Everything hurt. She had never known one could experience so much pain without there being something physically wrong. But one could. And she did. The ache went down through her bones. She would curl up in a ball and beg for it to stop. For the ache deep in her gut to stop wrenching and making her writhe. For the anxiety zinging through her body to stop torturing her. For her mind to stop the torment. But nothing stopped it.
She had stopped eating the day she walked out of the school. A forced bite here or there by a friend or her mother but the last thing on her mind. She didn’t think to shower. She didn’t know what she wore. Her hair hanging in shambles around her sullen face. Her eyes sunken in and dark around the rims. Makeup, hygiene, and anything but basic survival gone from her mind. Every moment was in slow motion and plagued with fear, regret, shame, hurt.
Her mother had taken her to the doctor to get medication to help. She was prescribed anxiety pills and sleeping pills. She’d always hated taking medications of any kind but at this point, she didn’t care. Whatever would help.
She spent the mornings wishing for the evening when she could take her sleeping pill and it would knock her unconscious. She spent the few hours where the pill worked its magic dreaming of good things. Of saving her job. Of being in the classroom. Of safety. Of smiling. And then her eyes would flutter open and the deep punch of the horrifying truth would slam her in the gut. Her eyes would fill with hot tears. And the searing pain would race through her body and she’d mutter, “No, no, no, no, no”. She hated that moment the most. The moment she realized her worst nightmares were reality. The moment she realized that no sleep nightmare could even come close to being as awful as her reality. And she dreaded the day. The endless amount of hours until she could again take a pill that forced her into nothingness for awhile.
His anger became worse with every passing day, her monsters. It wasn’t enough that her own mind plagued her relentlessly but he was always there to continuously shove the knives of shame and hatred in deeper. He would stand above her curled up body as she lay on the floor and throw scathing words at her. Pushing and nudging her with his feet if she didn’t react enough. Digging the edges of his shoes into her back to make his point. And she’d let him because she deserved it.
She’d wake up at night to him standing over her bleary eyed and drunk. Shrinking into the bedding or the floor, she would try to make him think she was still asleep and not to notice her. But he would just stand and stare until her eyes opened. Then the whispers of hateful words would spew from his mouth and he’d grab her arm with his fingers biting into it and force her to the stairs. Push her down. And the abuse would continue for hours.
She was terrified constantly in her home. But she knew what the monsters looked like within its walls. But outside of them? She was immobilized with the fear of what lurked outside those doors. She refused to step foot out the front. Even her driveway felt like a war zone. She locked herself up inside and awaited the onslaughts of her monster. What did the world think? What would it do to her? Where was she safe? She didn’t think she would ever be safe again.
And she shrunk. Physically from lack of food and nutrition. She took on the form of the skeleton she felt herself to be. Cheekbones becoming prominent. Eyes sunken in. Her clothing hanging off of her. And she shrunk mentally. From the endless tirade of accusation, doubt, fear, remorse, and more. She suffered at the hands of her monster. She suffered at the hands of herself. And she began fading away. Slipping into nothingness. And she wanted nothing more. She just wanted the pain to stop. She slid into the agony. She was disappearing…