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Addiction, a simple enough word, but the meaning far from it. Definition of addiction: “to give oneself up to a strong habit.” Addiction is not just about a strong habit, or a troubled past. No, it’s about losing yourself.
“Only once, she said.
Relief, crimson red.
For you she bled.
That’s how she ended up dead.”
Another day, another day trapped in the past; with no hope for the future. That was her only thought as she opened her eyes at the first hint of sunlight on a Saturday morning.
As she made her way out to the kitchen, she did not smell the welcoming aroma of breakfast, but instead nothing. Her body tensed as she walked around the corner and ran into a wall of deathly silence. She froze for a mere second, but then continued into the room. As she approached, on the kitchen table she saw a note scrawled on with a font barely legible.
Note: “Gone for the day. Keys are on the hook. Be safe.”
“Typical.” She muttered under her breath. As she exited the kitchen, and passed by her parents room, she was swamped with a flood of memories, memories of chaos and pain, that she didn’t want to remember. She hurried down the hall in an effort to bypass these memories of her past, but this proved to be a failed plan. She couldn’t help but remember, and all that came with remembering was anger and pain.
“F***.” She yelled out as she collapsed to the ground, in pain. The pain was unbearable, but nothing new to her. The type of pain that made her mind numb, heart break, and body collapse. Yet, she didn’t dare tell anyone, for the consequences that would result from this would be far to dangerous. Instead, she buried her feelings and her pain deep down in her mind, and her heart. She knew it was only a temporary solution, but it was all she had; the only way she could cope.
“Burying the feelings deep within.
Of her past and where she’d been.
In hopes that herself it would mend.
But now she’s lost; not knowing where they start and she begins.”
The next day is Sunday, church. She flashes back to the past again. This time she dreams of her happy family, of good times. She lets a smile creep onto her face, but it quickly vanishes as she falls back to reality. Reality, where that is long gone, and hopes of getting it back is close to that of pigs flying.
“Get in the car, time to go.” Her mother yelled drunkenly across the house.
As she threw on her jacket, she grabbed her keys. She would be driving, not her mom who was experiencing yet another hangover.
“What’s the point?” She cynically thought.
“Why go to church, when we clearly don’t believe in any damn God !?” She questioned herself bitterly.
“God has never been there for me. There’s nothing good about my life. If God cared, he wouldn’t let me go through this all alone. I don’t want Him.” she concluded.
While thinking it through, she was driving herself and her mother to church; her hung-over mom, and bitter self. As she walked towards the door of the church, she pretended not to notice like always all the stares directed her way. Stares meant for her mother; dressed in a revealing, low cut black top paired with a mini-skirt and high-heels. This was yet one more reason she had spite towards God. At church of all places, could she and her mother not be judged? Aren’t Christians supposed to accept that they’re sinners, but forgiven through Jesus. . .blah blah blah? But instead of receiving understanding and forgiveness, she and her mother both received condemnation before the church service even began. Her cheeks quickly flushed to a bright shade of red, as she tried to avert her eyes and find a seat in a relatively empty area.
“Please open your bibles to. . .” The pastor spoke to the crowd.
As soon as the service ended, she hurriedly grabbed her mother and took the least noticeable exit out of the building. Her mother, too hung-over to speak just followed in a daze, occasionally stumbling or groaning.
“That was hell.” She spoke to no one in particular as she drove home.
As she neared the house, she immediately noticed that something was wrong. The front door was part way open, and all the lights were on.
“It can’t be.” She tried to convince herself.
But in the midst of her thought, she saw a silhouette. A silhouette of a man, that man being her father. The man who would leave unexpectedly, with no explanation for weeks at a time, and come home stoned and drunk. Not speaking and barely able to move for days; then when he was rested up enough, he would scavenge the house for money and food. . .this would end in another unexplained leave of absence. This is how it had been for her since she turned 12 and her parents started fighting. Fighting about small things, at first and gradually escalating in scale; till the living room became a boxing ring and her parents became the two contenders.
She faked a nonchalance reaction, like it was normal to come home to a hung-over mother, absent father, and unkempt house littered with remnants of the last fight; broken glass, empty beer bottles, and fallen pictures.
