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Last night...

Last night, I remembered pieces of my life.

Flashbacks raced nonstop for several hours, all throughout the night.

At 5 AM, I finally lifted my head from lucid nightmares to write them down:

AGE 10: I remember when I first started growing afraid of sleeping. Night didn’t scare me; the darkness didn’t even always scare me. But sleep—sleep terrified me consistently, & I avoided it at all costs. 9th GRADE: I remember the first time I saw scars on my body that had no explanation, the first time I saw a signifcantly sized blood stain on my baseboard with no known cause behind it. NOVEMBER 2009: I remember the way I was emotionally manipulated into bearing my soul to heartless humans. “The truth will set you free,” they said. “It will be your clean slate, a fresh start for us all,” they said. “I’ll take you on daddy-daughter dates every week & we will move forward to a better season of life,” he said. I finally confessed my “sins” to my parents as they had asked, & immediately the punishments were hurled: slave labour (manual farm labour, 8 hours/ day no breaks indefinitely), the police called, me driven to the homes of previous friends forced to rat them out to their parents & apologize for being a horrible influence on them & promising to change my ways; the list continued… & continued, & continued, for months & months & months. I remember the first time I overdosed in a sincere attempt to end my life. I’d collected vicodin from a very dumb boy at church & waited for the right time, where the world had already slipped away & I felt I had nothing more to lose. That night came early on during the second semester of 11th grade. I had sixteen pills in a bottle by my bedside. I was too loopy after taking twelve to even be able to swallow the four remaining horse pills—which is probably the reason I am alive today. APRIL 2011: I remember being curled up on a stranger’s kitchen floor crying as hard yet as silently as I possilby could to cope with the trauma of having just been raped & being unable to find a way home from the rapist’s house until the following morning. My boyfriend & best friend at the time were curled up on the couch, giggling & making out after having several hours of rough sex while I was being assaulted by my boyfriend’s best friend, the host of the party. No one believed me, & rather than comfort or even the slightest concern for me, all I received were threats from them to keep away. (There went my lunch table at school for my final months of high school. All our mutual friends gushed over her new boyfriend, having no idea of how they’d met…) MAY 2011: I remember hearing my abuser’s voice cheer my ex-best friend’s name at my high school graduation. She walked across the stage before I did, & with his voice ringing in my ears after the months of intense pain & misery he had brought into my life without permission, even my high school graduation is a traumatic memory when I look back on my life. Every ounce of me was boiling with furious rage & terrified sorrow, yet I had to confidently strut across that stage in front of hundreds of people without tripping in my high heels, smile on my face to prove to my parents that I’m still a child of theirs worth loving & investing in (because they needed consistent reminders or they’d completely lose sight of their faith in me). SEPTEMBER 2014: I remember when my dad first suggested being “tested” (evaluated is a more accurate term) for bipolar disorder… after it was 100% evident this had been on his mind since my episodes began in 2007. He only told me his thoughts regarding it after he had repeatedly verified that I was no longer his responsibility, his obligation, his chore anymore; that I was financially on my own (because I was choosing to move because I could tell living with my parents was a trigger I could no longer cope with whatsoever—not because I was legitimately ready to be cut off from all parental assistance & financial aid). Only once he knew he wouldn’t have to deal with it did he suggest what had obviously been on his mind for a very, very, VERY long ass fucking time. Once I was diagnosed & had spent 3 months finding a therapist after the move (long story) with my dad’s encouragement to do so, he cut me from insurance, & I could no longer see the therapist I was finally making progress with or have access to a psychiatrist for medications. MAY 2015: I remember when I was homeless, stripping just to afford food, had just been raped for the second time in my adult life, & had just ran out of the only psychiatric medication that was working—& I had to visit my shitty family for my brother’s completely fake wedding (they were already married & did it soley for appearances) pretending everything was completely fine. OCTOBER 2015: I remember stripping in eight inch heels full-time on a twisted ankle because I had no other choice to keep a roof over my head. AUTUMN 2015: I remember when I smashed through my neighbour’s door because she was being such an abusive bitch I couldn’t tolerate it & I dissociated & was trembling with terrified, blood-chilling FEAR because I was never ever ever a violent or physical aggressive person, even when I sincerely wanted & tried to be! I remember the relief when things were cleared up with the policemen I had immediately phoned about the incident. I remember asking them about my sexaul assault case & what might happen if I tried pressing charges—not even to get payback or justice, but to prevent this from happening to his next potential victim (I know for a FACT I was not his first). I remember the policemen agreeing it was pretty pointless to even try, even with evidence. I remember how devastated I was in authority in that moment: the landlord being unable to control his psychotic, abusive tennants while some such as myself attempted to live in peace, & law enforcement very calmly & casually explaining that I shouldn’t press charges against my most recent rapist. JANUARY 2016: I remember waking up on New Year’s Day to see my roommate leaving our apartment. He claimed to be going to return Christmas presents & would be back that afternoon to pay rent & the other bills he owed me & was behind on. It turned out he’d been planning to abandon me from the get-go, playing extremely emotionally manipulative mind games to win my loyal friendship & deep/genuine trust. He played me like a f*cking fiddle. We also worked together & he proceeded to spread rumours about how he had to leave because I was a lazy stoner who never cleaned or paid bills or did literally anything other than smoke marijuana; he said I was a disgusting deadbeat, basically, with endlessly vivid descriptions of how awful a person & roommate I was. (Of course, I didn’t find this out until everyone alread believed him, while I had kept my head down because I didn’t feel my drama was necessary at work; foolish me for treating strippers with maturity & respect. HAH. What a joke!) My boss proceeded to join the team of “Hurt Kristin” & promised to get the money that was owed & promising that these clearly inaccurate rumours would not affect my job whatsoever—both which turned out to be complete, absolute, devastating lies. JANUARY 2016: I remember I had finally made enough to cover rent after my roommate ditched me owing me easily over a thousand dollars. I had worked my ass off, dancing at the club so many hours that I walked home limping every single day. & then, a few days before I went to pay rent, my apartment burned down & I lost, quite literally, everything. JANUARY 2016: I remember when I signed an apartment lease in a state of literal complete shock. My apartment had just burned down, I had no one & nowhere to go, & my ONLY option was to sign a lease with the complex across the street without previewing the place if I wanted a roof over my head that night. The apartment was awful & that was genuinely the worst place I ever lived; I paid copious amounts of money to break the lease a couple of short months later. Every single beautiful reason to keep fighting has been stripped from me… Every thing that came along to revive my hope has been taken from me… Every reason for me to dare take a chance on optimism again has been ripped from me… All the “new friends” & promises to be there & commitments to help, disappeared without a trace, leaving behind only a hurting heart with a distorted mind, memory clinging to emotional experiences without the solid evidence, the details, the facts to back them up.

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