Published May 28, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Oph. Just some rambling…nothing to see here, move along.

So many things are bombarding my mind right now. I looked in a mirror today and looked hella skinny. I don’t know if it’s the mirror or me- but it stopped me in my tracks. I knew I lost some weight this last week with the craziness…but it just hit kinda hard. It made me feel bad, guilty.

I was sitting in the parking lot at church just before I went in. I saw this little kid skipping through the parking lot. My first thoughts: “that’s the church…it’s not right he has to pay for my therapy.” I know that makes no sense. Looking at this innocent little kid, I saw him as the epitome of what the church is made up of, who the church is. Then, my mind went straight to how the church is paying for a bit of my therapy and I thought how that’s not right. How it’s not right that other people need to share my burden. As the thought was occurring, I immediately realized how wrong I was.  But why did I think that way? Why was that my first thought? I’m so grateful for my church. I’m actually still shocked that they would care enough to help me out. I’m really, really grateful. 

Then there was church. Everything was fine at first. I was in a better mood than usual, I was even smiling. But once my pastor got up to start speaking, I almost immediately had an issue concentrating. I don’t know why. I struggled the entire sermon to pay attention. My mind darted around from suicide to happiness to anxiety about therapy to loneliness. All day yesterday I was marveling at what God did- my plan for this weekend was to be in the desert loaded with pills and my firearm. And yet He had me sitting in a safe, peaceful place quietly enjoying myself. My plan was to be completely and utterly alone- how my life is apparently supposed to be- and to toy with death. I wanted to go out far in the middle of nowhere, hike far away from my car, find a little slot canyon where I’d never be found and sit there in the orange dirt… I want to make sure no one finds the body. I feel like that wouldn’t be fair to anyone…to find that mess. I remember back in late Jan or early Feb, I went to the range. I was just about to start shooting and I thought, “I should shoot myself right here, right now, no excuses.” I leaned back and looked down the range to check out who was there and how far away they were- to see if I’d have the split second I would need to shoot. I remember seeing a whole bunch of people; every lane was full. I remember seeing one older lady smiling to whomever she was with. And I thought, “No, that’s not fair. You shoot yourself here and all these people will be traumatized by it. That’s not ok. Keep it private.” So I decided to not do it there that day. I posted a pic to IG of my gun and my thoughts. No one understood. 

I picture first responders finding me, making fun of the situation. They usually do- it’s not their fault. They use dark humor to help them cope. But the truth is they don’t know you, they don’t care about you, they don’t think of who you were. No one cares. Not even the people who find or remove your body. 

So these were my thoughts today. I’m still shocked and in awe of how God kept me here and didn’t let me go out there. He was standing there, answering prayer like a boss! But I also feel like it’s just delaying the inevitable. There’s no way around it. This is not going to be good. 

Y’know what’s really tragic? It’s how self-consumed I am. Part of me says it’s because I have these overwhelming issues, it’s not my fault, I need to focus on healing and on myself. But the other part of me craves the times when I had a heart for God and for others. I still love God. That will never ever change. I still really love others…but I’m not actively seeking out how to help others like I used to. I feel terrible- like I’m letting God down. I feel like I don’t deserve the prayer that He’s answered just in this last week- which is MASSIVE amounts of specifically answered prayer that literally saved a life. I’m so in awe of how much love God has shown me through that alone. It’s been unreal and surreal. Thank you, God. You will always have my heart…even though it’s not the best. Surrender. 

Would have been…

Published May 26, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Ignore this- you know it already. I need to tell a story I’ve already told before. I just can’t get my mind off this. 

