Image: Kyle Thompson
I walk down swanston street in Melbourne's CBD. The wind is crisp and icy cold. It hits my skin and makes me feel something instead of this mind numbing pain I was still feeling. Its been two weeks since I removed myself out of the small boxed room I was living in West Perth. I was with my friend Summer. She was introducing me to the night life in the CBD. Even though I was 2727 kilometres away from home, I wasn't far enough from the pain I was feeling. The pain I left.
The vodka hits me all the sudden. The only reason I drink is to escape the pain. I know the self infliction that will hit me the next day. Spending many mornings with my head over the toilet bowl vomiting up diluted water and the left over food I ate in my drunken state the night before. I'm a mess. A comepletely pain driven mess that finds anything to make me feel something. Something that can escape a pain so severe you become numb if you try feel it all at once.
We were in 7/11. I don't even know how the pain surfaced but somehow my mind wandered to you. My friend saw I was becoming quite aggitated. So in my usual routine that comes with being severly black out drunk I decide to leave a voice message to you expressing how much you have hurt me. I know even expressing this you won't even come near knowing the amount of pain you cause me. This is just another battle of a symptom I have to try fight with 'mindfulness'. I know if you never existed in my life, I wouldn't be drunk dialling you at 2am after scoffing a sausage roll down to soak up all my alcohol consumption. I know if I hadn't met you I wouldn't have to seek for this never ending 'closure'. A chapter you closed without any acknowledgement or sincere apologise. Only apologises I have evever received were forced or 'I'm sorry but I was....".
The drunk dialling started coming to an end. I met Estelle. A psych who changed my life. I know along with my self help she guided me to find my inner peace. Sometimes I'm not sure if I have to 'convince' myself it wasn't the illness that got in the way of the loving relationship I had in my head of us two togther. I don't know if it's the illness why I feel the pain of my Dad's hand bruising me because I didn't do dishes a certain way he wanted them done. Or when he poured hot soup over my head when I was six years old because that day I couldn't eat all of it due to being full. Or if it was my fault my previous partner use to punch me square in the face because her anti-depressants and sleeping tablets were increasing her irrbilaty and because I was in her path, I coped it when I was trying to go to sleep soundly that night. I know now none of this was my fault. But for so long I was convinced it was.
I don't want to be a victim. In some situations beyond my control I am. I could be keeping to myself in my own house and I had to keep guard of what type of abuse I was going to 'cop' that day. A child trying to find their way in the world. A child who needed guidance.
I now know why I love so hardly in relationships. Especially the last one. My previous girlfriend had very low self esteem, which most people do. But I loved her regardless of the inner battle she was having with herself. I know what it's like to wake up and fight with yourself every single day and feel like you aren't enough. I wanted to make her feel like the most special girl in the world and I do believe I made her feel this way. I loved her like the love I never have had.
A change happened with me in Melbourne. The pain I was feeling in perth was so excruiatating I didn't even look up at my surroundings anymore. When I applied mindfulness I could be so much more aware. What the trees were around me, how green everything was. Food started actually tasting good again, not like big lumps forced down my throat. I listened to people better instead of dissociating so much that I felt like I was outside myself slowly watching everything disappear. I begun to feel alive again.
Life and happiness was momenterally good for me. I had things set, big goals to achieve. I started discovering bits about myself again. What I could tolerate, what I could do better. My positive reinforcements were saving my life and building a new resilience.
Then my happiness hit a halt again. I heard from you and when that happenes it's always an excruciating reminder of how you treated me. I start to panic. I feel small again, I feel suffocated. Confusion comes and I want to pick up the phone because I have so many answered questions. Things that have made me lose sleep. But there you are, sleeping soundly. There I am lost in the confusion state of torn emotions. New pain you inflicted on me after you knew everything I already carried. Another weight I did not need.
Coming back to an environment where I can't have a breath of fresh air is scary none the less. I just got off the plane and the smells in the air remind me of the summer I fought hard without you. Where I started to find that inner peace again you selfishly stole from me when you broke my trust. I'm just waiting for the lady to come pass me with your perfume on. It use to be the smell that comforted me the most. Now when I sense it, it makes my stomach flip and I become numb again.
I tried to contact you again. Possibly the 50th (??) account I've made but who's counting. I felt good being rational but then I remember you wouldn't read it. I remember no matter how many scars, expressions of pain, anger, sadness and despair you psychically see, that you will never, ever care the way I need you too. I'm the only one that can set myself free from the pain you improsioned me in.
I lay in the spare bed of my friends house quietly panicking if I have made the right choice or not. My anxiety has been so high the past four days I've lost my appetitite again. I close my eyes as I know tomorrow is a new day and I know I have the skills to be okay no matter how close or far away I am from the pain. I'm not sure if that's just me convincing myself again.