He would leave me black and blue, that boy I used to know.
He never would hit me. At least, he said it was never intentional.
My feet would be so bloody, and it hurt so much to put on shoes—but I always did to hide my shame.
My chest would raise in red-, blue-, purple-, green-, yellow-mottled lumps. Sometimes it would hurt to breathe. For years, that same feeling of compression would come back and it would still hurt to breathe.
I questioned myself for years. Did not tell people. Told everyone. Still it would sometimes hurt to breathe.
Years later I connected again to a friend I knew at the time this all took place. She told me about him. I went over to her house and she asked me to write in the same book he wrote in. I felt like crushing the crayons in my bony fingers. I drew a flower and it became hard to breathe as she told me that he had travelled to [developing world Asian country] and got a tattoo of some script he couldn’t even read.
When he had hurt me, it never really hurt. It never felt like anything.
When she told me that she was sleeping with him, I remembered how she had held me when I cried. I remembered the way her eyes looked when I lifted my shirt so that she could see me. I felt sad, and then it was like a vacuum sucked up my life. It didn’t feel like anything.
Some things make sense, now that time has come and spread over my life like a thick, healing salve.
Some things will never make sense to me. I know this, but I keep reading and researching. Just like with everything else in my life, I feel like if I can just read enough I’ll understand and it will all make sense. If that day ever comes, I will drop everything that I have been doing. I will sit back and have a glass of iced tea and breathe.
But, so many things do not make sense that I know I will never be done. I have felt and can feel myself packing up that part of my life because every day the distance grows between the me I am right now and the me I used to be. But, I am not packing it up to send it away. I am packing it up to keep it safe, because there is more wisdom there than I know what to do with. I use bits and pieces now, but that’s all I have use for. I pray that I won’t, but I know that one day I might need to use it all. I pray that I won’t, but I somehow feel safer knowing it is there.