Silent Screams

Silent Screams

You know what sucks? Wanting to sleep so you don’t feel the pain anymore but finding yourself living more horrors through nightmares you can’t wake up from. I couldn’t wake up.

A close friend hopes that I stop beating myself up over what happened. I had begun to tell him what happened, hoping for someone to tell me it was going to be okay. I’m grateful for him; I will never be able to thank him enough. He told me, over and over, trying to get it through my mind, that it doesn’t matter what people say or how much I beat myself up because it wasn’t my fault. He held me as I sobbed. My entire body was probably shaking. For once, I felt strong to be crying. I needed it so badly that I wasn’t scared to cry. I wasn’t scared that time because I believed he’d hold me together and give me time. When I calmed, he got me on my feet and pulled me into his arms. The warmth soothed my heart. He reassured me again and again that I was safe now. And, in his arms, I believed him.

But when I went to sleep in attempt to run away from my thoughts, somehow they still played in my sleep, in the back of my mind. I couldn’t wake to stop them. I couldn’t shake them out of my mind.

He wanted to fight off the demons in my mind with love. He wanted to shield me from the pain. But I don’t think he ever thought I’d wake up in the mornings with a scream in my throat but no voice to be found.

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The Honest Story

The Honest Story

His hands went to my face and quickly brought my attention to him as he pulled me in for a kiss. My mind went into a blur as I panicked and shoved him away. My heart racing. My feet glued to the ground. I could barely breathe.

He apologized. My head felt like a jug of water someone kept shaking. I told him to stop. I told him to not do that, trying to keep my voice strong. He knew I had a boyfriend. He knew I was with someone. He knew I wasn’t interested. He apologized again. I could barely hear him over the loud sound of my heart beating in my ears. He asked if I wanted to leave. I said no. How could I even move when I couldn’t see straight.

My body was panicking too much. As if it knew for a fact it was in danger. He could easily lift my weight. He could easily overpower me if he lost control. He kept staring at me. It made me sick. I wanted to run but my head still spun.

We walked across the street, him complimenting my dress. I couldn’t listen to him. I wanted to drown out his voice. I wanted to scream. I wanted to slap him, but I didn’t want to put myself in more danger if I pissed him off.

Then I felt his hand on my ass. My entire body tensed even more. I didn’t know it could even do that with how tense I already was. I walked faster, telling/mumbling him to stop.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. The entire world spun around me. It was a blur. But I finally got to my car. A part of me felt a little relief that I was minutes from being safe behind the locked doors of my own car.

He apologized again. He said something else but I couldn’t hear over the bees buzzing in my ears. He took a step closer towards me, his arms up for a hug. I stepped back but eventually ended up in his arms. I held my breath. I hugged him back wanting this to just end.

I missed my boyfriend. I wanted so much to be in his arms. I wanted to feel safe again. I wanted all of this to end.

His hand went to my ass again. I pushed him away but he held me still. I couldn’t move for a few seconds that felt like entirety. Then he let me go.

My feet were glued to the ground as he slowly walked away. I begged in my mind for him to walk away. I got into my car and I locked the doors. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. My body was in shock. My mind was a puddle, or like a pool.

I stared at my navigation system. I stared at my wheel. Where was I going? What was I doing? Why couldn’t I think straight?

I went to work. My mind rewinding the scenes in my head. I hated myself for playing dead. I wanted to slap him that smug look off his face, but my arm wouldn’t raise. I wanted to scream, but my voice had ran away.

I looked back at all the things I did wrong. I shouldn’t have offered him a ride despite him saying it took him 2 hours to get to school. I shouldn’t have went for a walk with him. I should’ve ran away when his hand was on me. I should’ve yelled at him with all my might. I should’ve pushed harder when he held me against his body. I should’ve done something more to fight.

A part of me wanted to scream. A part of me wanted to disappear. A part of me…just wanted to breathe.

Candid

Stifle

Phone… Laptop… What About You?

Phone… Laptop… What About You?

I wake up in the morning and reach for my phone. I don’t have a visible clock when it’s dark in my room. Sometimes I scroll past the notifications – messages, emails, reminders, etc. – and sometimes I simply groan at how early it is and lie on my back until I fall asleep again.

