[crossposted to several communities]
Darkness overcame her. The walls were closing in. human walls. Six of them. Six pairs of cold, dark, heartless eyes that showed no mercy. She trembled, as it suddenly grew cold, even though it was fairly humid outside. The next thing she knew, it has started again. She was alone. Helpless. Friendless. Hopeless. Outside she was quiet. Inside she was screaming. Begging for mercy. Ready to do whatever it took for her to be free. But on the outside she was silent. Motionless. Frozen. Almost comatose. It had become a routine now.
She would stand there, as cold hands would go up and down her shirt. Her bra unhooked. Initially, she would flinch at even an atom of human touch, but slowly, she got accustomed to it. She knew there was no way out. She was an eagle in a canary’s cage. She was supposed to suffer. It was the only way. They had made sure of it. There was no way out for her. Her misery was their drug—it made them happier than all the crack in the world would. They enjoyed it. They enjoyed seeing her scared. Terrified. Petrified. Confused. Were these guys really her friends only a few short months ago?
She would go home once this was over. To a faithful friend. Her razor blade. The one that stood by her through it all. The one that helped her get the anger and hurt out. The one that tattooed her arms, legs, and torso with words. A syringe sat there too. It was helpful for the tiny details. And then there was a lighter. The only source of light in her dark world. “Whore”. “Slut”. “Bitch”. These words adorned her body. “I'm sorry” she’d write—apologizing for everything. “Die” she’d tell herself, as she knew it was her only way out. But suicide was useless. One attempt. Two. Three. Four. She was stuck in this world. Like a phoenix, she was reborn from the ashes of her old life- before the attempt. And then like a phoenix, she would die again—only to come back once more to this life.
Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin, Nyquil. Friends in disguise. Curing her bad mood. Letting her sleep off a few hours of her miserable existence. Broken glass was good for cutting too. It felt like bruises. She liked that. She was twisted and she knew it. She reveled in the pain. It was her outlet. Physical pain was something she enjoyed. Emotional pain was another matter.
When she’d look into their dark, merciless eyes, she’d wonder, “what happened guys? I thought we were ‘friends’. What happened to all the respect we had for each other? What happened to the fact that I’ve lied for u guys so many times? What happened to that ‘all for one and one for all bullshit’? What happened to everything that we were? What happened to me? What happened to you? How were you guys randomly replaced by a bunch of bastards that want nothing other than my misery?”
She never asked them. And she never got any answers. All she knew was that they were in charge. They made the rules. She just followed them. She had no alternative. She couldn’t escape. She couldn’t get away from all of this. No matter where she’d go they’d find her. Hurt her. Use her. Abuse her. And break her. It was a repetitive cycle of pain. There was no escape.
Light would come into her life, time and time again, but it would all inevitably fade away into the bittersweet darkness from which it all emerged, leaving her stranded once more. She needed that light, but it was unstable. Like her. Insecure. And thus she turned to the light of a lighter. It light the way for her. As she burned her torso time and time again. Entire songs were etched on her legs. No wonder she hated wearing shorts. There were cuts all over her legs too. That’s why she loved soccer. Long shorts and shin guards. No one would be any wiser. No one noticed the marks on her arms. Makeup was a miracle worker after all. If her mother knew what happened to her Dior concealer, there’d be hell to pay, but there was no other way to change the vicious cycle. She needed to cut. She needed to hurt herself. She needed that pain. She reveled in it. It was her outlet.
For her, every day was the same. Wake up in the morning “oh fuck, I'm still alive”. Brushing her teeth and taking a shower, as her razor sat there, silently, watching. It seemed to be calling her. Seemed to be saying “come- you know you want me… you know you want to see the blood all over your white shirt… you enjoy the pain when you cut into your hips… you know you want to see your arms bleed- you enjoy it… you're sick… twisted… disgusting… sadistic… you deserve pain… you want pain… I can give you pain…” ignoring the urge, or sometimes giving in, she’d go get dressed. Another problem in its self. “This was the shirt I wore when he did…” finally, she’d wear whatever she could find, look in the mirror and think to her self "good fucking morning u ugly whore", and rush downstairs for breakfast. Toast and cereal would be on the table. Bread crumbs thrown into a bowl with a little bit of milk. Swirl it around, put the spoon in, and there sat a finished breakfast.
School wasn’t much better. In the locker rooms all she’d hear was “you ugly little bitch”. Nice to know how nice girls are in high school, eh. She’d live through endless droning of teachers, and endless mockery from the other girls. “Why do you even bother to wear a bra, wouldn’t band aids be more appropriate?” “Why would YOU wear a bra—I mean, you don’t really have anything there do you?” “You're ugly, you should go kill yourself”. the bathroom stalls were perfect for purging. No one was any wiser. She’d get through the day with a mask on. Getting home late, she’d finish her homework, and then she’d hang out with friends. Friends who lied. Friends who betrayed her. Friends who lead her into THEIR trap. What amazing friends. With friends like these, who needed enemies?
She’d never forget when those same ‘friends’ lured her to them for the last time. The night she broke free. The night she got away from the pain.
“Hey bitch, I heard you told someone about what’s been going on”
“I have better things to talk about than you, you ugly mother fucking…”
“Who’d you tell, bitch?”
“She’s lying man… look, you can see it in her eyes…”
“He’s right- she told someone… who’d you tell you ugly hoe?”
“I told you, I didn’t tell anyone”
“Look bitch, what happens between us, stays between us. Clear?”
“Don’t get smart with me you ugly…”
“Is there any other ugly hoe here?”
“There’s you isn’t there?”
“You’ll regret saying that…”
“Ooh, I'm terrified, what are you gonna do, stick your hand down my bra again. That’s stale man. You need a life. I'm so outa here.”
And throwing her diet coke all over his clean shirt, she walked out. She had gotten her freedom.
Ditching those friends had been the wisest decision she had ever made. She was happier. Safer. More secure. Until the nightmares started. The flashbacks. The memories. The regrets. “What did I do wrong? Why didn’t I get outa there ages ago? Why?” she was stuck trying to figure things out. She was trying to break away from it all. She was trying to understand what she had done wrong, and she was trying to realize that it wasn’t her fault. She was also trying to put it behind her. And that was the hardest part. The healing was harder than the abuse had ever been, but she was trying. The light was there now. And now, she was safe. Away from the hurt. The pain. The torment. The anguish. But the memories lingered, laced with regrets, as she tried to understand what was going on, and how her life went out of control. She was free though. She had escaped from that canary’s cage and was once more, free to roam the skies of the life she had always longed for.