Alley Kid Thirteen

Joanne doesn’t know that I am awake. I lie here next to her unmoving. My eyes watch the door, searching for shadows; listening in a childish way for fears from long ago. I know they aren’t real. I know what I saw was nothing more than my over-used, over–drugged mind, but I can’t shake the possibility from my thoughts.

She’s oblivious to my thoughts, not that it matters, and not that she would care if she knew.

I listen to the sound of her breathing. Each breath gets longer and slower as she falls asleep. I try to keep my mind focused. It’s been a week since I last saw my father. He wrote to me. Strange, really. Why didn’t he call or just come around again? The letter doesn’t sound like him. I wonder if he wrote it or it was his bimbo wife. The letter is long and full of caring words; the mirage of a father I long for, but not the one I have.Car-and-street-at-night (1)

I roll over onto my side with a sigh. Perhaps, it was written by him. A cruel trick. A way for him to lure me into some kind of false security. I’ve read his words a dozen times at least, but each time, it makes me feel worse than the last. His words from his last visit resonate around my head. His presence and his letter argue with one another.

I’m nothing to him, he had said. Nothing. A useless waste of space.

My mind tries to piece together the lost hours from that night, but they are nothing more than blank memories of darkness. Its hard to keep my thoughts straight when they want to spin over everything, even the blood. For that, I have no explanation. Even now a week later, my body has not healed from whatever trauma it endured.

I don’t understand what happened. I don’t remember. As soon as my mind tries to answer my questions, I silence it.

Not my father.

He wouldn’t.

Not again.

Not after the last time. The last time, he had almost killed me. In some ways, I wish he had succeeded, but then I remember Will and he would be alone if I had died. But I can’t help wishing the doctors didn’t put me back together. They should have just left me.

I feel my own frustration raging at myself as I desperately keep my mind from putting pieces together the way it wants. It’s not possible.

Joanne is asleep now. Finally. I tuck my hand under my pillow and watch her. She seems content and oblivious to the way I feel inside. I hope her dreams are better than mine. I wish she understood how lucky she is.

I’m not tired. Joanne doesn’t know that I swallowed a phet bomb before I came to bed. She won’t understand I need it to take away the black thoughts, the darkness that awaits me on the side lines, reaching out to catch me.

I feel the adrenaline crawl its way up my spine. Its tiny fingers pushing in, covering and taking away my pain as it moves, and leaving a thick layer of numbness, so that I can breathe.

I clamp my jaw down to save from giving myself away. The phet is bigger than my darkness. It slips through, filling every empty cavity that I posses. My heart pounds in my chest. I wonder if it can be heard. A celebration as the phet begins to win the fight.

Every part of my body comes alive. I have to move and do something other than just lying still. I feel restless inside, but I force myself to stay there. Just for another minute, to be sure Joanne is asleep.

Her breathing is slow, and rattles in her chest. I force myself to be calm and slow, in my movements, as I try to slip from the bed without her waking. I don’t want the sudden weight shift to disturb her.

As I get free, I stand and watch for a moment at the need of the bed before pulling on my jeans and a t-shirt. I need my keys. They are on the bedside table next to Joanne. I curse at myself. Why didn’t I think to put them in my jeans pocket beforehand? Such an idiot. I step cautiously towards them, and clasp both my hands over them to shield the sound when they clang together.

I have no feelings of guilt or remorse as I stare at her from the doorway. Only anticipation of what I’m about to do. I wonder why I’m here; why I’m with her. I feel nothing for her. No emotions. Just like I am nothing to her. Just a toy for her to play with. Someone to use in her sick pleasures. I had feelings for her once, of course, but they ended long ago when she had cheated on me.

I feel only relief that she hasn’t woken as I was getting out of bed and leaving. Angela is asleep on the sofa. Colin is asleep in his bed in Will’s room, and Will is at his mother’s; away from my useless parental skills and me. I wish he had more than me. I sigh as I leave and let myself out of the flat. Locking the back door behind me, I stand for just a moment at the top of the steps that lead into the dark alley.

I put my cigarette in my mouth, light it, and inhale deeply. The smoke travels down into my chest, setting off the amphetamine even more, and I feel the rush of excitement wash over me.

