June 8, 2012

the weaker sex

I woke up at 5:00am from a horrible nightmare. Blinking in the half-light of early morning, I wished fervently that S was lying next to me, so I could simply grab onto him and feel grounded again. But I was at home, and alone, and had to find my own way back to reality. I rolled onto my stomach and opened the shutters above my bed, trying to remember to take deep breaths, and watched sunrise slide across the front yard, the sidewalk, the roses.

Don't be afraid of shadows. It only means a light is shining somewhere. Don't be afraid of shadows. It only means a light is shining somewhere. Don't be afraid of shadows. It only means a light is shining somewhere. Don't be afraid of shadows...

This was not as comforting as I hoped.

A whole murder of crows descended upon the neighbor's evergreen, their grating voices drowning out the cheerful robins that perch in the cherry tree outside my window, and I found I was deeply irritated by their brazenness. But they don't know or care what I think -- which only brings me back to the root of all my horrors. That innocent and lovely can be so quickly overpowered by selfish and loud.


I am getting ready to move into my own place, with no roommates. And I'm scared. I wasn't before, but after the dream I had, I am now. The world is still not safe for women, not anywhere, no matter how liberated or equal anyone tries to say we are. It breaks my heart.

Sometimes I think I don't need to be scared, and other times I wonder if I am not scared enough. In my dream, I came home to find my apartment ransacked, and was then beaten and assaulted by the intruder. My brain was unfortunately able to supply many grisly details from memory.

I should not be so foolish as to think that there is a cap on Bad Things. There isn't one. There's no scorekeeper, no limit. I just don't know if I can survive another Bad Thing. I think one more attack would break me. And while there's no reason to think it will happen again, there's no reason to think it won't, either. I don't want fear to rule my life, but after all that's happened to me I have no excuse for naiveté.

I feel safe with S, every minute we're together. When I stay at his house, not only is he there to protect me, I also have the dubious reassurance of knowing that the gun he taught me to use is lying heavy and formidable in the nightstand drawer. I always hated the thought of shooting someone, even non-fatally, regardless of the circumstances. But today, for the first time, it crossed my mind that maybe I could do it. Because if it came down to it, and it could only be them or me -- I'd choose me.

I can't afford to be broken. Not after I've come so far.


  1. This was not as comforting as I hoped.


    Have been thinking about your post and have come back to re-read several times.

    I know you are right. There is no cap on Bad Things. Not in this world. I don't like that being true, but I know it IS true.

    S sounds wonderful - wonderful. You deserve wonderful. I'm glad he is there.

    I'm glad if it came down to it, you'd choose you. I would choose you, too.

    Where does safety come from in this life? Do you believe it can be had...?

    Hoping only and ever good things for you, Vera Kate, xoxo.


    1. Thank you for your comments. I'm writing a new post now, because my reply got too long. xo