Monday, February 2, 2009

#125 “I” Can Rescue Herself

When “I” was born, she didn’t cry. She lived in a squat with her mother for the first part of her life. After that, they lived in an abandoned farmhouse where “I” screamed at night and said there were farmers coming out of the walls. Then they got evicted and were homeless for a while. They lived with various friends and family until she was school age, when they got a council house. As a little girl, she made wheelbarrow gardens for ladybirds, fed digestive biscuits to pet snails, and had a hairclip as an imaginary friend (he was a crocodile). She was known as a daydreamer and found it hard to concentrate. When she was 12, she had an out-of-body experience while making toast. She floated above and behind herself, connected with all the world, looked at her mortal self from the past and the future. It only lasted a second. Later, she would remember it as a sign of hope before all her trouble began. Just after her 13th birthday, she went to China to visit her grandfather, who abused her emotionally and sexually while she was there. She was totally alone on the other side of the world, confused and terrified, and she felt as though her mind was going to flip. She made a conscious choice to stay sane. Back at school, the other kids noticed that she had become a frail and reticent creature and bullied her relentlessly. She did little schoolwork, but managed to gain both GCSE and A levels. She started going with her only proper boyfriend when she was 17 and pretty much lived with him and his mother for 2 years, sleeping on his tiny single bed. She fell in love with their dog, and took her for walks as often as she could. One of the most joyful times of her life was a holiday in Anglesey with her boyfriend and his family. When she was 19, she dreamed that she didn't love her boyfriend anymore, cheated on him, and broke up with him. She started taking drugs, all sorts, and drinking every single day. She moved in with a friend and spent all her time with her. They slept together, went to the bathroom together, everything. They were both terrified of being alone. After that, she flew to Australia by herself. While there, she made porn photos and a porn video because she needed money. After that, she flew back and went to Glasgow University, where she took more drugs and slept with various boys who knew nothing of her. She was trying to shed her identity. She came out of this period of her life with a nasty bout of genital warts and having been sexually assaulted again. At 21, she stopped drinking, smoking, and sleeping with people. She became afraid to leave the house and lost all confidence. Her despair grew until she went to a doctor who sent her to counseling. She spent the next year trying to reconnect with the girl she lost after her 13th birthday, but, eventually, realized that the real “I” was somewhere between that girl and everything that had happened since. Last year, she fell in love (unrequited) with a boy, who seemed to inhabit her dreams, accompanied by various animals. She felt a rare sense of trust and ease with him. Sometimes, she wishes he had rescued her. He didn’t, but now she sees that she can rescue herself.


maggie said...

Dear "I", Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. It is a reminder of the tenderness that we all deserve. And Dear Michael, Thank you for writing the story of "I". There's a sense to reading it, to that "I" possibly being all of us.

Jessie Carty said...

This is so heartbreakingly fantastic and hopeful at the same time. Wonderful!

ashley rice said...

she Can rescue herself, and I think that's what makes her story so inspiring.