbothered. Or maybe the reason for this carelessness is that it’s me. I’m sure had it been anyone else people probably would have cared.
I have to pee!
Okay, honestly, it’s time to GET UP!
As the first drop of urine escapes me, an immediate fear comes upon me. They are gonna kill me when they see this, I have to get up and clean it before they see it. I have to get up. But I can still barely feel anything. I feel the dried blood under my nose, as well as the urine running down my thigh. But I can’t feel my body, I can’t move it! You have to get up! You have to get up!
She enters the kitchen.
I’m in the shower.
I can’t move my body.
Twice I thought I had lost it,
So far gone the dreams I once held higher than life were unrecognizable to me.
Isolation had become my home.
Therefore, my choice to flee to it when things got difficult made sense.
I became too comfortable in my own misery.
It’s tortuous ways were more familiar than the kindness I was truly longing for.
I can never put the blame on myself
For all the time’s caregivers forgot to give me care.
Yet I am responsible for all the times I forgot to provide it for myself.
To be forgotten by oneself is a pain greater than any other I have experienced.
I am owed a lot of apologizes,
Yet none is bigger than the one I owe to me.
I took the scars that were given to me and poked at them constantly.
To then hopelessly obsess over why they wouldn’t heal.
I built a fundament in the ambiguous line between moving on and obsessive behavior.
Stuck in between these two places,
The one I wanted to be in and the one I was in.
I asked the same questions so many times,
that my desperate seek for answers outweighed my desperate need for safety.
I sent myself back to people I had previously fled from,
using curiosity and my ability to overconfidently think I can resolve things as my reasons.
If they could explain their behavior then I could finally heal.
However, the more I went back the fewer answers I had.
The deeper I got to know the people that hurt me, the less their actions made sense.
They could feel and understand love and pain,
as well as the differences between the two.
Yet, had no understanding of how they had caused pain themselves.
The very mention of it was enough to trigger them to repeat it.
Desperate for me to confirm how they were not at fault.
The truth twinkling in my once again teary eyes.
That’s when I understood it.
And that understanding washed away the dirt that was blurring my sight.
What had been so complicated in the past was so simple at that moment.
The reason why their actions and words didn’t correlate.
They are stuck in this ambiguous place in between who they are and who they want to be.
Yet, the one thing that could give them their escape is the one thing they refuse to do.
Accept what had happened and the consequences that came with it.
Twice I thought I had lost it.
I thought I had lost it when my desire to participate in my own life weakened.
I thought I had lost it when I found myself back where I started.
Yet, those temporary moments of insanity were crucial.
As it was what I needed to accept what happened and the consequences that came of it.
And now that I have,
I can finally forgive myself.
And provide myself with the care I deserve and need.
I’ve been scared of haunted houses for as long as I can remember, but no house has ever haunted me as much as the one I grew up in. To the unknowing eye it seems like your regular two bedroom apartment. Living room, kitchen, bath, terrasse, everything you need to make a lovely home. Yet, the wooden floors you see are the previous keepers of my blood stains, bed sheets laced with my tears, comforters filled with my discomfort.