I was never lucky, and I was never free. I’ve a frustration that stems from being born into the wilderness and the overgrown paths, into a conservatory and a broken oven. The path led down the garden and the door was broken down, I had a sanctuary in a white room the size of my bed. I never knew what it was to be settled, to be easy, to not be passed around and turned upside down and stolen. But I did not know. I had a year, or two, when I learned to read and I lived in a house without a broken door. The garden was clear and I had my own building, my own friends, I was safe for a minute or two. Until my eye was blackened for talking, until I ‘fell’ down the stairs. Until my head was broken open three times, until I cried in multiples of three. It made sense that I had to keep things safe and sober, that I had to check and check again. I asked for forgiveness and I was late for school. I moved again. To a house that I thought was a mansion, that I thought would keep me free. I was hurt again and I got older, I saw blood and I saw vodka. I was the mother and the saviour, he left and I had to keep her. I had my own sanctuary in the bottle and in other people’s homes, I learned the meaning of family and I knew that I had cause to be frustrated. But I kept it. My salvation came from self-medication, from my stomach and my head. When I was younger I found safety in books and words, and I didn’t lose that really. I just transferred my knowledge from history to suicide notes, and I sought a little comfort in nudity. I sought comfort in regret. I was lucky to make a friend or two who worried for my safety, and even my mother took notice for a minute. Not having a family affected me and it frustrated me mostly, but I enjoyed sneaking out of the house. I enjoyed 6am with my feet in the water or my pen to paper or my face in the bottle, I smoked a lot of cigarettes in those years but they’re a blur. I drank in tents, in fields, I could sleep anywhere but I often didn’t.

When I first found the coast I felt like I could be safe again. I was never cared for by anyone but the lapping of the waves and the wind that wrapped around my ears. I’ve cause to be frustrated because I was never cared for. By anyone. Advantage, abuse, a victim. I curled up inside prose that I couldn’t decipher and I sought a little meaning in everybody else’s world. I got older, again, and I was kicked out of my home. I was happy to be away and I was safe in those days, I had a bed and a television and I never wanted to go back. But I did, and my eyes filled with blood again for what I had done. So I drank. What hurt the most, I suppose, was when I recovered and I was left for not being high anymore. When I wasn’t a challenge people lost interest, and I had to make new friends who didn’t understand where I’d been. I am scarred. When I left home I thought things would be better but I had a child to feel responsible for, because I chose not to abort her. She is seven, now. She is beautiful and precious and I know that the same things will happen to her, too. I know that she will be lost.

I am never lucky. But I have learned how to make a family and how to become part of one, and I feel grateful for that. I am still scarred and I still self-medicate, but I know who I am now. I am frustrated and I’ve cause to be, because I have been abused and I have been hurt. I have bled and drank and I took so much lying down, I still do. I still do. I trust easily because I want family, and even recently I’ve woken up naked and hurt. I am hurt. I thought I was behind dirty mattresses and more than friends, past a complex sexuality and lost memory. I want to be honest because I want understanding. I am a victim and I have known death. I have stolen and I am an addict and I will always make the wrong choice, the easy choice. I want to be honest and I want to be safe.


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