There is so much that feels unspeakable.
So I hold onto it, and it feels like I am screaming in a soundproof glass box, banging on the windows. But nobody sees and nobody hears, and the air is getting thin, and I can’t breathe, and I’m going to die in here…
In my mind are long, dark corridors. Copper pipes running the length of the ceilings. Rooms with thick wooden doors slammed shut that hide machinery, metal boxes, and the bodies of children heaped together like a pile of laundry.
In here it is always cold, and always dark. And I’m shivering and scared and naked, and waiting for the monster.
He looks like a man. He has a man’s face, some of the time. But he is not. He has no soul. Where his heart should be is a rotten, stinking, puss-filled void that swallows up children.
He is not my father.
He is no relation of mine.
But for reasons I cannot understand, I belong to him.
We went back to the corridors because the part-that-knows said it was time, and the talking lady says we have to listen to that voice and trust it. This time it was her hand, and not the monsters, that we held as we walked down the steps into the tunnels underground.
The dark corridors bang and creak and at the end is a bright light coming from one of the many rooms underground. He takes me inside and my eyes sting from the sudden light. It’s so white in here; the walls and the ceiling, and even the sheet covering the body on the table in the middle of the room. The monster and his friends turn on their video cameras, light their candles and cover their faces with black hoods.
There are words I don’t understand, repeated over and over. The body is uncovered. I am lifted onto it, almost kindly.
We’ve learned our role and we know what to do.
It’s easy when you know how.
It’s easy to make your face smile, even while someone inside you is screaming in your ears.
It’s easy to make it look like fun, even when you are bleeding and shivering and tears are streaming down your face.
When you can be so many people at once, you can even fool yourself into thinking you dreamed this.
She wants us to let the part that was screaming talk.
I don’t want too
I don’t want too
I don’t want too
I don’t want to remember…
It feels like I have a knife inside my vagina and the pain is more than I can stand.
And for an eternity there is only pain, and the warmth of her hands holding mine, and I think it’s raining outside. Yes. It’s definitely raining.
The ghosts are lining up inside.
Ghosts of little dead girls who were forced to have sex with dead men with swollen purple blotchy faces and ice cold skin, over and over, for the monster’s sick films.
Little dead girls with big wide eyes and cold, cold bodies.
I don’t want them inside me but this process needs to happen.
She says she will be with me the whole time.
I didn’t know I was crying.
Then and now.
Im certain I could cry enough to rehydrate the entire Sahara desert if I ever allowed myself to get close enough to the back void in my own heart.
I flew over that desert once. Did I tell you? The orange sand goes on forever and ever.
20 little dead girls step inside.
Putting the pieces back together doesn’t hurt as much as all the smashing up so long ago did.
One little dead girl is too afraid to come out of her hiding place under the floor.
She’s the one who saw them take the sword and slice through a dead man’s neck while we were on top of him, lifting the head up by its hair like some grotesque trophy. Holding the dead lips to her mouth to make her believe she was poisoned and that we would die if she was ever found.
We tell her it’s safe now to come out, and we help her come inside.
I’m not sure if that’s true.
I never really felt safe my whole life.
But right now there is stillness,
and raindrops on the window,
and it doesn’t hurt to be held anymore.
It doesn’t hurt.
Afterwards, when it was over, I’d dream I was running down long, dark corridors being chased by monsters and I’d wake up screaming in the dark, and lie awake crying.
I wanted my mum, just like any child would. I wanted to tell her about the monster, and that he was hurting me so much and that one day he might even kill me and that I was so scared.
But Mum was sleeping.
And I knew there would be no kindness there anyway. There never was.
But standing by her bed watching her sleep, torn between her likely rage and my own desperate 3am loneliness and longing, I used to imagine her lifting the blankets and letting me climb in beside her. Her arms around me, listening to my nightmares, telling me it would be okay. That she would make it okay.
I never, ever woke her.
In the end maybe it was better to go to bed dreaming about the possibility of love rather than the reality of it’s absence.
But today there are warm hands holding mine.
Our talking lady’s familiar voice like an anchor to this present moment.
And it no longer hurts to be touched.
It’s okay to be still, to be here and now.
The raindrops are soft against the window.
And I think maybe,
It will be okay.