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Author's note: This piece really means a lot to me. It comes from the heart and is full of pain and sorrow but if you look hard enough the girl in the story is so painfully beautiful.
The feeling I don’t want to live haunts me. It creeps up on me when I’m not paying attention and slowly fades out as I cry at night trying to put the glass of a broken picture frame down. The cuts sting, but they’re not too deep. They bleed, but not too much. I pull my Phone out from under my pillow and try to comprehend the words displayed on the bright screen.
Someone is reaching out.
Trying to save me.
Trying to save Lawren.
That’s when the glass gets put down. That’s when I stop. That’s when I look down at my stomach and know that I can’t tell anyone. Not even him.
He can’t know.
Aaron can’t know.
I have to hide these incisions.
These stress relievers.
These pain relievers.
As I lay my phone on my bed the cuts start to hurt. Once again I feel pain. Finally the numbness is gone.
I am back.
Lawren Lane Lewis, 1008 Summer Drive, Spotsylvania Virginia, 22445, is back. Falling asleep won’t be hard tonight as the cuts on my stomach burn. I wrap an ace bandage around them applying pressure. All the doctor shows say to apply pressure. I rest my head on the cool side of my pillow and my eyes slowly close. Part of me hoping this time they will close for good. Another part hoping they will open tomorrow.
My phone begins to sing to me at six-thirty in the morning. My brown eyes slowly open. I study my room.
Nothing has changed.
I don’t want to get up.
I should stay.
Stay here and never get up.
I have school in an hour. The bus comes in thirty minutes. I’m still in bed.
Why get up?
Why go to school?
What’s the point?
Time seems to keep moving as I just lay in my bed wrapped in a pink and white comforter. My head pounds to the beat of the unknown song that keeps reaping. Id press snooze but I don’t. Twenty minutes after the first sound crawled out of my phone and I get up.
Not knowing what my emotions will let me accomplish today.
Hopefully I can get through today.
Hopefully I can make it.
The yellow bus comes in ten minutes. I’m not ready. Sweats, an oversized shirt, and Uggs. That’s what I wear. My make-up is put on quickly and I brush my hair on the way to the bus stop. As I step outside the wind sends a shiver up my spine.
My legs shake.
Each step hurts my cuts I have given myself the night before. Each step reminds me that I feel something.
Finally we arrive at school. I walk towards the spot where Aaron and I meet every day.
“Hey babe.” Aaron leans down and kisses my nose.
“Hey.” I make myself put on a half smile.
“Nothing I just don’t feel well.”
“Do you want me to drive you home?”
“No I think it’s just cause I didn’t sleep well.”
“Lo, did you have another nightmare?”
“Yeah, it’s nothing I can’t handle.”
I leave it at that and Aaron walks me to class.
He hugs me at the door. I suck up the pain, but still make a facial expression.
I think he saw.
What do I say?
What can I say?
I haven’t planned for this talk. I wasn’t even going to think about the talk I might have to have. Maybe I should tell him that I fell.
How do you fall on your stomach?
It’s easy; tell him you were playing with your brother.
No that’s no good.
As I have a conversation with myself I realize if he sees the face I made and starts to question me there is no way out of it. I will have to tell him and that will be that, but maybe not. Maybe I can just turn right now and walk away with no other explanation. I would never just leave him though.
Then again I would never cut myself ether.
I’m a different person now and that calls for new things.
My stomach drops as the bell rings. This is it.
Maybe I should just go with the flow.
Yeah, I will do that.
“You sure you are ok?”
“Yeah I’m fine. I will see you after class.” I sigh with relief that he buys it.
When I walk into my class room I feel as if everyone is looking at me. As if they all know what lies under my shirt. I know they have no clue though. They all think I am some sort of happy cheerleader. But they only think that because that is what I portray. Cheerleaders are never sad. They are never depressed. They are perfect.
I can feel the cuts burn as I sit down at my desk.
Seems like every three minutes I look at the clock wishing school was over and I could go somewhere.
Aaron meets me outside of my class and he walks me to the girl’s locker room. He hugs me and this time I make no noise and just suck everything in and hold it until he lets me go to face my best friend, Allie.
If Allie sees she will tell my parents and then what?
Then they will punish me for what I have done, right?
I make a quick decision to change in the bathroom. I grab my clothes out of my locker and go to the stalls. I take the bandage off of my cuts and change clothes. After I’m done I walk back to my locker and place my close back into the old chipped paint locker.
Waiting for me.
“Uh, why’d you change in the bathroom?” She asks.
“I don’t know.” I say in a serious tone. I then realize that’s a giveaway.
“Ok then.” Allie says sounding annoyed with me.
I sit down on the bench. As I bend my hand goes to my cuts. They sting as I sit.
“Nothing I’m fine.” I smile
“Don’t lie to me. What’s wrong?”
“Lift up your s***.”
“Umm, no thanks.”
“Lawren, lift up your shirt.’
She deserves to know. My hand reaches for the bottom of my shirt. My stomach is in knots.
What is she going say?
Is she going tell?
This is not what I had in mind when I said go with the flow.
I lift my shirt up to reveal what was underneath.
“Are you serious?” Allie finally speaks. She rolls her eyes and walks away.
I’m left here.
After a moment I stand.
My legs struggle to hold me up.
My eyes can’t see.
I feel nothing. All I know is where that bathroom is so, I go there.
As I walk the pain from the cuts no longer bothers me. I pick a stall and quickly shut the door behind me. I can feel tears fall from my eyes.
I feel like I have a fever, but I am not sick.
Although, my stomach does hurt.
Maybe I should go to the nurse?
Maybe I should just stay here.