But really this problem that she came home to everyday did effect her, more than she even realized.
“Living room a boxing ring.
Parents: a yell, a scream, a shout.
Here comes the next round, ding ding.
As she falls to the ground, she tries to remember what this was even about.”
Monday morning, first day of school as a junior at Blake high school. As she walked to her first class, she felt only one thing; loneliness. Everywhere she looked she saw people, people full of happiness or talking with their friends. It was as if nobody even noticed her. She had a clean slate in a sense, nobody knew who she was. So for the first time, she wasn’t the center of attention; not getting lofty stares from passersby because of her mother’s attire and drunken aurora. There was no more judgment from others, but their was one left; herself. She had already condemned herself, before even stepping into the building.
She was now feeling the opposite side of the spectrum; desolation and exclusion. She was beginning to feel worthless and without purpose. Just like that, she had felt all of her life. Worthless when her parents fought, when her dad left, when her mom came home drunk, and when she couldn’t help but remember her past.
In all these situations, she couldn’t do anything. She was powerless, unable to help and a waste of time.
“Desolation; only an empty stare.
Walking alone everywhere.
Crying herself to sleep at night.
Because the pain was reaching an unbearable height.”
The following morning as she walked to school, she made a decision; a decision to run, to run away from everything. As she veered off of the path that would take her to school, she became paranoid feeling as if someone was watching her. Yet, she continued going; never stopping until she reached the outskirts of the town. The farther she ran, the more at peace she became. Able to pretend that she was just another girl. However she had forgotten an important detail of her run-away heist that would soon derail the whole operation. She had nowhere to stay. At least at home, she had a bed to lay in and a pillow to rest her head on. As she came to this conclusion, she stopped in her tracks and headed home, a home that wreaked of alcohol, was littered with garbage, and encompassed her hung-over mom. She didn’t even bother muttering an explanation of her precious whereabouts to her mother, because she knew that the next day her mother would remember nothing. As she lay in her bed that night, she was overwhelmed with her hate, anger, and pain.
“Trying to run, but to no avail.
Trying to be strong, but becoming frail.
Stuck she concluded, at a dead end.
No way herself could she mend.”
She couldn’t stand it any longer, the pain took hold of her, and she lost control. As she rolled up the sleeves of her pajama shirt, there they were. Scars, wounds of her past. One scar long and jagged, the result of her parents big fight four years ago. Another, short but deep; from when she and her boyfriend broke up. There were more than twenty others on the length of her arm. Nasty scars, some scabbed while others were long healed and only a white line remaining. As her eyes scanned her arm, she tried not to grimace, tried not to remember. She had made herself a promise, a promise to never go back to this. Because in reality, she was only hurting herself. Leaving a once beautiful body, scarred and destroyed. The emotional pain had reached its climax by this point, and her promise to herself no longer mattered. As she grabbed the knife, it was familiar as that of a handshake with a former friend. As a beam of moonlight came through her bedroom window and reflected off of the blade of the knife, she saw the blood stains. Her blood, forever engrained into the blade; as the cuts from the knife would forever scar her arm. She delicately stroked the sharp blade of the knife with her fingers, as if it were velvet. As she raised the knife, she closed her eyes. And as it came down and struck her skin time after time, tears escaped from her eyes and flowed down her face. Afterwards, she was left on the ground, curled up in a ball, full of guilt and sadness. The temporary high she had gotten from the knife wasn’t enough. She was still stuck in her past, and still full of pain.
“Damn it!” She yelled in defeat.
Nothing could help her escape this pain, or fill the void in her heart. She was helpless once again. A girl who was in unbearable pain, in a self-destructive state, and who barely had a family or home she could call her own.
“Arm shaking, knife in hand.
Body perspiring, as she begins to stand.
She closes her eyes, and counts to three.
Believing this will make her free.
As the blood flows from the cut, to the ground below.
She loses control, this she soon does know.
When later she looks at herself, a once beautiful creation.
Now full of scars and cuts, receiving only condemnation.
But the next night, to it again she turns.
And as she washes the blood off, the cuts begin to burn.
