I will be 23. That’s proposterous. How can one be a number. I’ll be 23 years of age, as in I would’ve breath and suffocated in the toxic atmosphere of society for 23 years of 365.25 days, a little under 8401 days. When you put it that way, it doesn’t seem long at all. If I had a £ for each day, not only would there be nothing left, there’d also be a pothole of debt. 8400.75 days. It’s hard to put in perspective, especially since we’ve become so accustomed to large sums – but 8400 days, 23 years, is not as negligible as the numbers suggest.

Of these 23 years, I barely remember 11. And of these 11 years, the past two years are the only in which my place of residence remained constant. I’ve not stayed put any other year, roaming the likes of San Francisco, Boston, Massachusettes, Rhode Island, Shen Zhen, Nan Shan, Cambridgeshire, Surrey, and finally Greater London. My heart winces as I feel for whoever it was that was tossed from one stop to the next, a real life doppelganger of The Suitcase Kid; a manifestation of the stereotypical insecure, spiteful, and rebellious teen we see portrayed in popular movies that end with the loved and accepted teenager a model daughter or son after the family endures some horrific ordeal in a ridiculously hilarious manner. Except in this case, it is not a teen, and she is not travelling alongside a divorcee.

She was abruptly extracted from the social circles she established through great difficulty, from which she found company that brought her glimmers of happiness. But no. They were deemed outcasts and misfits, without consideration – even convicts have a chance of fair trial. Apart from the hazy memories of years of being outcast by classmates and teachers alike, including the principle, the first moment where she felt what one might even call a sense of belonging was – no, not ripped from her – she was ripped from it.

She was taken overseas without explanation. Little did she know, this was only the first of many “extractions” to come. She managed to bond with a boy, William? Who, of course, was deemed a bad influence and once again she was left alone. But oh wait, she wasn’t alone, she had her mum! This is where our story of narcissistic and emotional abuse begins – a story in which the the behaviours and attitudes characteristic of n.e.a. are only recognised as such a decade afterwards – and this is only to account for the memories which have returned.

Even as I write, I am overcome by overwhelming emotion that I’m unable to put into words. Perhaps this is evident in the inconsistency of the quality of my writing. I apologise. Proofreading is a tormenting process, for those emotions run through me with more intensity and depth – and it becomes too much to bear. But I’m determined that I will get something down, before the memories dissipate once again.

I didn’t quite know where this was headed, and I still don’t know now – but it seems I’ll be attempting an autobiography of sorts. Even the idea alone frightens me. But perhaps this is also a way to confront the past, as Freud would have encouraged.

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