It’s Happening Again

It’s happening again. It’s happening again. IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN.

I am twenty-seven years old and after retracing old steps today, I realized that I have not progressed, matured, or moved on from anything that has ever happened to me.

I am five years old and alone in my neighbor’s backyard. I am surrounded by green trees and tangerines. I speak to the coy fish and my imagination leads me to the fear of Santa Claus, spiders, and sunny days.

I am still twelve, crying and alone in the school bathroom, upset that no one asked me to be in their picture. I have no friends and I spend gloomy June afternoons waiting for school to be over so I can daydream while the summer burns alive outside.

I am still fourteen, crying and surrounded by over-sexualized philistines who see me as weak, as the enemy. I run off only making things worse and wishing I were dead.

I am still seventeen, crying and sick on the phone with the boy who broke my heart. He’s trying to convince me he made the right decision, trying to convince himself he isn’t what he really is, trying to—bringing me over burritos and memories that were already dead.

I am still twenty-one, crying and screaming at my mother, threatening to jump out of the window. Words are flying out of my mouth, but they aren’t making any sense. I am pacing down the street, looking for a familiar vehicle, looking for sanity, looking for a reason not to end it all like Ben did.

I am still twenty-five, crying and mentally alone while a body sits inches from me, sitting silently and making the pain last far longer than it ever should have. The ideas run deeper this time: oven, pills, razors, overpass. I cannot stop.

I am twenty-seven, lethargic and alone, surrounded by sunny walls and cloudy thoughts. I keep returning to the same dark place. Different people pass through one door, two doors, but then you enter. You stay quiet to allow my jittery fingers to release their fears. You give me a kiss and ask if I’m all right. You tell me I’m beautiful. I take a deep breath and even though tense lips and the black wave returns, at least I was able to float on the surface for a moment.

Stacey Renberg

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