Suddenly, I am alive. The darkness inside is gone. Dead and defeated in a drug haze. Nothing can hurt me. Nothing. Who cares what my dad might have done to me? It’s what I was made for. It’s why I am here.

I race down the steps and into the darkness of the alley; I don’t stop, until I reach the main street. I can see the dim lights of the fast food store Karla works at. They have begun to close down for the night. Crowds of drunken tourists walk past me, devouring kebabs and burgers, and laughing at each other as they sway and trip and share jokes about the night’s events. Tomorrow, it’ll all be some drunken memory for them, clouded by their hangovers.

They walk past me and don’t notice I am there. I stand outside the shop waiting for Karla. She sees me as she runs the mop over the floor. She smiles at me; a smile that lights up her entire face. I smile back; a smile that no doubt convinces her that I am as equally happy to see her.

In reality, she is like Joanne. She doesn’t matter to me. She is just some girl I met on my way home from working at the nightclub when I stopped to get something to eat. I’m pretty sure I mean nothing to her either.

I watch as she finishes her work and says goodnight to her co-workers before coming out to greet me. She instantly throws her arms around my neck. “I missed you,” she says to me, but I doubt that. I haven’t missed her. I hardly thought about her through my days except for the anticipation of this meeting, but its more that I am out.

“I love you,” she whispers into my ears. Her words are as empty as I feel.

“I love you too,” I say back casually repeating the words back to her. She doesn’t notice the flatness in my voice. Not that she would. People only hear what they want how they want.

People are fake. I am not someone that can be loved, nor am I capable of returning it. If I was, then Joanne and I would be happy and Will would have the perfect life. Not that I don’t love him, of course, I do. I just wish that he had better than me in his life.

I take Karla’s hand and lead her along the street. I know what I am looking for. A car, nothing spectacular, or sporty. I don’t care. I just want something to drive, to get away from everywhere for a couple of hours, and not be noticed.

“I’m not sure about this,” Karla says to me as I fight with the lock on a plain car, until it gives way and opens.

I shrug.

“You can go home if you want to,” I say.

I don’t really care about that either. She can come with me if she wants. It’s her choice. She stares at me for a moment as she makes her decision.

“If I go home will you come with me?”

The car door is open, my foot is inside already and I am about to sit down. I look at her and shake my head. I don’t want to go to her house and play happy families. I want to be in the car. I want to be on the road. I want to feel the speed of it.

I get into the car properly, crack the barrel on the ignition, and glance at Karla through the mirror, waiting for her decision. I’m not going to wait long. If she doesn’t decide, I’m going to drive away. I won’t force her to come with me, but if she wants me to get out of the car and beg her, she’ll be waiting a long time.

After a moment, she slips into the passenger seat beside me. I start the engine and smile at her, but she doesn’t smile back.

 

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Alley Kid Twelve.

I don’t normally post warnings on my posts. Especially not Alley Kid, but I think the contents of this I should. If you have read my books, you’ll know what to expect, except. this isn’t so graphic, but there are details of abuse.

 

I don’t know how much time has passed. It feels like hours. My head is heavy inside, and it’s still daylight. I’m laid on a makeshift bed on the floor with my mattress from my room. Maz is laid with me. She is asleep. I don’t know what woke me. I look around and try not to wake her too. The place seems quiet. It takes me a moment to realise he is still here.

I can see the door. He’s waiting. Hiding.  I see shadows and darkness; it’s where he likes to hide. I see his eyes in my mind. The wide open discoloured whites of them. The way his skin wrinkles underneath. The dark spots on his cheeks. I can see them like he is right in front of me.

Something touches my foot. It’s soft, like a feather.  I don’t know what it is, I have a cover on me. I lift it and look down, but there is nothing there. I put my foot back down, but it’s there again and I move my foot, reach down and brush off whatever invisible thing it is. I close my eyes and then open them again. I can’t keep them closed. He’s going to come at any moment. Maz is asleep, she won’t know and no one will hear me, no one will help, just like always.

