I’m not sure when or how it started. Just the feeling of cracking. Like when your windshield gets hit and cracks start to spider web out further. Another thing hits and the web cracks further. And then another and another until it just breaks completely. I thought about that windshield and how it must hurt, to have those cracks, to be hit so hard like that.
Now I realize that I am that windshield.
My mother cheated on my dad and left him for my (now) step-dad when I was 6. The divorce, which was messy and grisly, was finalized a year later. I had to watch the pain my dad went through to try and win my mother back fruitlessly. I didn’t like it, but my older siblings told me to shut up and think about mom and dad’s happiness.
And that’s what I did for the rest of my life. I kept everything to myself to save people from the truth of how I felt. Ignorance is bliss.
I kept quiet about my mother’s remarriage. I didn’t tell my dad how much it bothered me that his gf moved in our house. I tried to not take it personally when she called me names, discredited my accomplishments and yell at me. I pushed down my anger when her daughter would steal my things and my dad wouldn’t do anything about it. . .
No one really knew what was going on. I’d put on a show for friends and such. They thought my life was great, they loved my mother. She was the master of pretending to have a perfect life. She constantly criticized though. I didn’t do well enough, had to be better. In early teens, I was told how I’d be so pretty if I didn’t have acne. She’d tell me I needed a nose job. I need to wear more makeup. It wasn’t good enough to just be me.
I wasn’t the daughter she wanted. I didn’t play sports. I wasn’t a cheerleader. I wasn’t outgoing, I was introverted and shy.
When I was 12, my step-dad’s job transferred him to France. And I had to make a decision to go live with them or stay with my dad in America. I couldn’t bare the thought of living with my dad all the time, with his gf who hated me, her daughter who constantly stole my things and tried to get me to sneak out at night and drink and smoke. And my dad didn’t do anything with me anymore. He used to be a great dad. He’d take us to the library for hours, read to me at night, play catch. After the divorce, all of that stopped. After his gf, it was like I was invisible.
I went to live in France with my mother, step-dad and new half-sister. I never felt so alone. I didn’t speak the language, my english-speaking school was an hour away. I began to make some friends. Then one night I was tricked into going to a party. I was told it was a slumber party, girls only. It wasn’t.
The entire school looked like it was there. There was alcohol, pot, people snorting things, injecting needles. It was crowded and hot and loud. I was 13. I went upstairs to get away from everything. My parents were an hour away and it was late. I didn’t want to bother them or get yelled out for being a pest. Someone came up behind me and molested me. He tried to take my clothes off, I felt his hand go up my skirt where he touched me. I screamed and flailed until I finally made contact on him and was able to get away. I ran out of the house down the street to school, got in the tunnel on the playground and called my mother to pick me up. While I waited an hour, I cried and hugged myself.
I didn’t tell her what happened. I told no one.
We moved back when I was 16. Senior year of high school I got a boyfriend. Freshman year of college he date raped me.
My dad married his gf without telling anyone. When I expressed my feelings about it, he stopped talking to me. I haven’t seen or spoken to him since I was 18. I’m 22 now. He chose his gf over me.
I had the job of my dreams and was able to forget everything and felt happy. Until I was terminated.
I acted like I was okay with everything. I wasn’t.
No one noticed though. Or cared.
I was dying on the inside. It was like a claw in my chest cavity, racking up my insides with its searing and fiery talons; tearing, squeezing, hacking, ripping, shredding my heart. Blood pooling inside me until I drown, oxygen barred from entering my thirsty lungs. I would cry for no pretence, no reason. I just felt pain. A pain that was so vigorous and endless it made me numb.
My thoughts became darker. I began to hate myself for being so weak. I thought about how it wouldn’t matter if I died. How I was just a burden anyway. It’d be better if I didn’t exist. No one would really care or miss me anyway.
I began to romanticize death. Images of my skin being opened with a knife acting as the key to a door visited my mind. From that door, my velvety rosette blood blossoming through, flowering down my arms in streaming rivulettes, warm and glimmering the colour of love and life. Leaving trails like vines down my innocent, soft skin. How beautiful I’d look in a coffin. So still and tranquil. The idea of swallowing pills, how they’d release their magic, their loving and caressing potions coursing through my system like a mist; the way dye whorls and spirals in water like dancing smoke. A ballet in my body to transform me into an Eternal Sleeping Beauty.
It seems like a win-win for everyone if I die.
My mum can be rid of the daughter that isn’t the daughter she wanted. My dad doesn’t even care about me. Or if I’m alive. As for everyone else, they hardly know me. They won’t care really.