My Love Language is Abuse: A Fragmentation of Self
Discussion of abuse.
“I killed a plant once because I gave
it too much water. Lord, I worry
that love is violence.”
― José Olivarez, Citizen Illegal
I swatted away her hand like it an annoying mosquito buzzing around me. I rearranged my posture into a straighter one and began scribbling in my diary again. For a semi-second I tried to perceive myself from the eyes of another. How disagreeable I must seem, how self-indulgent, how unpleasant!
Still I needed to continue writing haphazard sentences in the hope that someday someone would put two and two together as they read it. She had finally gone away and I sighed in frustration. I took out my lock and placed the diary inside the drawer no one would reach.
Did I really want to be reached?
Yet again, I tried to perceive myself from the eye of another. It could seem that there was something slightly wrong. But perhaps nothing more than a teensy angst, a phase that I would surely get out of. Maybe everyone was right. Maybe it was just a phase after all.
I was left alone after being told to get ready. I had to be out in public again. I didn’t want to take a bath. I took off my clothes and sat down. How could one feel so devoid of emotion at so early an age? Maybe that was just me. Maybe I was just wired differently.
I wished I could be presentable as I stared myself in the mirror. I felt a deep sense of resentment radiating from my body. I wished I could break down. My body would never trust me again. My limbs hated me. I clutched my throat in agony. A silent scream was forming in my throat but someone knocked at the door. I clothed myself quickly.
I crossed my arms in defence as I felt everyone’s eyes on me. Why were they looking at me with suspicion? I couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes at first but when I finally did, I realized they weren’t looking at me at all. I felt relieved they weren’t looking at me.
I wished they were looking at me.
It was getting dark. It was time to go back to the storeroom again. No one came looking for me in the storeroom. It was the perfect hideout. Except it wasn’t. It was a hellhole. And I could never escape the monster inside of it. The monster that only I could see.
He wasn’t always a monster though. Sometimes he was a kind friend. And I really needed that kind friend. I sat down on the top shelf with my feet dangling in the air. Slowly but surely he was here. The entire room turned into a lair. And I, the only prey that tottered down there willingly.
I feel my organs being clutched and squeezed. It was always a wonder how I never bled. Just like my silent screams never left my throat and I didn’t shed a single tear. I was taught by the only friend I ever had that love was acceptance. And how could you complain what you’ve whole-heartedly accepted?
In the end, I’d have a friend for life no matter what they put me through.
I sat in silence as he left. The storeroom came back to its original form. I could hear someone calling me back to the world. But my ears were ringing and my body was tattered. I was just a child looking for a friend. I had heard grown-ups know better.
“I thought this over and this is not okay for me to do so. I am sorry for what I did.”
A single tear escaped my eyes as I stared at the blaring T.V. everyone else was watching with rapt attention. It was too late to go to the storeroom now. But I did anyway. It was just me and quiet solitude that night. I looked around for and found a doll I had once made. It was my very own. How long had it been? It was just two summers ago, I was popping bubbles and making dolls. I wasn’t that old.
I looked at the doll. It was my very own.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper as I saw the thread sewing her body together had come off, “I couldn’t be there for you. I couldn’t save you.”
But it was too late now. The doll had broken off. So much had happened in one summer. I could never go back. I had grown too old too soon.
Would I ever retrieve the childhood stripped away from me?
I looked at my reflection in the rusty mirror. I could never sew myself back. So I carefully tucked away my unsewn self into a box in the storeroom, hoping it’d save her from the repetitive nightly terrors and monsters that hid in plain sight.