Maybe it’s his hand on my foot. Maybe he’s about to grab me. I can feel it. Next will be his nails in my legs like when I was little and he would drag me down and claw at me. I try to move and get away. I can’t. Inside I feel dead and heavy. My mouth is dry and I can’t take in enough air. My throat feels constricted; my lungs won’t go deep enough. I start to gasp and Maz wakes and sits.

“What’s wrong?” she asks me.

I try to talk. I say the words. I hear them perfectly, but Maz doesn’t understand. She asks me to repeat them and I do, but still she doesn’t know what I am saying.

“You’re slurring,” she tells me.

I try to speak clear. I try and tell her that he’s there. I try and move back and get away. I’m shaking and crying because I can’t tell her, all I can do is make sounds that aren’t even words. I try and push myself back, but just hit the front of the sofa. I am trapped.

“There’s nothing there,” she says to me. “It’s just the phet, you took too much.”

Joanne comes into the room. She must have heard me. She has a bag and Froggy is with her.

“Is he okay?” She asks Maz.

Maz nods. “He needs to sleep it off, but he won’t.”

Joanne has cans in her bag. She pulls one out and passes it to Maz, Maz offers it to me, but I don’t want it. Maz tries to put it to my mouth and I try and push it away.

“You need to drink,” says Joanne. “It’s been days you haven’t eaten or drunk at all.”

“If you don’t drink something your body is going to shut down,” says Maz.

I take the can from Maz, but she holds it with me. My hands are unsteady. I put it to my mouth and as the drink hits my mouth I realise how thirsty I am. I don’t waste time. I don’t sip it. One gulp becomes another and another, each one is not enough. I can’t take enough to make the thirst go away and within seconds, the can is empty. I need more. I hold my hand out and try and say the words, but I can’t. Joanne knows what I want though and she reaches in her bag for another. She passes it to Maz and Maz opens it, but my stomach flips over. I feel the heat of it inside as it sloshes the juice I have just ingested. I retch but nothing comes out.  Maz gets off the mattress fast and I try to move.

She tries to help me get up, but in her position she can’t. Joanne tries to help, but its Froggy that gets me to my feet and I know that any moment the drink is going to come right out. I can hardly move. I try and steady myself on all of them and in a rush, they manage to get me to the bathroom. I vomit in the sink and collapse on the floor. My body hasn’t finished though, but I don’t have the energy to get up and vomit in the sink or the toilet. It’s down my clothes. I can smell it.

Joanne runs out of the bathroom and comes back seconds later with a bowl. I ask her for a cigarette, only managing to get the word smoke out. She reaches in her pocket for her pack and gives me one, but I can’t even light it. Maybe this is death.

My mind wants to sleep. It wants to shut down. I feel it pressing on the inside making my skull ache. My eyes try to close but I fight them. I smoke my cigarette and sit forwards to wake myself up, but then he is there. I see his shadow out in the hallway. I lean back and he moves too. I lean forward and so does his shadow. I do it over and over.

“What are you doing?” asks Maz.

I try to talk but say nothing.

“You’re rocking.”

I still don’t say anything. I stop rocking, but I don’t take my eyes off the shadow. Maz has the shower running. For me I guess. I just keep my eyes focused on him, but they keep closing. They close for minutes at a time and I don’t realise. I don’t want to sleep. Maz and Joanne are there. They take my top off and I don’t stop them. Joanne tells me to stand and I have to lean on them and she tries to unfasten my jeans, but I don’t want her to, not with him out there.drug

Somehow I am in the shower and I don’t know how I got there. I’m leaning against the wall and sat in the base. Time slips in and out and I don’t see it. I try to ask, but they don’t understand and my words won’t come out. I keep still as they clean me up, get me out of the shower and put me back in bed.

I try to protest at being in just my underwear. I am cold. But Maz gets in with me again. They throw more covers over me and I can’t fight it. Sleep takes me away and I am gone.

I see flashes of moments. I open my eyes and people are in different places. Joanne on the chair watching the television. Maz on the chair. Froggy sat playing my games console. I don’t speak, just reach for a drink each time. The bowl is next to me just in case, but I don’t drink so much.

Someone is shaking me. I feel them and tell them to stop it.

“Wake up,” he says and I realise it’s my father. I didn’t know he is here, I didn’t remember. Did I let him in? I don’t know. No one else is there.

