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  • Writer's pictureFannie Miller

Today: My Story Continues

I wrote my letter.

Not just any letter but * the* letter. The letter that will hopefully give some insight when life leaves my body, when my soul finally is safe. The tears ran down my face as I sat on the floor of my closet. That damn closet. I used to jokingly say that I came out of the closet only to go back in, however that small room became my sanctuary. Two locked doors were between me and the outside world, nothing could get in unless I let it. Wine bottle in hand I would lay there looking at the ceiling.

Like the old reel films the black and white story of my life would play before my eyes. Some days were happy times. Running through the fields with my shirts whipping around my legs. Feeling freshly mixed bread dough squish through my fingers. Hearing the giggles of my sisters in the dark, always listening for my mothers feet approaching as she would tell us once again to go to sleep.

Other days it was sad times. The fragmented bits and pieces that I had to put together to form what little memories I had. My body would curl into a ball as the feeling of his breath would go down my neck. Squeezing my eyes tight to stop the film sometimes worked, other times it would put me back into my five year old self sitting behind the hay bales telling him “ I didn’t want to play”.

The wine would pour into my blood trying to either numb the feelings or make sense of them. I didn’t care which one as long as they stopped. The carpet in that closet soaked up my tears and the walls muffled my cries. There I could break, I could finally let the walls down to show just how broken my heart was.

I thought leaving the church was the hard part but no. Trauma just doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately for me that was just the beginning. Two more assaults would be added to the ever growing lists and the odds were stacking up higher each day.

Every time I would come close to saying “ That’s it I’m done” all I could see was my daughter's hair reflecting in the sunlight. My oldest on graduation, my third making witty comments at thanksgiving and my youngest saving all the cats she could find.

I finished that letter. I wrote how sorry I was to put them through that. I tried and gave everything I had but it just wasn’t enough. I wanted them to be good humans, to love unconditionally and to stop and smell the honeysuckle every time it bloomed.

Now it sits in my closet as a reminder that even when I thought I was done the one tiny sliver of hope was enough to keep me here.

Besides, who would teach my kids to smell the honeysuckle?

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