I walk out of the locker room. There she is. I slowly walk towards her. She does not speak. She turns and walks away.
We’re playing soccer today. It’s cold.
My cuts burn.
The cold January air makes my body shiver.
We’re playing Allie’s team today. I walk over to Allie. She does not walk away.
‘Why are you mad?” I ask.
“Yes you are! I really need you right now and you just walked away like it was nothing!”
“I’m sorry it was just a lot.”
“I know.” I say quietly
“Just don’t do it again”
“I won’t I promise.” Lie.
“Pinky swear.” I lie again
My heart rate climbs as I run up and down the soccer field.
I score a goal.
I have forgotten all about my cuts.
All about Allie’s reaction.
The whistle blows. I stop running. The pain of my cuts rushes back to me all at once. My hand covers them. Their hot. We walk into the locker room. My eyes adjust to the dimness of the school. I walk to my locker. Number 1299, combination 51-22-32. I quickly get dressed. Allie looks at the bandage I put back on. My eyes drift down and I stare at the bandage. I can’t even remember why I did that. Last night was a blur. I was crying. There is no stability in my life.
I never know when the next move will be.
I never know when the next parent will walk out.
I just never know about life.
Last night I was cold. I was mad. My hand shook as I took a piece of glass and pressed down and watched as blood started to drip. I didn’t feel it. I was numb. I was lost.
I finish getting dressed. I finish thinking about last night. Allie waits for me. We walk to third period. It’s silent. No words exchanged. I turn down the hallway to my class.
“You’re not going to walk me?” Allie yells down the hall so everyone hears.
She wants me to walk with her?
She needs me?
I need nothing more than to be needed the only problem I don’t want her to need me.
I turn around and walk Allie to her class. She walks away, out of my life for fifty-five minutes. I watch her blonde hair fade into the distance.
The bell rings.
I am officially late to third period.
Third period is quickly over and I walk upstairs where I see Allie for the last time for the day. Her locker right next to mine. We exchange looks before speaking.
“Here” She hand me a folded up piece of paper.” Don’t read it yet.”
“I won’t” saying this as if it was some sort of promise.
She walks away.
I see Aaron walk towards me with a smile upon his face.
He looks so happy and so unaware of what lies underneath my shirt.
“I wanna show you something.” he says to me.
On the way to where ever Aaron is taking me I read the not from Allie.
My eyes read each word, never skipping.
Allie is telling me to stop.
Begging me to stop.
“What’s that?” I suddenly feel Aaron’s eyes on the piece of lined paper in my hands.
My mind trying to figure out what Allie is saying.
“Nothing, just Allie over reacting.”
“Did you guys get in a fight or something?”
Here is where I pick to lie or tell the truth to the only person I really care for.
“I guess so.” I am not sure if that was lying or not. For my sake I really hope not.
Aaron nods it off as if it’s nothing to surprising and leads me to this empty class room.
“Why are we here?”
“Lift up your shirt Lawren.”
“Uh, no? Why does everyone keep asking me that?”
“Why?” I can’t tell what his motive is. Does he know too? Am I making it that obvious?
I lift up my shirt halfway to where the cuts are. Aaron’s eyes look down at the ground.
Now I am here standing.
Feeling like nothing good can ever come of this.
I wait for him to say something, but nothing comes out. I let my shirt drift down over my stomach. I turn and look at the door.
Do I leave?
Do I stay?
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do about anything anymore. So instead I just stand there looking and waiting for something to happen. Waiting for some words to be exchanged.
It never happens.
I turn to the door and begin to walk towards it.
“Wait.” I turn back and look. Aaron is standing there looking at me. He looks as if he could faint at any moment. “Why? Why are you doing this?”
“I don’t know.”
“Yes! You do know.”
“I need to go.”
I look behind me and walk out the door.
The next few hours go by quickly and I avoid everyone I know.
But now I must go there,
There is nowhere to go when I get home. I must sit there trapped in my mind with a piece of broken glass looking at me.
It’s stained with red.
The walk back to my house feels like miles. It feels like it takes days to get back to my four bedroom home. When I finally get there I don’t want to enter. I don’t want to unlock the solid white door. I don’t want to go to that place where I can’t escape, but I must go in.
So I do.
I walk into my room.
Just as it was last night. The night where I got so lost I almost couldn’t find my way back. It was dark,
I couldn’t see,
I couldn’t feel,
All I know is that there were replays of my life plying over,
And over again.
They wouldn’t stop. So I reached for the glass of a broken picture frame of what used to be my family.
I was so angry,
All I could do was just. . .
I’m numb, I feel nothing.
It’s dark again. I glance at the clock it’s only three pm. I’m so lost. I feel so
My heart is racing. My hand doesn’t yet reach for the glass. My hands are rested on the cuts from last night. The night I couldn’t take it.
I’m almost too deep in my thoughts now. My hand reaches for the glass. I hold it front of my eyes. I look at the blood that has dried on it.
I lift up my shirt, and I find a place where I am about to find my way back.
I find a spot.
I start to swipe the broken glass across my pale skin. I watch as the blood starts to flow out of me.
I don’t feel it at all.
I start another one. I push down just a little bit harder on my already red skin. I push the glass into my skin and move the glass from left to right. It hurts but nothing I can’t bare.
I’m still lost.
I try again.
This time pushing down as hard as I physically can. I just continue moving the glass back and forth until tears begin to fall and finally,
I am no longer lost.
I stand up quickly trying to find my ace bandage. When I find it I wrap it around the open wounds on my stomach. I can barley walk because of the pain.