My uncle committed suicide by police. I was there hours later, standing next to the spot where he died. I remember finding his blood on the grass. I noticed all the circular burn marks in the grass, where officers’ patrol cars had sat idling for hours. Even then, his wife refused to tell me what was really going on. She explained in detail how he had died. How he said he wanted to die and she called the police to Baker Act him (Baker Act is a suicide hold). The police arrived and he apparently set his secret plan in motion. He barricaded himself in his bedroom, ran out of the back door (located in the bedroom), and circled around to the front door of his house. He carried a handgun with no magazine in it. He ran up behind the line of officers, who were still entering through the front door. They noticed him and he raised the gun and pointed it at the officers. They fired. Of course, it wasn’t until afterward that they realized his handgun wasn’t loaded. Suicide by police = quick and highly effective. 
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out why my uncle committed suicide. I don’t think that many people knew- I know of two. But those people- my cousin and my aunt (my uncle’s wife) refused over and over again to tell me. My cousin let out the most information, saying that my Uncle Gary had always accused someone of something and no one had ever believed him. Well, with my past, my mind immediately went to sexual abuse and I thought maybe my dad or someone else in the family. (I had always wondered if someone ever did anything to my dad- I mean, where did he learn this from?) Anyway, maybe two years ago, I was back in my hometown visiting. I was with my cousin and had already decided in my head that I was going to extract this information from her before I returned home. We had already gotten into some deep conversations- her husband (one of my most favorite family members) had been murdered. He was a government agent and she thought he’d been murdered by his own people. (Btw, if this blog suddenly disappears, there ya go.) So we’d broached heavy topics and I brought up my uncle. Again, she refused to tell me what he’d been so depressed about his entire life. I knew he hated me…he hated everyone. But I never knew why. I remember being so confused at his funeral as his co-workers stood up and relayed stories about how sweet, kind, generous, and funny he was. I thought these people are at the wrong funeral!! Who are they talking about? I never knew my uncle to be sweet or generous or funny. Ever. I was shocked as person after person went up to the front and said all these things about him. They were describing a side of him I never knew existed. And I remember thinking again… why did he hate his family so much? But he loved these people? I was so confused and unsettled. So years later, I’m sitting in my cousin’s kitchen. It’s nearly 2am. I told her I wouldn’t leave until she spilled it. So she finally did. 

She told me how my uncle had accused his older brother (my dad) of sexually abusing/ molesting him. No one had ever believed my uncle. I’m assuming he must have despised my father. It was no wonder he hated me too then…I was my father’s child. He was probably disgusted with all of us. And…now that I know how my grandma helped cover up my abuse…I’m assuming she did the same with my uncle. No wonder he was such as ass to her too. He had told her and she had acted like she didn’t believe him. She just kept it all covered up. Is that a mother’s loyalty? I don’t think that’s right, no matter how you look at it. 

Tears stream down my face right now as I know I would have been the only person to believe him. I wish I had known. I wish he had told me, instead of just hating me from afar. I wonder if he had shared and I believed, would that have comforted him at all? Would that have made a difference or prevented his death? Would he have been more disturbed to discover that my dad had abused another? 

So that’s where I find myself stuck. I very slowly came to the realization that my dad was a sexual predator, a child molester, a 
Until I found out about my uncle, I never thought of my dad that way. I’d honestly thought he was a good person, as everyone had repeatedly told me, who made a mistake once with his daughter. It took a while to hit me…there was more than one victim. I wasn’t the only one. That makes him all those bad things. Maybe I should have thought of him that way before, but I just didn’t. I think it’s easier to forgive your father. You want a dad so badly, you wouldn’t want to push him away by being unforgiving. 

“I didn’t notice You were standing here…”

Published May 25, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I think yesterday qualifies as one of the worst and certainly the weirdest day ever. I’m still slowly digesting all that happened and what it means.

Let’s start with the day before. At 7am, it hit heavy and hard. I had a kid come to me needing to talk. Her dad had just passed away and this day was the one month anniversary. I had previously reached out to her, talked with her, and told her she could contact me ANY time she needed, day or night. I listened to her for two solid hours. (Thank God we had a study hall period before finals started- so we actually had this time.)

Man… sadness. That’s all I can say. She shared how while her dad was in the hospital, her mom found evidence on his cell phone of him cheating with another woman. She shared how her dad would sometimes hit her mom and her older brother would secretly call the police (and then act as surprised as everyone else when the cops showed up). She shared how her grandma came from Mexico when dad was hospitalized and acted incredibly strange and indifferent. Grandma left with no explanation during the wake and never went to the funeral. She cried as she realized dad would never see her go to prom or get married. We cried together. She unloaded for two hours- we were only stopped by the bell.

My heart was and still is so heavy for her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her all day. I went home and watched MacGyver later that night. (What the ?!)