When I’m getting ready in the morning, my phone is often playing music that keeps me up and going. I easily fall asleep if I stay in bed. I push past the urge to stay in bed and go to wash my face. Face wash. Acne medication. Brush my teeth. Brush my hair (sometimes). Go get changed and get out of the door.

My phone follows me downstairs, to the car, to school, to work, back home, and goes to sleep by my head on my bed each and every night. It’s the one friend that always sticks by me. I reach for it when I’m walking to and from classes. I check instagram as if it’s a newspaper that gets updated every other minute. I check my messages as if I really get any. I check my email and scroll past the spam. I check the time and the reminders that yell at me to get a real meal.

My phone gives me everything I need. I put everything on my calendar. I put all my reminders into that app. I have connections to my family and friends. I have my emails. I have my instagram. What else do I need?

Well…I went to lunch with my boyfriend and his sister (also a close friend of mine) yesterday. I went on and on in the car. I complained about how loud the music was. I stared out the window, amazed at the sunlight growing through the trees that we pasted by.

I set up a instagram for the new member of their family, Rylee the cockcpoo – @rylee_discoveringlife

We started posting pictures. We went in to get seated. And then shortly after I found all three of us on our phones once more. I silently wished for us to put our phones away and actually be present with each other in the short time that we actually get to spend with one another.

Every time I see my boyfriend, I can never get tired of being in his arms. I latch onto him the second we get some time alone, wanting to be closer to him. I always miss him when we can’t see each other. And when we do, I love the conversations. I love the face-to-face time we actually get. I loved walking up behind him as he washed his hands and hugged him from behind. I loved sitting in the car with him, holding his hand, and just enjoying the music and the sunny sky. I loved being present.

And that’s exactly what I’m missing when I rely on my phone too much. I love being able to put it away but I know I always need to stay updated with my sister and my parents, at least. I love being able to just enjoy the moment and not worry about anything else.

My “New Year’s Resolution”:
1. Spend at least 3 days worth of time (72 hours) a week without my phone. I can listen to music but I have to be disconnected.
2. Spend at least 2 days worth of time (48 hours) a week without my laptop. I can listen to music but I have to be disconnected.
3. Practice my cursive – aim to get better at calligraphy (1 hour a week)
4. Draw a piece of work twice a month
5. Take 20 good photos a month

Let’s see if I can keep this going for the rest of the year!

Life #1. Life #2. Life #3. Life #4.

Life #1. Life #2. Life #3. Life #4.

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within.” – Steven Pressfield

When I got into middle school, I started spending hours at my computer writing. Whether it be short stories, potentially novel length stories, poems, songs, simple paragraphs or letters, I would spend hours typing away. I thought of the blank screen as a place in which I could pour out my heart. Being a kid who hadn’t had many people, if any, that I honestly talked to and trusted fully with my raw self, I resorted to expressing myself in other mediums.

That’s when I started to call myself a writer.

When I got into high school, I fell in love with photography and discovered a burning passion I never knew I had for this art. I always wanted to go shoot. I always wanted to take my camera everywhere I went. I became well known because of my camera and my photos. And all of that slowly shaped my vision of the world. A quote I once heard says, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” I couldn’t agree more. I stand by this quote.

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Freshman year was when I started calling myself a photographer.

Today, I write. Today, I take photos.

But there will always be a part of me that wonders “what if writing or photography was what I devoted all my life and attention towards?”

We all have a similar question. That’s what I believe is to be my “second” and “third” life. The life of a writer. The life of a photographer. Though I hold both passions close to heart and continue to advance in both mediums at my own speed, the flame within tells me that there could be more.

Sometimes I wonder how happy I would be if I spent hours and hours of the days editing photos and going on photoshoots, if photography was my career. I wonder how many people would see my work, how many hearts my work would touch. Sometimes I fantasize about being a writer whose words make a huge impact in the world and motivated people to change their lives and ways of thinking for the better. I wonder what would have happened if I had followed my heart back when.