Finally the hurt. I have been waiting for this feeling. I sit on my bed and cry. I am not crying because of the pain though. The pain I can handle. I am not crying because of my past. I am not even sure why I am crying.
I lay my head down on my pillow and try and go to sleep.
I can’t sleep.
I will get lost.
In a dream.
So I lay awake.
I can’t get lost in a dream.
When I do get lost in my dreams it’s hard to find my way back. I lay on my bed awake. I stare at the ceiling above me for what seems like hours, but I can’t be sure. All I know is that
I don’t eat,
I don’t sleep,
I don’t think,
I just lay there, alone on my bed waiting for someone to come snap me out of it.
But no one will.
I will just lie there,
Cold and alone.
I’m in pain. I just want to disappear.
I lay here staring at the white ceiling when my dad, calls for me.
How long have I been laying here?
He calls again, I don’t bother to answer.
“Lawren Lane Lewis.”
My ceiling fan more entertaining than my father yelling my name. My ears are ringing as I hear knocking on my bedroom door.
I lay there silent. The knocking on my door suddenly stops. He marches in my room.
“Lawren, get up!”
I can’t see my dad; I can hear my dad though. His presence in my room is unknown. All I see is a white ceiling. My dad is invisible. The only time I feel my father’s presence is when I’m lost.
When I’m numb.
When I can’t take it anymore. That’s the time when I feel my dad.
Some how I slowly get out of my warm bed and walk to the dining room where my family waits. I peek around the corner to see the picture perfect family sitting around the dinner table. My brother sitting up right talking about his report card. He got straight A’s. I did not. My brother, Ryan has never had trouble with anything in his life. He gets good grades and has a fine group of friends. He knows his place in this world.
My step mother sits there congratulating my brother on his grade and promising the world to him.
At that moment I walk back to my room silently. I shut the door behind me and try to think how my life wasn’t always like this. My weight is too much for my legs to bare anymore. I fall to my knees. I feel the tears begin to stream down my face and I realize I have never felt so
So . . . numb.
Its Thursday morning and I don’t wake up, that’s because I haven’t gone to sleep yet. I haven’t slept in days.
I haven’t cut since last Monday. Lie I cut last night.
Because of her I won’t say anything though.
For the past few days I haven’t felt anything. I have been numb.
For the past few days it’s been cold and
I must force myself to get out of bed.
As I get up the cuts burn. There are now six of them, each one carefully carved into my skin.
Getting dressed is a challenge for me today. As I look down the cuts are red. There is dried blood on the ace bandage I wrapped them in last night. Every step is hard to breathe due to the pain I have forced upon myself.
I take my time getting ready this morning.
I look different.
Everything is right.
I look in the full length mirror.
My hair is perfectly curled,
My make up is carefully put on,
My outfit is perfect,
And yet I don’t feel pretty, then again I don’t really care.
Then I lift up my shirt and take the bandage off.
I stare at the cuts.
I am amazed what being lost can do to you.
What I can do to myself.
I was never like this.
I never got lost.
I never strayed from the path.
I was never messed up.
Never sad, nor depressed.
I get to school, I see Aaron
I feel everything. I feel every hurt, every pain, every everything; right then I feel like Lawren.
As I enter my class room I notice I feel warm.
I haven’t felt warm in day’s maybe even weeks.
I sit in my seat and begin to day dream.
I somewhat hear an old lady’s voice in the background.
I ignore it.
How did last night play out? How lost was I? Was I even lost at all?
Yeah, I was.
The bell suddenly rings and its time for gym class.
I see Aaron.
The first question he asks me is have I cut lately, I of course say no but that’s a lie.
Aaron looks so proud of me. He leans down and gives me a hug. His arms could wrap around me twice if he tried. I feel so safe here, in his arms. Like nothing can hurt me.
Like I could never get lost, right here.
But as he holds me tighter I am taken back by the pain the cuts have caused me and I take a deep breath in.
Aaron backs away. I can feel my heart pounding out of my chest.
“You didn’t…” There was a moment of silence. I quickly realize there is no way of getting out of this.
“Aaron I’m sorry I-“
“No you lied to me!”
“I’m sorry I just don’t know what to do.”
“It’s the dreams isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” I say in a quite voice
My stomach drops and my eyes begin to fill with tears. My legs will not move. I’m stuck standing there, tears in my eyes.
The dreams, I think to myself.
The dreams that are tearing my world apart.
Every night the dreams come back of him.
The monster that was my step dad.
The guy who ruined me.
I just wish I could disappear. I no longer want to be here.
I look at Aaron.
“I will get help.” I lie again.
It’s becoming a habit it seems, this whole lying thing.
“How can I trust you?”
I guess I deserve that.
I think Aaron is trying to say something to me, but I can’t hear him.
As I continued to stand there I realized that I was numb.
I did not feel.
I did not see nor hear.
I did not think.
I stood, silent.
I do not answer.
My hands shake.
I stare into space. I don’t pay attention to the voice speaking to me.
“What is wrong now?”
Now? I finally acknowledge the voice. “Now?’
“Yes, what is wrong now?”
now? I ask myself. I mean what isn’t wrong? “Nothing I’m fine.” Lie.
“No, you’re not.” Truth
I don’t know the person talking to me.
There face is a blur.
I’m still numb, still I’m lost.
I look up and study the face. It’s Cassie.
“Now?” I repeat to her?
“Oh my gosh, yes!”
“Is there always something wrong?”
“Uh, with you? Yes.”
She’s right there is always something wrong. I have to put on my best smile. The smile I had on before my dad left the first time. I start to drift off I’m my mind about the past. I start to think back when there was nothing but yelling in my home. I hid in my room hoping it would stop. I held a picture of my parents close to my heart hoping one day they would look as happy as they did in that picture. I’m not sure why my dad left; I never got the full story. I never did ask though.
