Alone - By Thia

Alone is wanting to be accepted by my father that I got into a stranger's car, with promises to see him. While at the same time being afraid of him, all the while wanting him to love me and see me. When I was finally returned to my mother and step father, I tried to talk about my experiences. However because of the nature of the crime, they weren't allowed to talk about it with me. My black box came to me in my head, that was when I started placing my memories in the box. I was four.

Alone is sitting in the closet with your sister. Watching her flinch from your touch. It caused something in my head to flip, I didn't want her to be afraid of me. I started shoving emotions, specifically anger and jealously in my black box. My mask came to me. I was five.

Alone is where you hear you mother say, don't worry about her. I'll get her tomorrow. Not realizing you were awake when she took your sisters home from her long shift. I cried alone in that basement many nights waiting for you to come dry my tears. You never came, but how could you know that my heart was crying out to you when I wore my mask so well. I was seven.

Alone is not being able to tell the truth about your home life. Not being able to say I need help, because I was afraid that they would taken them away from me. I was so afraid, that I would be physically alone. I did my best to be strong. I cooked, cleaned, and took care of everyone, but I had no one in those nights when I was alone in my bed. How could anyone know, I wore my mask so well. I was twelve.

Alone is waking up to no running water. The electricity was stolen from the pole. We were filthy, it was the last day before winter break. I felt so gross, I collected snow from outside in the big blue bowl. I heated up the stove and melted it down, there I proceeded to wash my hair. All while you slept off one high. No one knew how bad it was, how could they I wore my mask so well. I was fourteen.

Alone is watching the world slow down and everything freeze. The only sound that woke me from that state was my own scream. It was so inhuman, I never thought I could scream like that. I thought they were dead. I talked a lot about this incident, this also became part of my mask. This was fresh and if we focused on this, then no one would see how broken I was on the inside. I was fifteen.

Alone is making the choice to not go back. Deciding I needed to do something for myself. I couldn't stop them, one was so enthralled with the attention and the other was to young to know any better. I felt stuck, and many nights I cried into my pillow. I wore my mask well, I played the moody teenager. I was sixteen.

Alone is letting a boy in your life to have him use his words and hand to make a point. Being afraid to stand up for oneself because of past memories drowning you in fear. I asked for help, but my call wasn't heard. I shoved it in my box, clinking my mask firmly in place. I was sixteen.

Alone is getting married, and being so afraid of being abandon that it became my dirty secret. Every family event filled with anxiety, slowly I allowed him to pull me away. I was so afraid of being left behind. I was so afraid. How could you know, I've worn my mask most of my life. I was eighteen.

Alone is holding your husband's hand while the doctor tells you that your chances for children is low. That its my fault as the woman that we can't have children. This was my whole purpose in life. This was the beginning of my self hatred. My mask firmly shut itself on my face, with cracks forming around the mouth. I was nineteen.
 
Alone is being denied by your husband. Making you feel less than human being. Wanting to die, but not being able to voice your fears. You justify the hurtful words, you twist them to make sweet. The mask continues to hold in place but the cracks are forming around the eyes. I was twenty-four

Alone is arguing with your husband about getting your back fixed. Arguing about improving your life. Arguing about not wanting children and hating every bit of your self. The mask is so stuck on my face I don't even know what I look like underneath, the cracks deepen around the mouth. I was twenty-eight.

Alone is stepping away from all you've known. I was so afraid that I jumped in every bed that came my way. I so desperately wanted to be loved. I was skinned starved and I needed to eat. I devoured all that came to me. Some listen to my tale, others just wanted the touch. I started learning my likes and dislikes. I was so afraid, my mask was all I had. I was twenty-nine.

Alone is feeling like that there is nothing better but the embrace of death. Feeling as if everything you've done in your life was wrong. Feeling so unbelievably broken, but I am not alone. I have someone, well a couple of someones to wipe my tears, to pick my broken pieces that no one bothered with. My mask is breaking and I am starting to come through. I am thirty.