Then came the next day. I wanted her to return so we could keep talking, but she didn’t. Then it hit me that today was the day I was going to start meeting with a therapist. Suddenly, my mind shifted from her to myself and I was overwhelmed with emotions- fear, anxiety, everything was moving too fast, I wasn’t ready, I just wanted to take off and leave, I wouldn’t like or trust this new therapist, I couldn’t be honest with her…a whole list of excuses. The headaches started. At this point, I was on day 2 of not eating (just nerves). But I know that didn’t help my constant headache.

Since I made the appointment, I had considered not being fully honest with her about where I’m at with suicide and eating issues and stuff like that. Even a few minutes before the appointment, I was sitting in my car trying to decide what to do. (I have an extreme fear of being locked away in a loony bin so the idea of being put on a suicide hold is horrifying to me.)

But…I thought about my church paying for some of these first few appointments and how much that means to me. I realized I’d be wasting their money if I wasn’t fully open and I decided that just wasn’t cool. I’d be honest with her about everything. Pretty much.

And I was. I was proud of myself for opening up and telling her all of it, especially the ugly parts. She asked me questions I didn’t have answers to- like who is my support system and what’s my…I forget the terminology she used…but what was my plan for when I felt suicidal? Who would I contact or what would I do to get through those few hours or however long? I didn’t have an answer. I felt kind of stupid. But she made me come up with one before I left there.

And this is where things start to get weird. I left there feeling so…I don’t even know how to describe it. I felt terrible, but it was so much more than that. I had this urgent need to walk and think. I wanted to find a park, get out, walk, and simply process things. Well, I immediately got lost while driving around looking for a park. Smh. When I came out to a spot I recognized, it was near where I went to academy. I was crying pretty hard at this point and decided that before I turned onto the road with heavy traffic, I should pull over and get a hold of myself. I stopped on the side of the road, staring forward at the building I attended academy in. Three years ago, six days a week for an entire year…that building and parking lot were so familiar to me. I just sat and stared, relived a lot of the training in my head, and listened to Nine Inch Nails. I listened to the album Still over and over again. For hours. Every time “Adrift and At Peace” came on, I didn’t make me feel better. That song is supposed to be the conclusion to “La Mer,” which was my suicide song…long before I realized it was his suicide song. I thought maybe listening to “Adrift and At Peace” would show me how he went down a more peaceful path than suicide. It didn’t.

I quickly became numb and lost all my emotions. Then they’d all hit and I’d burst out crying. I stayed there in that car, on that road, listening to that album for so many hours. I posted a few lines here on WordPress. I didn’t have a title for it. When I hit “post,” I thought it would reject it, telling me I needed a title. But it didn’t- it went through. I considered deleting it…but shrugged and said ‘f**k it’ and continued sitting there.

It was like I was suspended in a heavily viscous fluid. I was just sitting there in a terribly painful stupor with my head floating.

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I thought about going home, but didn’t want to banter with my roommate, pretending nothing was wrong and I certainly didn’t think I was alert enough to drive. I was so out of it. I decided I would be ok with sleeping there. I was just so exhausted and spent. I couldn’t move. I wondered what happened with my desire to get out and walk. It wasn’t there anymore…my body felt like cement, yet my mind was floating. Once it got dark, I decided it wasn’t safe enough to go for a walk anyway.

I thought about suicide. I took out my firearm and put it on my lap. I just held it and felt it in my hands. And then cried. My thoughts floated and raced at the same time.

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I made a decision. I was going to leave the next day (today) after work. I was going to head west into the desert and flirt with suicide. I didn’t fully decide to do it, but I was just going to go out there for a few days and see what happened. I’d see if I had the guts to do it or maybe find out I wasn’t ready yet. I still like the idea of going missing just so people don’t know it’s suicide. I think that’s better for everyone. Not sure.

So that was it. I had decided to leave the next day. I’d clear out my car and sleep in it on the way out to the desert.

I tried to shake myself out of thinking down this path. I opened my Bible and read for a bit. I opened to a page where I had previously underlined, “I shall not die, but live…” I decided to stop there and reread those few pages several times.

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I prayed that God would send someone to talk, to distract me. I specifically asked for someone who would do all the talking…there in my stupor, I didn’t feel I could talk at all. But I wanted someone to talk to me. I’d just like to listen. I remembered the girl from the day before and how she had so much to get off her chest, how she talked and talked for hours. I needed someone like that. Someone who wouldn’t question why I was being so quiet.