When did I get here?
There are cuts on my arm, where did those come from?
How long was I lost in my thoughts? It seems it’s been three hours. Is that even possible?
I look to my left and see a piece of glass shinning in the natural light that comes through my window. The light is showing all of the red that has been put there. The red is a reminder that I am ok now. I will be ok . . . until tonight when the lights are turned off and everyone has closed their eyes for the night. My eyes will just be waking for the first time today and I think about everything in my past.
Cassie is right about there always being something wrong. Maybe I need to go somewhere, where I don’t bother people. I need to go where nobody can see me, somewhere far away. Maybe I should disappear.
But maybe not.
In a matter of twelve minutes I am numb.
Once again my mind cannot concentrate on anything but what is going on in my head.
I cannot really describe the feeling of being lost. It’s a different feeling every time. What I can explain is the feeling you get when you look down at your cuts and know why every single one is there. You think what thought or memory made you so upset that you had to go to those extremes just to feel ok again. Just to feel like you’re alive.
Being lost makes me want to disappear to go somewhere where no one can see me or ask me what is wrong.
My stomach hurts.
My head pounds.
The heart inside of my chest beats quietly.
My palms are moist.
My eyes close.
What time is it? I open my eyes and look at the clock. It is 8:13, how long was I asleep?
I can’t remember.
My mind is racing and I can’t think straight.
Who is talking?
Yeah, that sounds right.
I look at Cassie straight in the eyes. She smiles at me.
My hair is a mess and I am wearing sweats and a tank top.
There are is sweat falling from my forehead.
“Sorry I look so rough.”
“So…” I say.
“Allie told me…” Cassie’s face goes pale.
“Told you what?”
“Your cuts.” She paused. “Look you have to –“
Begging her I say, “Please don’t lecture me.”
“Sorry.” Things become silent “why? Why are you doing this?”
“I don’t know.” Lie.
I know exactly why I cut myself. I know the exact reason why my life comes crumbling down at night. I know why I force pain upon myself. I know why I feel so alone and so scared constantly. The answer is simple really, I am messed up. Plain and simple. Things are different now. My family is different. What I mean by that is my life isn’t like most peoples. My parents didn’t have a happily ever after, they had the opposite. See, my mom had me at 20 years old and my parents were not married. When I was three however, they did marry, but soon divorced. My parents had one more kid which is my brother Ryan.
“There has to be a reason.” Cassie ads.
“No, really, I am not really sure.” Lie.
“Do your parents know?”
“Um . . . that would be a no.”
“Well you have to tell someone. Maybe a consular or a teacher? ”
“No I really don’t actually. I am fine; it’s not like I’m going to like kill myself or anything.”
“You say that with such casualty. Does your life even mean anything to you?”
“Yes it does.”
“Then stop doing this to yourself!”
“I can’t! Trust me I have tried on multiple occasions!”
“You need to try harder. You need to tell an adult or a consular or someone who can help you!”
I can feel my throat get tight and my eyes fill up with tears. I jump out of my bed.
“You don’t understand, nobody understands!”
“Trust me I do!”
“I promise you have no idea.”
“You wanna bet?” she pauses and takes a deep breath in. “you wake up in the morning and you don’t wanna get up because you don’t see the point? You don’t bother dressing nice cause who cares, right? And when you’re ready for bed your mind begins to race and you don’t sleep for days? That sounds about correct wouldn’t you say?”
I am shocked. “How do you know that feeling?”
“Because I feel the same way.”
She and I make a pact. That as soon as one of us gets help the other will fallow. But what if neither of us gets better. What if we are both lost . . . forever.
Waking up on the cold hardwood floor shakes you up. See I am not sure how I got here.
There is blood on a razor
And blood on my sleeve.
I am not sure what happened and I am not sure I would like to know.
What I do know is that this, me lying on this floor, shivering, cold, and alone, is rock bottom.
No matter how many people say they care it doesn’t matter.
No matter how many people say they love you, it doesn’t matter.
All that matters is . . . well nothing.
No one sees me or the pain I am in. it’s as if I am invisible and part of me likes it that way.
I hear the fist hit my door. Each sound wave makes my head pound. The voice of my father saying “get up” makes my heart beat quicker knowing very well I can not get up, I am stuck her on my own, until my dad walks in and sees me. I look at him. I take a deep breath in before trying to speak to get the words I need to get out. “Dad… I am so sorry.”
I can see my dad’s face go blank.
There is nothing I can say to fix this.
I feel a weight sitting on my chest and there is no way I can get it off.
I will just be here like this for a while, not knowing how to handle what lies in front of me. I can hear my dad sniffle as he bends down to pick me up. “No I’m sorry.” My dad’s voice sounds so reassuring to me. In my dad’s arms I fall asleep. I am so tired from my life I just want to sleep. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to think, I would just like to lie in my bed and close my eyes, but my dad won’t let me. Instead he goes on and on about how this is his fault and part of it may be, but that’s not why I don’t even remember last night. I don’t remember because I simply don’t want to remember. No one wants to remember all of the pain they were in the night before. No one seeks out the misery they feel. So why try and remember what happens at night anymore. So I just sleep until my dad wakes me with my step mother standing beside me. She has plenty of tissues to wipe the mascara from under her eyes.
“Honey,” my dad speaks in a calm voice. “We need to talk.’
I sit up. I am so sore from all of the cuts. I have a grand total of twenty six cuts spread over my body. “Ok” I sound like I am in pain and that’s because I am.
