‘Countless times.’ she said. ‘Countless times I was knocked down to utter ruination. By the end I was a wilting story dying away with each chapter. There were occasions when even I wouldn’t have recognised myself if I looked. And don’t be thinking it was always them who kept me from existing. If you ever heard that, you have to know that is a lie. There were times when I did the knocking all by myself.’
‘Ok, so what changed? What happened after the last time?’ I asked.
‘For a split second I saw everything clearly and what I saw, scared me. Truly scared me, you know? To the core. I looked about myself and saw destruction. Within and without. I could see me drowning in the decay of a life I did not want. So in that split second I grasped at something, anything I could hold on to, to pull myself up and out of the constraint just a little bit. Just enough to be able to breathe.’
‘What did you find to hold on to?’ I asked.
‘Oh it was only a little thing. Perhaps a smile or the light shining through my window, or realising that the blood running through my veins is the same that runs through those whom I love.’
‘That doesn’t sound so little to me,’ I said contemplating the significance of what she just said. ‘And then? What happened next?’ I asked after a moment.
‘Next? Next, I caught at something else a bit higher and pulled myself up further. And little by little I realised living my broken story was a place of comfort, for staying there was easy. Painful and destructive but easy. Splitting myself open to allow growth sounded much more difficult and so much scarier. But as I began to breathe, I found it wasn’t so. This new way of being took and still takes strength yes, sometimes an enormous amount but each time I practice it, I get stronger. With each time the wilting fades and the growth gets taller and more powerful.’
In decay she grew – 2020