Homecoming

The trigger.

I had been a heavy pendulum, rapidly swinging from lamented fragmentation to utter confusion. I believe my breaking point had been on the hardwood floors, thudding my hands against the lenses of my eyes, trying to take control of my body… his hands on my shoulders trying to ground me.

The Rabbit. Hallucinations haunted me. Fear.

Sometime between talking to her on the phone and peeling myself from his arms, we had wielded a knife in his direction.

My mind was swimming with pieces of a memory I couldn’t grasp. Fleeting feelings would burst before my face, yet the shutter was too slow; I couldn’t capture the emotions nor the pictures.

Finally, the release.

The trigger.

I asked him to scare me. His hands wrapped firmly around my throat, slowly cutting off my oxygen. We had done this many times before… several times… then WHAM! His hand met my face. He had never slapped me that hard before. Instantly, my ears rang and I could hear children laughing in the distance… a playground?

(This has happened once before while we were in the middle of a scene. He had choked me to the brink of unconsciousness and I heard the laughter vividly. A piece of a memory…)

The trigger.

The laughter was fading. Not this time. I couldn’t keep doing this- running away from the trauma. I begged him to slap me again- hurt me- choke me- anything to chase the memory.

He did. My face burned and tears exploded out of me. Gradually… I began to remember.

A flashback: my face hitting the tile, the sound of his belt buckle clinking, the zipper, the feeling of him in my mouth…

Rogue, once strong and relentless, has been cemented in suicidality.

In this moment of rocking shut into a fetal position, the emotion would quickly dissipate until I felt numb. He wouldn’t let me dissociate. This is what I had been wanting. He pushed me and pushed me to chase the feeling, hunt it down, and fucking feel for once.

It was as if the room went dark. There was a sofa. I sat in the middle as a spotlight shown brightly on me. Rogue walked into the room, sat next to me, and looked forward at the memory. In front of us was our 14 year old body on the bathroom floor, being orally raped and thrown against the shower glass.

She showed me what happened as she carefully unraveled the memory from her oenomel. Rogue allowed me time to process one thing at a time- the feeling of his hands, the smell of blood, the sound of the zipper, the event itself… walking me through it with great compassion.

The film was over. This is what she had been hiding from me. I wasn’t ready until that particular moment. She kept it locked away because she loved me enough to hold on to it.

I hugged her and told her I loved her in our spotlight. I suppose, psychologically speaking, I was accepting my pain, myself, and my experience. It was the moment that I looked inward and told myself “I love you and you did nothing wrong.”

As I began to awaken from the flashback, I was guided by his voice behind me, “You are not a victim. You’re safe. None of this was your fault. I love you.”

I felt the flames settling on my skin- sizzling. The sadness melted away and all that was left was us. The system. The collection of immovable, determined persons.

And so I did what any survivor would do after reclaiming their experience:

I laughed and lit a cigarette.

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