Jesus this time of year. Just as I can breathe and be reassured that halloween is gone for another 52 weeks, its bonfire night. Sitting up all night writing an essay meant I didn’t realise immediately the date…thankfully it hit me *after* submitting the essay.
And now I just feel physically sick. All I can smell is thick smoke, burning skin, my vision keeps going hazy as though the smoke is back…distant screams of children…no no we aren’t the devil we don’t need to burn… but if we protest is the option worse?
I’m trying to keep myself as busy as possible, but I just want to hide. Hide away from the date and away from the memories and away from the pain. I’ve tried eating but it’s not happening. The association to what my memory of food is based on this date is too strong. It makes me gag. My throat actually closes up before I swallow, so even if I try swallowing I just choke.
I keep seeing everyone laughing and smiling and asking me what bonfire party I’m going to and I want to *scream*. I want to go outside and stand in a massive crowd and scream. Really scream. Scream what it’s like, on dates like this. What it’s like to smell only burning skin, to feel the oppressive heat, the terror building up inside me as it draws nearer to night time and I somehow need to put on a brave face. If you had any idea…
I can feel the small child pressed into my chest, burying her face into my neck, me holding her tight, trying to help her breathe. Trying to shelter her from the horror happening behind her. My tears burning on my skin. Sticking to me. Shame and terror sticking to my cheek as she shakes violently in my arms. Tiny sweet child…what cruel world this is…I wish I could hold you all and get you all out of there. I can feel her nose nuzzling, seeking any level of comfort; terror does strange things. Usually we tried hard not to show affection in front of the abusers, for fear of it being torn to pieces in front of us. But in events where terror reaches the point where you’re staring into the eyes of Death…the only thing left to do is hold each other, remind each other of love and compassion in the desperate hope that if they are our final moments, they weren’t all lost in hell…
Utterly heartbreaking. I can feel my heart re-breaking. I keep tightening my arms, to hold her again and then I realise she’s no longer there. None of them are. How did this happen? How am I sitting in an office, answering emails? How did my life shift so fast? How is it I won’t be holding a child tonight, sheltering them for as long as possible from the horror?
I feel relief I’m not there, and guilt I’m not there, and the two conflicting emotions are exhausting me. I would like to break down in tears but they’re locked in my throat.
Bonfire night…the night of Hell…
I despise this time of year… can feel my protective instincts going nuts and my head gradually coming to pieces, again.
I wish the screams would stop, but they haunt me endlessly. I’ll spend today choking on smoke nobody can see, crying for screams nobody can hear, and despairing for guilt and grief nobody can save me from.