“Well we are going to take you out of school for now.”
“You’re joking, right?”
“Don’t you think that will just make me sadder?” I think they expect me to be balling in tears, but I won’t. I don’t really care anymore wither I go to school or not. See at rock bottom you stop caring about things like school. “Will I be able to see Aaron?”
“No, it’s best if you too stay apart for now.”
Now I could feel my face become hot and my hands start shaking I feel like I am going to explode. My breathing becomes erratic and my cuts stop hurting.
“No you can’t do this! NO! NO! NO!” I yell at my parents.
“Honey you need to calm down, I don’t think you can handle school right now. Plus this was his idea. He told us something was wrong and we just didn’t believe it and now . . . “
“Please don’t do this.” My body quickly gets out of my bed. I stand, but I can barely do that simple task. I can feel each tear stream down my face. I can hear every heart beat as I pace around my room. My hand are pulling on my hair.
I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know what to say.
I can feel the room begin to close in on me.
I need to get out of here before I collapse.
I can feel myself loosing control.
My whole body is shaking and I can’t seem to slow down. I run out of my room and I run as fast as I physically can outside to where the main road is. My dad is chasing me, but I try and out run him. At the same time I can’t help but think that my parents are right.
I can’t handle this anymore.
I can’t handle this life period.
Maybe I shouldn’t live it anymore. My heart begins to race faster as I run harder to the edge of the road.
I see the cars in front of me zooming by. They are all going above the posted speed limit. I am right next to the street.
My mind races about all the things that have gone wrong in my life.
I have so much to live up to.
My step dad he, he, he hurt me!
My dad left us.
Me and my mother and my other siblings moved every year.
I see my life flashing before my eyes. Everything is falling into place right now. Everything I have been through is playing out right before my eyes.
My right foot steps into the street. I can hear my heart beating in my ears. Its soon played out as my ears begin to ring. My mind starts to race again with questions
Do I step out?
Do I go back?
Do I look back?
No, I will step out, never looking back.
My left foot steps into the road
I break my own rule and look back.
My dad stands there on his knees with tears in his eyes.
I break my other rule and I go back.
Scratch that I run back.
I see my dad open his arms and I run straight into him. As soon as he hugs me I feel a slight happiness come over me. All I can think now is
Waking up and feeling happy is different as I look out of my window.
The sun makes my eyes squint.
The weird thing is I don’t care.
I used to only like dark.
Seeing light however makes me notice the world is so different. There are birds chirping. There are kids playing at the park down the street.
Then there’s me.
I’m in a room with no friends, no sharp objects, and no Allie.
Is that a good thing?
Is it a bad thing?
I haven’t had time to really take this all in. The thought of not going to school anymore is truly shocking but at the same time relieving. Never in my life have I felt that nothing bad can happen to me. Things can only go up from here.
My cuts are finally scabbing over and I have thrown away all of the razors I had hid away in my bathroom. Handing those over to my parents was scary, but as I sit in this room looking out the window I know that it was the right choice.
I will never look back.
I will only look forward,
To the future.
Where my dreams may finally come true even though I don’t quit know what they are.
It’s been three long weeks since I hit rock bottom.
It’s been three weeks since I lost everything.
It’s been three weeks since I gave up.
Things are different now.
I am different now.
I feel that my dad doesn’t look at me the same and maybe that will change with time and I really hope so.
For now I sit in this room looking out the window,
Waiting for something to finally happen.
This I my time now. It’s my time to make something happen for me now.
Thinking back to the days where I didn’t know where I was headed seems like a lifetime ago.
As I lay my head back down on my pillow a smile creeps on my face. I am not sure why it is there, but I like it.
I hear a knock at my door and it’s my dad telling me good morning. I have never been truly happy to see my dad. I pull the warm covers off my already warm body and stand.
I must have gotten up to fast because my vision is blurred and the room spins.
Maybe that’s also due to the fact I haven’t eaten anything in a few days.
There have been a lot of tears lately.
A lot of doctor visits.
A lot of healing.
As I use my father as a crutch to walk out to the living room he says that he must talk to me. I can’t imagine what he has to talk to me about. Maybe that I’m not making progress or maybe that I need to get out more.
It’s the complete opposite of both.
“Lawren, you are really making some progress and I want you to know I am so very proud of you.” There is a pause. My dad takes a deep breath in. his brown eyes scan the room. Almost looking for an exit incase he must escape his own daughter. “But, we want to . . . there will be no more reality television. No more Facebook and no more cell phone.” There is another pause. “But just until your better.”
My dad may need that exit as I feel my blood pressure rise and my eyes swell up.
I want to scream.
I need to scream.
I need to breathe.
So I do, I breathe in and out. Repeat. In and out. I pick up my head and look my father in the eyes.
His face shows relief as if he wasn’t expecting that. I can’t blame him I wasn’t expecting that ether.
Maybe things are different, maybe I’m different.
Why are these things he has just taken from me making my breathing harder and my heart beat faster? Was I that addicted?
Was that a factor of my downfall?
My mind starts to wander about me and my precious luxuries in life. My phone, my Facebook, and reality TV were the things I lived off of and now there gone. I remember watching Teen Mom and thinking “Wow that must be normal.” But it isn’t. Every thirty seconds I checked my phone to see if someone texted me back and when no one did I felt defeated. Then there was my Facebook. I guess I was one of those friends that everybody just wanted to delete, because I was the person whose status was always sad song lyrics, but that was just how I felt. I didn’t do it for attention. I didn’t do it cause I thought they were good song lyrics, I did it because that’s what I felt.
I was so low.
And so hopeless,
But now what am I? Without those things what defines me? What makes me, well me?
