In Peace…

You wake up to screaming.
She is shouting at him again. He is drunk. It’s 3 AM. Your first day of first grade is tomorrow. You listen for a smacking sound.
You know that if you hear it, you are supposed to grab your little sister from her crib, run out of the apartment to the street and find a light on. Find a neighbor who will call the police.
The smacking begins and it’s thick and wet.
You can smell the blood. You don’t have time to find clothes. So in your pajamas, with your baby sister in your arms you run around your neighborhood screaming help.
Help Us.
Help me, please, somebody.
This scene reoccurs regularly until you are kicked out of the house at 11. You make your stepfather uncomfortable because you aren’t his child or his responsibility. You’re deficient. You’re dumb.
So what do you do now?
You go to school, get good grades but you are not pretty. You are too tall. You are too fat for your age. You are dirt poor. You don’t have real friends just people that you make laugh, or that laugh at you.
You fight off potential molesters every day after school just trying to get from the bus to your apartment.
You would have killed yourself at 15 if your cousin didn’t catch you on the roof.
Supposedly the only person that loves you is Jesus.
And your uncle in law who likes to pull your panties down around your ankles while you pretend to sleep and rest his body on top of yours at night. There is no one to tell because no one cares.
You’re constantly terrified. So you run into the arms of the first boy who pays you any attention but he sells drugs, and has a million other girl friends and has a horrible cocaine habit.
Your brain isn’t producing enough serotonin.
Help me, please, anybody.
You flinch when you hear loud sounds because you’re scared. You hate being inside your own skin and there is no escape but one.
You leave the room every time you hear someone say bitch or a movie comes on where a woman is being physically abused.Your mother tells you that if she could have, she would have aborted you.

So you try to kill yourself again when the boy you loved becomes a man and is finally honest about the fact that he doesn’t love you as much as he loves the streets. He wants a divorce.
So what do you do now?
You block the door with your sofa, send your child away, crawl in the bathtub, drunk off a fifth of gin, full of aspirins, ready to slit your wrists and drop your radio in the bath. The cord comes out of the wall so you pass out and wake up in the psych ward.
And they keep telling you there are so many things to live for. But everybody cheats.
Everybody lies. Everybody leaves.

Stop thinking about assault and abandonment.
Stop thinking about poverty and rape and racism.
Stop thinking about other little girls who have gone through what you have.
Color instead.
Pray to Jesus instead.
Help me, please.
You’re clinically depressed they tell you so all you need to do is take these drugs and talk to a counselor and you’ll be normal.
So you do everything that they tell you to do and now you feel nothing.
You can’t cry at your aunt’s funeral. You can’t smile at your own graduation.
Nothing that you do, nothing that you accomplish is ever good enough for you to be loved and accepted.
You hear your own voice reciting every horrible thing you have ever been told, or called.
You’re tired. In a crowded room, full of people who say, tell us another story, tell us a joke, entertain us, you are alone.
You’re everyone’s fool. And no cares. If you try to commit suicide again, the doctor tells you, you will be successful.
So stop worrying about everything. Stop being so fragile. Stop being so sensitive. Stop feeling things so deeply.
So what do you do now?
Take the mood pills. But you can’t. So you beat yourself up even more for not being able to let it all slide off of your back.
You’re a failure. You’re pointless. Everyone would be so much better off if you didn’t even exist. They told you so.
Roses are ugly. There is no such thing as love. Money murders.
To top it all off, its your fault that you feel like this. You are selfish they say. You are self absorbed and that’s why you are not happy. Everyone has hard times they say. Get over yourself. This makes the cuts, gashes. Just sing for us. Just let us fuck you.
Everybody is already dead they just don’t know it yet. But you know it. You breathe it.
How can you still be upset about what someone did to you 30 years ago, they say.
You feel like a loser. You can’t cope. So you look for a permanent exit.
Help me, please. You’re still running around in the dark, looking for a light on.
But the whole world is asleep.
So what do you do now?
So you write. SOS.
And you just keep waking up
Keep hanging on
So you scribble out your screams
And just keep on waking up
Hour after hour
Writing it all down
Clutching at hope threads
by tapping keys to the sound of your heart beat….

One thought on “In Peace…

  1. This really brought out so many emotions and of course sadness. I kept hoping that it would have a somewhat happy ending. But, alas I know happy endings are over-rated. Thank you for such thought provoking prose.

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