“Do you have the money you owe me?” he asks.

“In my wallet,” I try and say, but my words don’t come out.

“What?” he asks me to repeat and I try. “I can’t understand what you’re saying,” he tells me.

He kneels down to me and I try and tell him again. He grabs my hair in his fist, pulls my head up to him, I can’t move. I try and get out of his grip but I can’t.

“You’re such a waste of space,” he tells me. He clutches tighter, pulling my hair and I can’t fight him off. “You’re nothing to me.”

There isn’t anything I can do. It all goes dark and I fall asleep again. I forget my father is there and when I open my eyes he is gone. It is dark again and Joanne is watching the television with Angela and Colin.

I need the bathroom. Something feels wrong. It feels like I got turned off for a few hours as though I were a machine. I didn’t dream. Just darkness. I ask Joanne what time it is, she tells me. It’s been hours and I don’t remember them.

I try to stand, but my legs are shaky. They haven’t stood for I don’t know how long. My underwear feels wet. I look at Joanne and Angela and Colin, but they aren’t looking at me. They have a film on and I wonder if somehow I managed to wet myself. I don’t want them to know I slept so much I wet the bed.

I pick up a towel that’s laid on the arm of the sofa and wrap it around my waist so I can go to the bathroom.

In the bathroom I take the towel off and then my underwear. I just stare at it. My mind expected just to see wet clothes, but the red glares at me and I stare at it as though I have never seen blood before.

I feel nothing. No pain, no bruises. I don’t know why it’s there. I don’t feel ill. I feel panic inside. Fear. I don’t want Joanne to see. I don’t want to know where it came from.  I get in the shower instead. I don’t care that it isn’t heated yet. I want to hide from my blood soaked shorts. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe they aren’t there. Maybe it’s from the phet. I shower, but I can see them through the door. I have to get rid of them.

They are still there when I finish showering. Part of me wonders why. Why didn’t they just vanish? I can’t sneak them out. I’m sure that Joanne will see them. She’ll come out of the lounge the moment I come out of the bathroom with them in my hand. I get the envelope that holds my needles instead. I tip those into Joanne’s makeup bag and then I put my shorts in the envelope.

The blood is wet, it marks my hands and I just stare at it. I don’t know where it’s from. I don’t understand why I am bleeding.

 

Not Cutting Today

Yesterday, not here but in a place I seek support I questioned healing. If it was really possible. I don’t think it is. Not properly.

Often child abuse is referred to like scars, but scars don’t heal, not properly, they are wounds that are just there as reminders. I don’t think full healing is possible. Perhaps it’s just possible to understand.

I always feel like I am searching for answers, and trying to understand the things that go wrong in my life. I try and find the why of everything.

Last night I was plagued with such flashbacks and fear of the bad man, I wonder how I’m ever going to heal that part. I felt like a 5 year old so certain that he was going to come for me. Sure that he was in my house and the moment I closed my eyes, he would be there. I could feel the imprints of his hands in my hair holding me down, his teeth biting into my shoulder and the weight of him as I tried to fight.I’ve been afraid of the shadows forever, perhaps I always will be.

And today is day four since I last self harmed. Small, but it’s still days where I have healed physically, but I’m tired today and feel stupid for my flashbacks the night before.

I don’t want to cut another day.

Self Injury Awareness Day

Today is self-injury awareness day. It’s one of those things that has many sides. Many people do not understand it, it can be brushed off as an attention thing, yet in truth those that do it, do it alone, they hide it and they are ashamed, there is no attention in that. Most self harmers go to great lengths to hide what they have done. 370px-Orange_ribbon.svg

Last year I, self harmed to the point of needing it to be stitched, I had to go to the walk in centre for this, and it was probably one of the most shameful things I had to do last year. The staff knew what I had done, I didn’t tell them, but there’s nothing like them making you wait to see the on call psychiatrist to be assessed and the fear of being admitted to hospital. In a world that’s so silent in my head, how could I let my family know what I had done to myself? I would never be able to tell them why.

It’s been two hours since my last self harm. It is something I hide and were it not for the day today, something I wouldn’t say.