That feeling of no knowing who I am makes me scared of my future and what it may hold. I can barley think anymore and before I know it I come back from my thoughts my dad is no longer sitting by my side. I get up and walk over to the window and his car is gone. There is no one in the house with me. I’m all alone with my thoughts. I am not sure how I feel about being alone. My heart begins to pound right out of my chest and my breathing becomes erratic. I feel as if I am not in control of what my body is doing. I fall to my knees.
What’s happening? Is this what a heart attack feels like, I think to myself. Is this what will always happen when I am alone with my thoughts? Will this feeling go away?
I see everything in the room spin in circles above my head.
My head hurts, everything hurts. There is no one here with me. I am all alone.
I need help!
I need someone!
I need anyone!
My heart begins to slow and my mind starts to go into a melt down. I can’t think anymore. I have lost control. I can’t seem to move. I’m stuck on this floor.
I try to yell but nothing comes out. I can’t reach for a phone. My arms are glued to my chest. I can’t feel anything. I try and look around the room but my eyes are staring at the ceiling. I can feel the room begin to close in on me. Then things go black and when I wake up I’m in a hospital bed. There is a nurse around me checking my vitals. Making sure I am alive. Making sure I’m breathing. I am not sure how I got here, but I begin to feel that feeling again and my heart begins to pound.
“Lawren calm down. We need you to take deep breaths. Breathe in and then out.”
I do as instructed. I feel no relief. That’s when I see my dad and suddenly I come to a halt in my heart pounding, difficulty breathing, attack. My breathing slows as does my heart. I feel safe now, I feel ok.
My dad looks at me. His face looks concerned, but I can’t blame him for that look, for that feeling he is probably experiencing. I am concerned myself. I have no idea what’s going on with my body. Maybe this has nothing to do with my body maybe its all in my head. My dad walks over to me and takes my hand and I see his eyes water up.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” I look into his eyes and try to guess his next words, but I can’t.
“I love you so much Lawren.” I guess I could have guessed that was coming. The pain his eyes grows with no signs of slowing down.
“I love you too.” There is a silence for a second. My father’s eyes look at the tiled floor. Then I see a tear hit the ground. It makes a sound and it may be the loudest sound I have ever heard. “Dad what’s wrong?” there is another silence when my father picks his head up and looks at me and says, “I’m so sorry.”
I can feel the build up of tears in my eyes. “For what?” I get those words out before the tears begin to come.
“For not staying with you.” The words hurt my heart. My dad is not to blame for this. How was he supposed to know this would happen?
My father gets up and paces around the room. I watch each step he takes afraid his feet will take him out the door and I will be alone . . . again. My throat is sore from fighting back all the words I feel I need to say. My heart hurts because I know I should say them. My head hurts because I know I shouldn’t. Finally, my heart takes over and I clear my throat. “Dad?” I pause to see if he answers back, but he doesn’t he just looks at me with his brown eyes, tears flood them. “Don’t leave.” Two very simple words spill out of my mouth and there I am,
In a hospital bed,
With my dad,
The next morning I wake and look out my hospital window. It’s sunny. The sun hurts my eyes as I try and look down from the seventh floor of the hospital. Then I notice my dad. He is not in the room with me is down at ground level. Arguing with my step-mother. Probably what to do about me considering I can’t be left alone. I can’t tell what words are being exchanged between the two of them. All I see is,
And my father.
Coming back up here for me.
The sight of my father coming back makes me cold. I walk over to my hospital bed and get under the covers. I turn on the TV to make it seem like I just got up. The first show that comes on is LIVE with Regis and Kelly. I try to laugh at the things they are saying, but I can’t help but think about what I just saw.
I do not turn my head in case it is a nurse. I don’t want anyone but my dad with me now.
“Lawren?” I can hear his footsteps nearing my bed side. I can feel his breathing getting closer to me. Then I fell him kiss my forehead. “Morning.” He puts on a smile. I keep looking straight not wanting to see what emotions fill eyes.
Never happiness, how could there be happiness.
I feel my fathers hand on my chin. He turns my head to look at him. My eyes stay focused on the show.
“Look at me please.”
I hesitate but I look him. Never right in the eyes I am to scared of what I might see.
I am so scared to see what pain I have caused.
The thought makes me hold on to my pillow. Squeezing it until my hand hurts. When I look into my fathers eyes, I see just one thing.
Not necessarily hope in general, but hope just for me. One whole feeling just for me. I have been looking for that for a long time and now its right in front of me. Right in my fathers eyes.
“Were gonna get you better. I promise.” My dad speaks in a solemn tone.
“Pinky swear?” I hold up my pinky to my father. His warm hands fold over until just his pinky is up.
“Pinky swear.” This is where I think everything will be fine, but I would be deceived.
I look at the door and Aaron stands in the door way. We make eye contact for one second and then he is gone. Again. I turn my head to my father and tears stream down my pale face. “Did you invite him?!”
“No, we didn’t even tell him you were here.” I know my dad is telling the truth, but I cant seem to forgive him anyway.
“I never want to see him. You can tell him that next time he drops by.” I look out the window where clouds have covered the sky. I can see that a storm is coming and I couldn’t be happier.
Seems like hours since I have seen another person. I don’t really mind though. Gives me time to think about everything. Lately my train of thought goes to Aaron and why he came. This is his entire fault. He is the reason I am in this hospital in the first place.
“Uh, Lawren Lewis?”
There is a tall man standing at my door. He is wearing a black pinstriped suit. And he looks, scary? I pull the covers up over my chest and answer “Yes?”
“Hello, my name is Damien Stevens I am from Snowden.”