Every movement of her hand, she begins to regret.
Her past carved into her skin, leaving her unable to forget.”
The next morning she awoke to a pounding on the front door. To weak to stand, she grabbed the bed post and forced herself to her feet. As she walked toward the front door, she walked past a mirror, and as she looked into it, she saw a tangled mess of hair, swollen eyes, and blood stained clothes. She quickly walked to the bathroom and splashed some water on her face, brushed her hair, and threw a sweatshirt on. As she walked back to the door, she plastered a fake smile on her face and took a deep breath. Once she opened the door, it revealed a police officer with a grim expression.
“Hello??” She said nervously to the officer. Her eyes frantically darting and looking for an escape, because she feared she was in trouble.
“It’s alright, you’re not in trouble.” The officer said reassuringly.
“I’m here, to tell you. . .” The officer began, but then stopped as he tried to gather his composure.
“I’m here to tell you that your mother has been involved in a car accident, and was declared dead on scene. . .I’m sorry.” The officer said apologetically even thought it wasn’t his fault.
“What was the cause of the accident, and who else was involved?” She whispered, unable to speak.
“A family of three; a single mom with two children: an 8-year old boy and a 5-year old girl. They were also killed. The cause of the accident is said to be a DUI committed by your mother.” He responded grief-stricken.
“Thank you for letting me know. .” She muttered as she closed the door, and collapsed to the ground.
“World shattered, mother dead.
‘Her fault’, the officer said.
Having lost everything, she let pain become her best friend.
Believing death would soon be her end.”
After closing the door she stumbled back into her room in a daze. She was completely numb emotionally, and oblivious to everything around her. She snapped, she broke beneath the pain. The only thing she had left, her mother, was now gone. Her mother who had not only taken her life, because of alcohol, but had also taken another innocent family’s life.
She looked at her life; no friends, no family, and no hope. She looked at herself and saw ugliness, ugliness brought about by scars on her body. She looked at her house and saw a dump wreaking of death. And lastly she looked to God, who she could no longer find. After all of this, she concluded that she was ready. . .
She grabbed a pencil and paper; beginning the letter with ‘to’ and concluding it with ‘goodbye’. A single tear smudging the ink on the page. She carefully set the letter on the pillow of her bed and then proceeded towards her dresser drawer. There she found her knife once again. As she began to cry, she fell to her knees with knife in her hand. She was so weak now, nobody could save her. This time, when she brought the knife down she did it fully in control. In her mind knowing her choice and purpose. She slit both of her wrists, deep. As the blood started to flow out, she felt nothing.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered, her last words.
“Believing death was the only way.
She killed herself, because she couldn’t keep her feelings at bay.
Her body now lifeless on the floor.
Concealed behind a forgotten home, and a closed door.”
“Abuse, death, loss, or rape.
It’s all the same, you need my escape.
Coming to me, so you can forget.
Your past full of pain and regret.
You all believe that you are strong.
But you soon will learn that you are wrong.
I’m the one in control.
The once who fills your void, and hole.
I’m the one you turn to when you’re alone.
When you feel pain in every bone.
When everybody else has left you, I’ll be your friend.
Slowly but surely bringing you to death’s end.
Once you turn to me, and me begun.
You have lost, and I have won.
You think you can stop, out of your own choice.
But the thing that rules your decisions is now my voice.
You’re now a puppet, under my command.
Doing my bidding, and fulfilling my every demand.
You’re losing yourself more and more each day.
But I force you to lie with a smile and say that you’re okay.
You’re now a body with no soul.
Because you turned to me to fill that hole.
As you kill yourself, and say goodbye.
I smile because you believed my lie.
The lie that I’m the only one there for you.
The only one that will get you through.
The lie that you’re not worth it, and a disgrace.
The shame you see, when you look at your own face.
I’m merciless and prey on the good, bad, strong, and weak.
It only takes one time, one peek.
Till with me your intoxicated and lost.
To get back to me, you would no matter the cost.
I smile, as I look at all my victims.
A father, a child, a woman, oh and him.
. . .Oh hello, yes, you come to me.
I’ll be your friend, I’ll set you free.”