I recently had to face another anniversary of my assault, another year past. It’s always more difficult then you think its going to be. I spent my day trying to distract my mind from the inevitable. I look at the clock, its 9:30 am.
That’s about the time I hear a knock at the door. In reality no one is there but the sound resounds in between time and space connecting the past to the present. My eyes try to stay focused on the present, but I stare blankly at the door. If only I would have stayed home. I hear the words, “don’t answer,” leave my lips in what could only be described as a whisper. I jolt myself into the present. I remind myself that it’s July 7, 2014 and I am safe. The only objective is to make it through the day. I was prepared this year and took off work. Every anniversary reminds me that it was real and I can’t escape the emotions that come along with real.
The objective for the day is to try and distract my senses by means of over load. I don’t care what that means, not today. My thoughts are not going to be left to their own devices because they would most definitely kill me. So I spend the day meandering in what could only be called distractions. I surround myself with familiar sounds and am never alone for too long. The clock on every wall haunts me and, it’s as if, time itself knows I’m hiding.
I glance at my phone and read an encouraging text from a friend. The phone displays 10:45 am across the screen. It’s about the time in which he pours me that drink. The drink was filled with odorless and tasteless poison intent on destroying my life.
The next few hours were the most difficult because I only remember parts of the assault, and therefore as time converged upon itself, the past became present and present past. One moment I’m talking to my friend engulfed in conversation and the next she has to pull me back from somewhere beyond. She is used to the routine by now because any survivor knows the role they must play, saving the other from the darkness beyond. She understands the struggle all too well and fights with me until the end. She reminds me that I’m never alone.
There staring at me from across the room the clock strikes 5:00 pm. That’s the time panic really hits because that’s when I wake up and the broken pieces of my memory betray me. The fear is so thick that I can’t breathe. Please Jesus, let me leave this place. I can see his face and hear every word. I turn the radio up, anything to drown out the sound of his voice following me like an eerie echo.
Its 5:45 pm when I arrive home. Coincidentally, the same time I arrived home on that fateful day two years ago. I’m safe now. The past and the present finally agree. I let the water from the shower stream down my face. It’s cleansing the wounds of my soul. I’m alive and I’m fighting for the past to stay in the past and for the past to not betray my present.
Today, I survived and that means I won.
It’s small but its mine.