<<<<WARNING: THIS STORY MAY CONTAIN TRIGGERS FOR SOME>>>>
I spent a long time with a man that made me feel like nothing. And here I am…smelling of sex and emptiness. But the man is far greater this time around. So, the nothing that I have become is more nothing than any nothing I’ve ever felt. How did I get here?
I must not have been bred of strong stock. Maybe my mother, and her mother, and the mothers before her all lacked the basic component for fulfillment…for appreciation of oneself. My mother did marry young and her husband strayed from her from the start. She carried and raised three children on her own while her husband spent his nights in the arms of lovers that were not her. She sought vengeance by doing the same. But that kind of vengeance leaves a nothing all of its own. Her mother, my grandmother, also raised three children alone. But the kind of nothingness that her first husband brought also came with bruises and threats to the nothing that was her life. Both of these woman went on to leave the nothingness behind and find new love. Love that would hopefully fill the void left by its predecessor. So, how did I get here?
Who knows? Was it the playground banter, teasing the smallest in the class? Was it the bully trying to stuff me in the trashcan after lunch? Or was it my father who never seemed to believe that I could do anything that I wanted to do? Endless support for the backup plan. Or was it my mother who never failed to point out when the boys were looking? Who knows. Maybe the nothing was there all along.
When I was young, I can’t remember if I was headstrong or submissive. My mother says I was always a good child but I know I was feisty sometimes. I was an only child with parents almost too old to sire me. This was a perfect storm for social awkwardness. My parents rarely spoke or showed affection in front of me. When they did speak, my father was quiet and conservative and my mother was brazen and loud leaving me to wonder who I should be. Should I be either? Both? Sometimes I wish I could chose neither. Sometimes I wish I had been raised by people with great charisma, people who loved to talk and socialize and throw parties. Then perhaps I wouldn’t constantly ask myself what I have done wrong. I always feel as though I’m doing it wrong. All wrong. But would my upbringing really change any of that? How much of us is our parents and how much is just us? So many questions. Too many. I wish sometimes I could shut it all off. Just drift away into the nothingness I have become. Sometimes I tie a pretty, silky tie around the bathroom doorknob just to see. It seems to be a very peaceful way to go. Just let the breath leave and never come back. Nothing.
The first time I felt the nothing was in a college dorm. College was not in session. It was summer. Campus was empty except for the few dorms taken up by the hockey team training there. I don’t know if I said no. I remember being cold even though it was summer. I remember all the matching wood furniture. I remember the thin carpet over concrete underneath my bare feet. I remember the feel of the cheap sheets on the plastic dorm mattress. I don’t remember if I said no or if I screamed it or if I said nothing. I remember seeing all of those faces staring at me while it was happening, encouraging what was happening to happen some more. Then there was nothing. I drifted away somewhere in my mind. Then it was over. It was awkward. I remember it being very awkward after. I remember him covering himself with his hands and me wondering if he had some horrible disease to hide. I remember thinking it’s too late now. Nothing.
The second time the nothing made an appearance it came in the form of my boss. It started as tiny nothings. A misplaced hand, requests for forgotten things in the business office, a dirty knowing smirk…tiny nothings really. The bigger nothing came in the storage room with the locked door and the lights turned out. Nowhere to run. No way to escape. Nothing.
The third time…the third time was just my fault really. After so many nothings I tried filling myself up with pills. Not all at once. My nothing was surprisingly not that deep yet. Just enough to put a velvety silky feel to everything. Enough to smooth over all of the wrinkles that had been keeping me awake at night. All those peaks and valleys. The pills helped smooth everything over into one big nothing. A nothing in which I did not have to think. But those pills came at a price and that price was taken by force with a gun. Looking down into the dark empty hole of a gun. Into nothing.
It is true, I think, what they say about sex. Every partner takes a piece and leaves something behind. Much was taken and all that was left behind was nothing. Nothing filling all the dark corners of my soul until there was barely anything left. It is hard to feel, to sympathize, to care when you are full of nothing. I find myself socially awkward many times, not because my parents were too old to be lively conversationalists, but because I had so much nothing inside of me there was no room for new information. No room for caring about someone else’s heartbreak, someone else’s graduation…no room for new names or faces even. So when I had to speak to someone I was supposed to know it was awkward. I could not recall any personal detail about them...not even their name. It is still this way sometimes for me when the nothingness creeps back in.
The nothingness has crept back in. I feel the numbness already. I miss myself. I miss the girl who used to dance around naked after a shower just to embarrass her roommates while they were talking to their mothers on the phone. I miss the girl who could say, “Let’s go!” and hop in a car and drive until the sun was hot enough and the water big enough. I miss her. I miss feeling invincible. I miss the weightlessness of naivety. But the nothingness always comes back.
I spent a long time with a man who made me feel like nothing. The back of his hand brought sting and indignation…then nothing. My head slamming against the wall brought me stars…then nothing. The endless criticisms about my appearance, or my mannerisms, or my tastes, or my eating habits, or my anything…these brought self-righteousness…but then, also, nothing. There is always an initial fight in me. But when the fight is gone, that girl retreats. And she is replaced by nothing. A nothing so numbing I couldn’t hold a conversation if I tried. I can barely remember my own name when the nothing first comes. Eventually the nothing recedes enough to let something else in. But it is never far away. The nothing is always lurking.
Even when there is everything around me, the nothing still lurks. Ready to wash over me with the slightest of prompts. A little lie here. A little lie there. Hidden nuggets of truth buried in a shallow grave where the nothing will come out and wrap its cold fingers around my soul. It’s not his fault really. He doesn’t know of this nothing. The barely hidden truths are not meant to harm…I don’t think. My nothing makes me think those shallow graves of hidden truths are not meant to harm but more for self-preservation for this great man. But his distrust of me and my ability to handle these hidden truths brings the nothing back. It makes me welcome it’s folds…under the gauzy cloth of the nothing. I let the nothing take over so that I don’t have to think. Because I don’t want to think of all the nothings in my soul.
Last edited by veritywritten; 06-02-2015 at 08:52 AM..