[Please note: This is a flashback to part of my reality towards the end of last year, and may contain triggers for you if you’ve suffered child loss. Things are vastly better now, but triggers (as I discovered, as my eyes hollowed and I fell once again under its thrall and swirling darkness) can still bring it all back to me, though less powerfully. The feelings are not gone, but less intense, and circumstances have changed vastly (for the better) from this night. But I suddenly needed to write this out of me.]
I can’t. I don’t want to.
I want to give in. I want to go and fetch a glass and drink until my wine-stained lips lose all coherence and I no longer care about being at the mercy of my own mind. To sip again and again, the shuddering tang in my throat telling me that I’m nearly there – nearly safe from this torture – nearly back to oblivion, where (for a while) reality’s claws are cut and her shackles fall free. To see through unfocussed eyes, and laugh and laugh because by altering my mind, it becomes impervious.
“And don’t you dare drink. Go!”
Engulfed again, pain bubbling up like a spring of bitter poison within my heart, welling over and tainting every drop of blood until it feels as though my veins are on fire and my arteries are steadily carrying the toxins deeper in until they permeate every cell.
I’ve never known hurt like this. And I stand on the edge of the Abyss, trapped in a hell of twice-losing; broken.
You’d never know it from the outside, for daylight and artfully constructed normalcy hide the filigree of cracks across my skin, but as night falls and shadows deepen, those cracks become more pronounced – more visible against the fading skies.
“Are you listening to me? You need to get out of here and go. Just go and be THERE, please, for me…”
Mute, my fingers doing the talking, I concede, the world shrunken to the size of the room, the silhouettes of my thoughts dancing voodoo against the perimeters, surrounding me.
I stand. Unplug. Move.
One stumbling foot in front of another, reaching for the door, as per my instructions, unable to think for myself at this time, but following blindly that guidance from another who Knows this place.
A small, wavering part of me is thankful she’s there. The rest is raging darkness, pressing outwards against the cracks in my skin; seeping through and covering me with a cloak of dispair as the scent and smell and sound of grief – that deafening scream, relentless inside my head, blocks out all input and leaves me stunned with its power. Crippled by its overwhelming strength. Helpless before it.
I look back briefly – that saviour screen is still flickering, offering a life-line. She’s still there. Five minutes.
Hand to the key, I twist and step free, ignored and inconsequential to the one I most want to notice me, yet I’ve lost him again to his own Demon, and it’s too late at night for anyone here to be awake. I am alone.
The night outside mocks me with an orange glow of street-lamps and their garish light reflected back from the low-based clouds busy emptying themselves over the city. Blurred cars splash past, leaving glittering white and red trails of light bouncing from the rainwashed tarmac in their wake.
I step forward, leaning out, desperate to see some kind of heavens, but the broiling clouds are complete in their smothering, and there is nothing but rain, pouring steadily in sheets, gusting in shimmering curtains under the lights, their downpour perfectly reflecting my mood.
And here, the shattering happens, as I look out from the first floor and feel the chill water on my skin, watching it mingle with tears as they fall, matching torrent for torrent, down into free space to the earth below. And I wonder what it would be like to fall with my tears.
If I landed, I would surely complete the breaking which has already begun. The body going the same way as the mind – off the deep end and into oblivion. And then, if released, I might see them both – finally gather them into my arms and smell their sweet scent and murmur their names. Finally carry them as I was unable to do in this world – as I tried, and failed, to do – for they were broken long before I was.
Would it bring me everything I wanted? The only thing I could see that mattered?
Still mute, but with my soul screaming and twisting within me, I step forward, holding the idea lightly – playing with it; inspecting it from all angles, as one does a new toy. And I wonder if it would work.
Silently I call out to the night to see whether Sam and Jesse are even out there – whether they can hear me and affirm that this is even worth doing: whether I’d even succeed.
The night is inscrutable and yields no answers. I crumple, images springing unbidden to my mind of those who need me here, and I know I can’t leave them; can’t gamble their grief on an unknown afterlife which mightn’t bring me back my children, even though this world may never offer replacements.
And as I sob, knowing my tattered heart will keep beating, the faint light of that screen through the window, and the person it contains; the faint light of the thoughts of my loved ones; my family; my friends; join together and grow stronger as one, providing me, somehow, with reason to whisper my babies’ names to the night, just to have said them, then dry my face and walk back into that stifling room.
“Are you alright?”, he notices, glancing up as I reach for the tissues.
“Yeah. Fine. Just went out for some air”, I lie, unwilling to provide his Demon with further weapons.
Sit down. Plug in. Bring the saviour-screen back close.
“Are you there?”
“Yeah. I didn’t jump off the balcony…”