When it was dark when it was cold
I remember him
They say time heals you. Heals with time. Give it some time.
I honestly don’t know how much time I have left.
Is this even life that I’m living right now is this breath real am I actually smiling or is that just the response the lifeless response to that
I don’t remember just one day where I woke up realizing I loved him
I remember a moment though
A few months when he stopped calling
I was curled into a ball on the bathroom floor wearing a sports bra and shorts, wrapped in my tiger blanket, I had the shower turned all the way up so my family couldn’t hear me screaming. The screeching, wailing, scraping sounds coming out of my throat.
It hit me that hot tears wouldn’t be dripping down my face for no reason
I wouldn’t have sleepless night after night of nightmares about not just the rape now, but about him watching the rape and turning his back on me. Calling out his name. Waking up in tears. Waking up with his name on my lips.
It hurts to love someone. And the more you love them the more they can hurt you.
Kboy was my smile on a sad day
He was my go-to scripture reference
He was the one who said “it’s okay” when nothing was okay and I desperately needed something to believe in.
He was the one who knew I hid in my closet to cry.
When I spent three weeks sleeping in my closet trying to feel “safe”.
He knew about the car accident. I told him pieces of my memories from the past.
He was my strength when I had none.
He was my sweetest angel
But also the sharpest knife
His name sticks in my chest sometimes when I’m trying to breathe, to live. Because all his gentleness, his words that meant so much to me, there was another memory, another piece besides the hours of pounding running in the hot desert, running in the rain, running in the warm evening under the stars, racing the sun… The memories of black nights of screaming of fighting of a home so torn apart I didn’t fit inside anymore. Taking care of a family with problems that were at best… “different”.
His face his voice I can’t get him off my mind because here I am months later going to college and… I wanted to be better. I wanted to be his happy best friend. The cutie athletic girl with the adorable smile who could also whip you on the track. That’s who I wanted to be. Perfect? I guess.
I didn’t expect to struggle out a little ways and then slide back down into the same depression I had when he left back in April. I didn’t expect relapse. If you do the work you get the results, right? I’m stronger than my mental illness. I’m stronger than my circumstances. But I guess I took too many hits and I’m stuck in survival mode.
I wonder what he would think if he saw me wake up at night, still having nightmares. Still crying myself to sleep.
Rolling off of my sleeping mat, gathering up my running shoes, and just leaving. Working out for hours. Ditching classes to work out. Crying because I have a piece of cake and I thought I wanted it but the anorexia says no and twists my stomach making me put a hand to my mouth and wonder if I can make it to the restroom, if I can hold it down.
I wonder what he would think watching me go to counselor after counselor. Doctor after doctor. Spending hours alone riding the bus to doctor appointments. Crying over medical bills and wondering dear God where am I going to get the money to pay for happiness
What would he see in me now that I’m… thin… What will he say if I really am losing weight again? I saw my ribs in the mirror and it broke my heart because I wondered if he comes back he’ll be able to see how hard this time has been on me. I struggle to have the willpower to keep eating. It’s so hard. I don’t remember what it’s like to enjoy it and not have to think about it at all.
I have pills to take and track and a specific diet I have to follow and if I go off I’ll throw up. I’ll be miserable. I have to have to have to. Thin is running my life.
Depression is leaving streaks of tears down my cheeks and all I want to do now is sleep now that I have 2-3 nightmares a night instead of 6.
That I flinch if a man raises his voice or his hand and I prepare for him to hit me.
How would he see me now…
He used to be the only one to tell me I was beautiful and mean it. He used to check up on me. He was fun, charming, and overall exactly the kind of guy I would fall for if I didn’t hate men.
I hope he’ll see that I’m trying to get better. That I want to be happy. That I’ve been working so hard to get better. That I am really truly trying and not some coward. Some weak girl who complains and cries all the time. It’s so hard to believe I have mental illnesses that often end up being… terminal. That I am fighting every day for my SURVIVAL. Still!
And then there’s that memory which has made me cry a lot these past two days. It’s difficult for me to hug someone else or allow them that close to me. I’m defensive and I see allowing touch as weakness, as an opportunity the other person will use to hurt me. Because touch makes me feel so many things at once. It’s so powerful because even when the sexual abuse stopped I was starved of touch for years.
It’s much easier to go for a two hour run than a ten second hug. Between the run and the hug I will take the run every single time.
But there was one time that I didn’t. I knew I was missing something. I knew there was something in my life I was starving for and I didn’t know what.
The night before my first suicide attempt I told Kboy more about my past. The past that was coming together in blackened pieces. Shards of memory. Mirrors that slice my hands as I try to toss them away, droplets of my precious blood weep out. I showed him the memories I had. I expected him to leave. I explained how screwed up I was and I gave him power over me. I cared about him enough that I knew if he heard about this and walked out I would hurt. That he had accessed my darkest secret before anyone else besides God and I knew about it.
But he asked… if I could trust him with a hug.
I was confused. Startled. One of the lies sexual abuse taught me was that my body was disgusting, a used sextoy, no one could ever call this neglected piece of trash beautiful or even bear to touch her. I didn’t understand why… Why would you want to hold someone close? Was it all hormones? Was it weakness? Was it… strength. More specifically why ME? The PTSD depressed anorexic rape survivor with SERIOUS mental issues. Wasn’t he hearing my warnings that I was unlovable that I couldn’t give my love in return that my heart was closed and broken and it wasn’t worth giving to someone until I was better
But… That question of why. Why did I suddenly feel so confused. What was this feeling inside that somehow wanted him close to me that wanted a hug… That part of me that wanted to be vulnerable. I hated it. I tried to shut it out.
But I can’t deny that on that next day when I tried to take my life and that text message flashed into my mind it only took one thought to keep me here. “I wonder what it feels like to be hugged by someone you love?” And I saw his face.
And I had something to work towards, to live for. I spent months trying to work out the answers. Why I wanted a hug. Why he wanted to hug me.
Then finally after night after night of prayers, thinning out even more, getting injured, I was on crutches. We were both at a youth church camp. I didn’t see much of him but in the last moments on the last day of the camp I asked to talk to him. And it hurt but I couldn’t let him walk away. I followed him on crutches into a hallway in an old abandoned high school in the desert. The sun was about to set for the night, drenching the sky in blood, and for me… Beginning another nightmare.
And I took every bit of courage I had and I called him back. I asked him “Will you please give me a hug?”. Instantly he was there cradling me in his arms. I remember feeling… Warm. For the first time in so long. And also… Safe. I heard his heartbeat in his chest and it was so calming and for once in so long I could just lean on someone and not move and the voices in my head weren’t calling me a fat bitch or a whore and my thoughts were quiet and I felt… safe.
I slept better for two weeks after his hug because all I had to do to fall asleep now was remember what it felt like. But now, a year later, I can’t remember. I feel so cold and so alone and I can’t even remember what it felt like to be close to him. He left another wound behind and I know he didn’t mean to hurt me but this hurt is still close within me as I’m trying to heal. It still pierces my heart when I see someone else getting a hug and looking happy, peaceful, safe, warm…
It’s been a year. Sometimes I think the hurt is the only reminder I have of the love I felt for him then and now and the reason I haven’t healed is because I’m afraid if I let go of this hurt, I don’t know if I’m capable of loving. I can’t feel much else except depression, confusion, and deep pain, but this pain comes from knowing that even when it was this dark last time there was someone I cared for. Hope that if it doesn’t get better soon I can still care somewhere inside, for someone.
I hope when I see him again I will be happier than ever, stronger than ever, and more beautiful than ever.