I prayed and asked God for that. I couldn’t think of someone who I could bother (and not feel guilty about bothering them). Then I read the verses above that say, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” I got irritated almost immediately. I sat there and thought God just wouldn’t answer this prayer. And that was ok. My mind drifted to taking off and getting out of Dodge. I pictured the orange desert sand with a puddle of blood laying on top. I wasn’t happy with the thought of using my firearm- like I’ve said before, that’s not my first choice. But it’s the way I keep envisioning it. I’ve envisioned it hundreds of times by now so the idea has settled more and more with me.

I remembered the look on the therapist’s face when she asked if I had access to or a means of carrying out my plan. I answered yes so quickly, I think it startled her. And I do have the means and the access. So I thought, ‘let’s leave and go to the desert and see what happens.’

That’s what I was thinking when I got a text, asking me if I would house sit and dog sit for this coming weekend. My first thought was ‘nope, I’ve got plans to go to the desert.’ As I sat there staring at the text…in disbelief, it hit me…was this God wrecking my plans? Nah.

Well…maybe.

Then, I started wondering if God was answering prayer, changing my plans, keeping me safe. I got lost in thought and wondered what made my friend think to ask me this. I still didn’t know what to answer- yes and wreck this weekend’s plans? Or no, sorry, I’ll be out of town?

I decided this was God helping me. So not only would I answer yes, but I would answer yes emphatically. I started to text an answer back and the phone rang. It was my friend calling.

So… remember the prayer that I had prayed hours before? Well, my friend, the same one whom I opened up to (he and his wife), the same one who hooked up this therapist and our church helping out financially… the same one who wanted a house sitter while he went away with his family for a week.  Well…let’s just say, he was super chatty. It was perfect! I (think) I let him know I wasn’t ok…I can’t really remember. So he just talked and talked. And I listened. I’m not even sure, but I think he talked for several hours. I remember towards the end, I started feeling so much better that I was even chuckling a bit with some of what he was saying.

And then…there he was.

He’d walked all the way from his house. I mean, I knew he was out waking…but I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing him. Was this real? I had told him where I’d been sitting in my car, but… ?! I was so confused…I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is crazier than I am!’ I felt so guilty he walked all the way there, but I was still so shocked about it, I didn’t know how to respond. I got out of the car to talk with him and realized my legs were numb from sitting there so long. I was embarrassed, I’d been crying for hours, my car was a mess, there were crumpled up tissues all over the place from crying, and my gun was sitting there in the front seat surrounded by tissues. Everything was a mess, especially me. I felt guilty, embarrassed…and as I stood there, I still questioned the reality of the situation. Was this really happening? I mean, I asked God to send someone to talk with me. And He did? Really??? Like, for real? I was so out of it. It was surreal.

We briefly talked and prayed and then he left. I got back into my car and stared at my firearm, which was still there on the front seat. I felt this massive urge to give it to my friend. I had thought of this before, but decided I wouldn’t ask because he had kids at home and maybe he didn’t want something like that in his house. But I couldn’t stop staring at my firearm and I kept thinking- this is the chance. This is the best time because he’s alone and there’s no one around to see us passing off a gun. It’s not like you can do something like that in the middle of church! So I found myself immobile again. I didn’t move, I didn’t leave and drive home yet. He’d already left, but I could easily catch up to him so I was trying to decide if I should ask.

To get to the point, he’s got it now. I asked him to hold on to it temporarily. Man…at first, I felt incredibly uncomfortable and nervous, handing that over to someone. Then, I slowly started to feel better.

As I drove home, I kept thinking “accomplished.”

A lot was accomplished today. I just gave up my means to commit suicide. That’s kind of huge. Now…yes, Plan A was pills and I still have all those. But, since Plan B kept running through my head over and over, that was the most disturbing to me. And now, that’s gone. Temporarily.

As I got home, I almost felt like this might be a turning point and I haven’t even started the actual therapy yet. That whole afternoon/evening/night was so weird. I have no clue why I got stuck in my car with my head floating for so many hours…I don’t know why I was so immobile. It was the strangest thing. I prayed and thought God wouldn’t answer. I made a plan for this weekend. Then God moved…in the weirdest way. I’m still wondering if it really happened.