My parents are dead to me. “That’s where to crazy people go right?”
“No. It’s to help young people overcome their depression and anxiety. I understand you struggle with both. I just want to ask you some questions.”
“Please ask away.” I say under my breath
“Great, my first question is why are you here in the hospital.”
That one questions sends my head into hyper dive. I can see everything that happened leading up to the black out. The heavy breathing,
The heart pounding,
The almost end.
“I had a panic attack.” I answer in a defensive tone.
“What brought on this attack?”
What brought it on, the feeling of being alone. The knowledge rather lack of knowledge of not knowing who was coming back or what was to happen to me now. I felt so defenseless. I was paralyzed. “I don’t know.”
“Lawren, you can be honest with me. This stays between me and you.”
“No it doesn’t, you go back to that place and feed this to all the doctors who will then determine how crazy I am!” after I finish my rant I realize I am yelling. I see two nurses come in. Damien waves them away and once again it’s just me and him.
“Lawren, try to understand, we are trying to help you.”
Even if this guy is telling the truth I cant help but call him a liar. “I know.”
“Now is there anything that has happened in your past that has been traumatic. Maybe a divorce or something?”
Instantly my mind goes to him.
My step father.
He and my mother met when I was ten. I thought he was nice.
I thought he would be a new father figure.
I was wrong.
I feel so empty as my past is fresh in my mind. This feeling is something I haven’t felt before. I feel as if I am there in the car on my way home. When something happened. Something you only read about in news papers.
His hand slipped.
I thought it was an accident. I didn’t say anything I just laid there.
I don’t remember what was going through my mind that night. All I know now is the thunder, it hurts me and I must have some light as I fall asleep.
“Yeah, a divorce.” I answer the question.
“Great lets move on.”
“Great.” I can feel the cold between us.
“You seem like your holding back are you positive nothing else has happened.”
I don’t know why I don’t just say something. This would be a good chance. To just lay it out there,
No judgment, just help. Something is telling me not to say anything but I can feel my mind think before I have time myself to process what comes out of my mouth. “My step father.” My voice is hesitant. He hears that.
“What about him?” I can feel him staring at me, waiting for a response. Instead of words however, tears come. I have never felt so sad before right now. I have never processed what happened that night.
“He hurt me.” I am able to get three words out before I loose it and I call for my father. But when my father comes in he surprises me. He takes my hand, smiles and says “Just be honest.
Honest, that’s something I haven’t really been all about right now.
“What did he do?”
I look at my father for reassurance and then speak “He . . . uh . . .”
“He molested her.” My father steps in knowing I will never be able to truly say it without help. There is a pause.
“Well, thank you for being honest.”
I nod. “Anything else?”
“Yes, have you ever hurt yourself?”
This time I don’t look at my dad I feel it in myself to say “Yes.” I pull up my sleeve and show what I have done. I can hear him make a small gasp.
“Ok well that will be all from me.”
I smile and he leaves. Then, my dad shuts the door. “You ok?”
“Yeah I’m fine. Just a little shaken from the questions.” I look down at my hands and try to avoid eye contact.
“You did the right thing by telling the truth.”
“I didn’t you told the truth I can’t even say what he did to me. You would think after all the dreams I could say it. Yet when the question comes up I go blank and my voice just stops working!”
“Honey, it’s not your fault.”
“I just want to be alone right now.”
My father nods and exits. Now once again I look at my window.
Once again I am alone with my thoughts.
Once again I can feel my mind race.
He was suppose to protect me. Instead something else happened.
We were in the car.
Its was raining.
The thunder and lighting kept coming when I laid my head down by my step fathers lap. I felt his hands scratch my back. A comforting feeling. I began to drift off when I felt the hand of the person I had come to trust slide down to my bottom.
Why did I trust him?
When I was ten he was so wasted my mother and I went to go pick him up and he slammed my mothers head in the car window.
I remember yelling and hitting the window begging him to stop.
And he did.
But I did not beg him to stop when his hand slowly slide down further.
My stomach was dropping and my brain was going blank when I turned over to my back. That’s when his hand went right over my shorts.
I quickly turned over making sure to never make a sound.
I suddenly sit up straight. The words that are trying to come out won’t. I want to say please stop. Don’t do it again, but then again I knew what he could do to me. I saw what he did to my mother.
“I don’t feel well.” I tell my step father. He says we can make a stop at the next gas station. I feel as if I am going to be sick at any moment. When we make it to the gas station I quickly go and lock myself in the bathroom. When I calm down I ask to sit in the back, none of my brothers will switch with me. When we all load back in the car, I lay down again. I fake going to sleep, hoping he will leave me be.
I was wrong.
I stare at the hardwood floor. I trace the lines with my eyes. I haven’t looked up from the floor in a while. I am so mesmerized by what my floor offers. It has been three weeks since the dramatic fall out of what used to by my life. Things are different now. Things are quieter.
I guess that is a good thing right now. I probably cant handle to much because of the state I am in. I am not sure what that state is exactly. There is always something lately that is holding me back from really trying to be happy. Why should I have to try and be happy? Shouldn’t that just come naturally? Shouldn’t I be able to wake up with a smile and go on my way? Not worrying about what thing might suck me in and make me sad. It seems like it’s the little stuff now. Watching one of my favorite shows can send me into a tail spin of sad thought and regrets about my life. I wish things weren’t like this, but they are and I am trying my best to accept that.
As I look at the floor I fight an urge and lift my head.
My neck aches from the force of movement.
When I look up I don’t see much. I see a mirror.
I am looking at myself.
I can’t describe how I look.
