You have been running since before you can remember. What you know best is constant motion. You have been filled with fear and are overflowing with longing. Standing still, or even strolling, has never been an option. To you, they are foreign concepts.
What happens when you stop? When your fear and your longing have suddenly dissipated and your legs give out from pure exhaustion?
Your body goes into a state of shock as it struggles to readjust. Your mind must also be calmed.
For the past few months I have been struggling with this transition. I became volatile, erratic, and reckless as I faced off with the demons I had been running from for so long.
My demons: These faceless creatures. Horrifying but not nearly as harmful as I'd feared.
They showed me things I hadn't been ready to see until that very moment and they left me to reconcile on my own.
All these years, today marks seventeen, I have been running from the place I called my home, from the people I had trusted to protect me, to find something more whole.
Seventeen years ago, I watched my mother take her last gasps of breath as her heart failed her and everyone went silent. We were all expected to cope on our own, and I didn't fare well at all.
Suicide was something I contemplated often as I sliced lines into my skin-my arms, legs, wrists. For years my family watched as I unraveled before them, never once daring to intervene.
I could have died without them ever attempting to save me.
It's a truth that cuts too deep.
But instead, instead I found the arms of all the wrong men and constantly mistook that for home. Their attention was an addiction and I always fought for more. But maybe they were all just as broken as I was.
One year ago, I was left laying in the middle of the street like trash, by the man I would have sacrificed everything for. He sent his mother to collect me. My body was bloody and my spirit was broken. Yet, I still begged for the man responsible.
It made no sense. Because it was so obvious to outsiders looking in that we were never meant to be.
How could I love a man who had to lie about his age and occupation? How could I love a man who sold a substance that destroys?
Maybe I didn't. Maybe I just fell for the sparkle. For the allure. For the future and the family that he promised.
Every aspect of my life has changed since that moment.
He was poison.
Still, as injured as I was, I kept running. I was running suddenly aware of my broken state, my freshly battered heart.
I was unyielding. I was fire.
I finally found home.
Now, now I can finally cope with the seventeen years worth of trauma. I can rest. I can recover. I can feel safe. I do feel safe. I am learning how to truly forgive. I am learning how to live.