I’m sorry for being so…I don’t know. But I’m so thankful. I thank God first and foremost for being with me, for listening to me, for answering prayer. I thank my friend for calling and talking and talking- and walking and walking. I thank him for taking my “means.” I thank NBG for commenting that he was praying. When I read that, I knew God had answered his prayer too, even though I didn’t know what it was.

 

My friend shared this David Crowder song, “All I Can Say”

Lord I’m tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I’m so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I’ll stop
Rest here a while

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give, that’s my everything

Lord didn’t You see me crying?
And didn’t You hear me call Your name?
Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You’d remember
Where you sat it down

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now, I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.

Bridge:
I didn’t notice You were standing here
I didn’t know that
That was You holding me
I didn’t notice You were cry’n too
I didn’t know that
That was You washing my feet

And this is all
This is all that I can say right now, oh I know its not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now, oh I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything..
yeah that’s my everything..
yeah that’s my everything..
everything…

Wow. I’m feeling those verses and the chorus…but get that bridge. That’s where it’s at.

One of the worst and strangest days…and I didn’t notice God was with me the whole time. 

I’m still completely weirded out and stunned that God so specifically answered prayer.  

FML

Published May 19, 2017 by Chloe Madison

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So much that’s positive has happened in the past few days. Yet, I’m utterly devastated at the moment. I apologize because I’ll probably sound infantile and I’ll definitely dart around from topic to topic and not make much sense. It’s how my mind has been working lately. Who cares anyway.

A couple are/were my closest friends here. I was made aware of something tonight that really hurt my feelings. I feel so stupid even typing this…  But, when you take someone (me) who is SO on the cusp of suicide and you hurt their feelings… omg, my heart SUNK when I realized what was happening. I feel embarrassed, ashamed, and mostly just terrible. I truthfully have no idea if this was intentional or accidental. The thing is this has happened many times before. About six months ago, I decided our friendship had just waned and dissolved. I thought it was over.

Now, to their defense, I haven’t been the most fun lately. For the last 9 months, I’ve really sucked as a person. I can’t get through a day without wanting to end it all so I know I haven’t been there as a friend to anyone else. It’s no wonder why they wouldn’t want me around.

But, on the other hand…about two months ago, I opened up to my friend and told her some of what I was dealing with. It was so hard for me to open up, to talk, to let her in. And you know what happened? Nothing! I think I’ve heard from her twice since then. Do you understand how badly that stings? It just confirms to me that no one f**king cares. She’s married and has kids…and yes, I realize that most people with families are simply unavailable to be present with others. I get it. But her two kids are teenagers who drive themselves around and she doesn’t even work. WTF. I honestly feel like there’s no excuse. You can’t tell me you don’t have time. So, here I am…feeling like complete and utter sh*t, nodding my head affirmatively to Chris Cornell’s suicide simply because I understand and I wish I had the same courage.

Then, there’s the good stuff. I opened up to a different friend and his wife a few days ago. That went well…it was incredibly difficult and part of me really didn’t want to. But, I felt (and still feel) so safe with them. They’re just incredible people whom I trust (mostly) and I felt it was the right thing to do. It was a safe environment that I felt comfortable in. I thought about not opening up to them because they’re about to move to another country. I just didn’t see the point. But, it felt so right that I thought maybe God wanted it. Does that even make sense? That night when I left their house, I felt ok…utterly exhausted, but good. By the time I got home, my mind was racing. I literally pulled an all nighter. I tried so hard, but I couldn’t sleep. My thoughts just raced and raced.  Since then, they’ve checked in with me nearly every single day (even though it’s only been a few days, that still means the world to me). He also got the ball rolling on getting me into counseling. Many months ago, I tried to get myself into counseling, got frustrated with the cost, and quit. I’m not worth the money it costs to get help anyway. And honestly, being depressed really makes you NOT want to advocate for yourself. So, I didn’t. I knew I needed it, but I let it go. I had already given up on myself..so it didn’t matter.

But now, he’s hooked me up with a Christian counselor (yay!) whom I hope can help. Not only that, but he spoke with our church (leaving me anonymous, which was great) and got them to help out a bit with the financial aspect. That’s good because I surely don’t need additional pressure or strain right now.