But then I look at the life around me, and stop. I love the life I have right now. I have another passion I discovered within my first programming class. I have high hopes for the future and this potentially life-changing career. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me. I have irreplaceable friends who adore me. I have a better life than I had expected.

After all, this is the life I’m living. If I weren’t happy with it, I wouldn’t be living it.

Lost and UnFound

Lost and UnFound

I remember that night like it was yesterday.
It’s been years yet I still can’t shake the feelings that come with the memory.

One more night of her being vacant for the day, and then for the night. One more day of a wine glass sitting at the tensely silent dinner table. One more day I was prepared for yelling and screaming matches. But, that day didn’t turn out as anyone would’ve thought.

Drunk. He didn’t recognize me.
In pain. His cries echoed through the night.
Crying. He mumbled phrases as the EMTs arrived.
Panicking. I ran, getting yelled at, to gather his things.
Crying. I thought I would lose him that night.
Delusional, right?

After what felt like days, he finally went to bed probably still mumbling curse words in pain. I couldn’t bring myself to get up from the corner I had been hiding in, sobbing with pain. I picked up my phone and called my best friend at the time. I called him, again, and again, and again. After the tenth time, my phone fell out of my hand as I curled up in a ball and shook with fear.

Why didn’t he answer? He knows how much I need him.
Where was he? I needed him to be there for me, especially now.
Why does it hurt so much? …the hundreds needles of pain each time I breathed.
Where was everyone? I sweared to myself that I was not alone, but I was.
Broken. into the millions of pieces of myself I was still trying to save.

After getting to my bed, I called again…and again…and again. Soon I fell asleep, tears falling from these cheeks. Curled up in a ball, it felt like the coldest winter night in a storm of sharp ice swirling around me.

And, somewhere in that night, a piece of myself was lost…
Never to be found again.

Calling

“Mine.”

“Mine.”

Snuggled against his chest under the darkness of the room, silence lay between us not heavy nor suffocating but soothing my broken pieces with a midnight glow. His chest against my back, I felt a safeness I have forgotten about. His warmth sparks a fire in my heart that keeps me warm during the coldest night in a long while.

During the day I remember feeling the weakest of the weak. I seemed to hobble my way to my car, unsure that I had the energy to even drive but determined to get through. I wanted to curl up in a ball and shove the world’s problems away. I wanted to melt into a puddle of jello because I didn’t feel as if I could even take an actual breathe of air.

And, no, when I found him with a concerned look on his face, all my troubles didn’t melt away. I even questioned why I had chosen his bed instead of my own. I shook my head at myself not knowing why I wanted to be by his side so damn bad, my heavy heart getting the best of my thoughts.

It was when he held me, as I curled up around a fluffy pillow probably half as big as myself. It was when I felt him gently pull his hand away from where our fingers were intertwined, trying his best to not wake me. It was when I cuddle back into his arms as he returned to me. It was the glimmer of joy in his eyes as he watched me get my things to leave for the night, not seeming disappointed that I had fallen asleep during our time together. It was the tight hug I received as if he didn’t want to let me go.

It was in those moments, of insane exhaustion and meaningful silence, that I felt a connection building between us.

I’ll be honest. I don’t think I would have ever believed any soul who told me he could make me feel strong in my weakest times. I don’t think I would have ever trusted anyone who said he would be the knight in shinning armor I’ve dreamed of ever since my first princess story. I would still not believe anyone who says he’ll be my happily ever after. I would still not believe anyone who says he’s everything I’ve waited for.

Not because that isn’t what a heart in love would want, not because of all the pain this heart has gone through, not even close. But because who the heck knows about his and my tomorrow? Who is going to say they can write our future for us and argue to take the pen straight out of our hands? Anyone want to raise their hand, because I will make sure I’m real clear about that fact that no one else has the right to write this future except for the ones in it. And, that night, started the spark in my cold little heart that gives me hope and excitement to write this future out with him.

It isn’t how romantic he is, it isn’t that life feels like a fairytale when I’m with him, and it definitely isn’t because I know him like the back of my hand. But it’s the moments where I can be sure I have a place in his heart. And during that night, I know I did.

Silent