See, none of those seem right. Maybe they are but they aren’t how I feel exactly. I do feel somewhat happier.
I do feel now.
My family from Utah is coming to visit for spring break. It seems as if they have a picture perfect family. Both parents are together. They have three beautiful children. And they all look so happy. I do love my aunt Morgan. I only met her about six months ago, but me and her have really hit it off I must say.
It’s nice to have visitors when your all alone all day.
When you have no one to turn to but your parents.
I hear the doorbell ring and know right then who must be at the door and I couldn’t be more excited.
I see the kids and Morgan and immediately know this will be a great visit.
We talk about dinner plans and decide on Chinese, always a family favorite. My father and I always order the exact same meal. General chos chicken with white rice.
Morgan and I offer to go pick it up. As we buckle our seat belts one question comes out of her mouth.
“What have you been up too?”
how do I answer that question? “Well home school mostly.”
“And why are you being home schooled?”
I can feel the conversation get very serious right then. “I couldn’t handle school.”
Oh no, “I was, uh, physically hurting myself.”
“Because I was sad.” I don’t really know what she wants to hear.
“Just school and my parents, and life.”
“Well, you know I have struggled with depression myself.”
Those two words made me feel so, uplifted to know someone like my aunt who seems like she has it all can struggle with such heart ache. Does this mean there is hope for me? Does this mean that one day I can have a family and be,
Does this mean that this far fetched dream of making it is possible? It must mean this. it must mean that there is hope. It must mean that me, Lawren can change. That me Lawren can be different.
When we return from picking up the food Morgan parks the car on the street, but does not turn off the car just yet. Morgan looks at me. “I have something for you.”
“ok?” I reply.
“I was praying about this for a while now. And I kept having this recurring thought to give this to you. It’s called personal progress.”
“What is it?”
“Well its something that the young women do in the church to help them grow and to become closer to heavenly father. Now you don’t have to take it, but maybe you should look over it maybe do some of the readings.”
I wasn’t sure at that moment what I was getting into but I gladly took the booklet. “Thank you.”
When we walked inside I went straight to my room and threw the three books I was given on my bed and shut the door. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with them or what they were even for. I just knew Morgan wanted me to look over it, so I thought I would.
Going to Utah for the first time was defiantly an experience. As I was looking up at all the trees as we pull into the house I knew this week would do something for me and I wasn’t sure what it was.
As I walked into the house I immediately felt a sort of comfort. I felt safe like nothing could hurt me here. Not even my thoughts. These seemed to be following me everywhere these days.
It’s weird having this feel of warmth and safety.
It’s not something I am used too.
Cold and dark is what I am used to.
There are no hardwood floors to suck me in and fallow the lines until I snap out of it and look up at myself in the mirror.
Instead there is warm carpet.
I take my shoes off and step out on the carpet. The floor is not cold. It is not scary to me. Nothing about this is scary to me. It’s exciting, this feeling going on inside of me. Is this happiness? No it can’t be.
It’s too soon.
I need to snap out of this dream world that I am describing to myself. I need to come back down to reality and know that it’s too early to feel such happiness. It’s to early for me to feel, right?
I am just not sure.
I help my uncle carry down my bags to the basement where I would be staying.
I explore the basement.
When I walk into a room filled with ribbon, fabric, and every arts and crafts thing you can imagine, I see my aunt. She is walking around the room as if she is on a hunt for something. “What are you looking for?” I ask.
“I am taking all sharp objects out.”
“Did my parents tell you to do that?”
“No.” I can feel her voice become serious. “I just want to make sure your not tempted.” Her voice becomes softer, gentler. I try to keep eye contact, but I can’t.
“Tonight I have to go to a thing for church; it’s with the young women. Would you like to go?”
I think about going for a moment, but quickly come up with a reason to say no. “I would feel awkward, you go.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah I’m sure.”
My aunt quickly leaves to go to the church event and it’s me, my uncle, and the kids. I breathe in and out looking right and left. I try to make connections with the pictures on the wall. They were picture perfect.
Blonde hair, blue eyed family.
Part of me is jealous of all they have another part hopeful that one day I can be that happy. As for now my sleeves are pulled down and all the secrets from my past are hidden under this thick skin. Through these thoughts I try to make sure I never get to lost and I keep my balance on this tight rope I’ve been walking ever since my dad saved me. The kids want to play but all I want is sleep.
To close my eyes and leave for awhile.
Maybe this wasn’t a good idea, coming here. I’m away from my dad.
No, I will be fine. They are family. . . But they don’t know the whole story of how I lost all hope and how everything I had built came crashing down as I went with it. The doctors thought this trip would be good for me. They fed me good feelings and a sort of calm in the form of a pill. I am in a house where all sharp objects have been hidden and even though I feel like I could scream in this house, I feel safe.
To warm to be cold.
To happy to be sad.
I go to sit on the couch with my cousin under a quilt that my aunt has carefully made just from him. It’s his favorite colors, Blue and green. I ask him if he is ok and he tells me he doesn’t feel well. His head tilts and rest on my chest. His breathing is calm and his worries aren’t there. Watching the TV I begin to drift off.
I wake up to the sounds of kids laughing and playing. I smell melted cheese and tortillas.
That is my favorite. I stretch from out slowly standing from the couch and walk into the kitchen. My uncle asks me if I want my quesadilla cooked in the microwave or on the stove it’s an easy answer over the stove. For a while we sit and joke about my family and then it’s time to eat. With ever spoon full that I swallow it warms my body. I’m finally at once warm and awake. Maybe its time now I start to live. Its all I have ever wanted . . . just to live. One bite, food for thought. Nothing to extreme just a bite that made me want to live.