Speaking of that, I know I haven’t written here in a while, but I think I’ve had two anxiety attacks since I last wrote. I’m really not sure. That is all new to me…this crazy anxiety. Some super stressful stuff happened at work and I didn’t handle it too well. I kept my cool in front of others, but when I was alone…no bueno. But, I do need to give praise to God for answering prayer with that situation and for giving me people who supported me and kept me in prayer through it all. That’s a huge praise and a definite answer to prayer!

Anyway, changing direction…I have this massive, compelling desire to go out to the desert and just disappear. Make sure no one finds the body…just go missing. That way, people won’t know it was suicide and it won’t hurt people as much. I figure that’s the best way.

I don’t know.

I’m trying (a little bit) to fight that desire to go to the desert. Having to stay here to meet up with this counselor is actually kind of good. If I tell myself I can’t leave to travel because I have this appointment I need to keep…and if this appointment has the possibility of making things better… then, that’s good, right?

So, I’m incredibly thankful to this beautiful couple who embraced me when I opened up to them.

But, then I think of my “friends” whom I’ve known for over two decades, who seem like they couldn’t care less. I’ve lost so much faith in them over the years anyway…we’ve really grown distant. But, it still hurts. And it still makes me feel so unworthy. So unwanted. It confirms that I’m alone in this world and it feeds into my belief that when I commit suicide, no one will miss me anyway. I know my life doesn’t matter. It never has and it never will. Period.

We All Need Jesus, Bro!

Published April 17, 2017 by Chloe Madison

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I wanted to let you know I’ve been doing a teeny bit better. I’ve also been trying to focus on the positive, which is Jesus. Duh.

So, I created a new Instagram account: @weallneedjesusbro. Feel free to give a follow for positive Biblical content. It’s a pretty new account and my goal was to post every day. I’ve been lucky if I post once a week. But, I’m working on it! Thanks!  🙂

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Published March 9, 2017 by Chloe Madison

MacGyver. That’s mostly what I remember. One of my all time favorite TV shows as a little kid. I was about 10 years old and MacGyver was on TV. It had to be a rerun because it was really late at night. My dad was lying on the couch and I was sitting on the very end of the couch near his feet.

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All of the sudden, it began. He started telling me to do things and I blindly obeyed. I moved as slowly as I could, resisting the only way I knew how. I was in a sudden state of shock and confusion. I absolutely could NOT believe what was happening. I couldn’t believe that it was my own dad doing this. I was also incredibly bewildered and perturbed. I knew what was happening was wrong…didn’t I? I knew that what my neighbor did to me a year before was really, really wrong. That’s why I never told anyone. But now…my DAD???

Wait…maybe it wasn’t wrong.

No, no, no…it’s definitely wrong.

I was so confused and my mind raced back and forth about the morality of what was happening, how I could get out of the situation, and how to deal with the fact that it was my own dad this time.

It seems like it lasted forever. I remember twisting my neck to awkwardly stare at the TV, pretending like it wasn’t bothering me. I stared so hard at the TV. Just kept staring…didn’t even blink. It was the only place I could look. I started involuntarily trembling. It slowly got worse and worse. I kept my neck twisted toward the TV to the point that I was in pain. Shaking…then, the tears. I couldn’t stop shaking and I surely couldn’t stop the tears. I think (but I’m not sure) that’s what made him stop.

He coldly told me to go wash up. I did. I couldn’t scrub hard enough or use enough soap. I stayed in the bathroom a long time. I was afraid to come out, afraid that it might not be over yet. When I did get the courage to open the door, I darted into my room.

I can’t remember anything else. I could tell you that I cried myself to sleep that night, but I don’t remember. Honestly, I’m glad I don’t remember. I’ve prayed so many times that God would take these memories from me. He never does.

The next thing I remember is the next day. We were driving over to my grandma’s house. I can’t remember who was driving (it must have been my dad), but I remember sitting in the front seat, looking out the window. I remember hearing the words, “we don’t talk about things like that.” He was referring to the night before, essentially telling me not to tell anyone. I remember knowing that he was just trying to shut me up. I continued looking out the window and rolled my eyes.