Yet again, when I arrive home, no one notices me. Am I invisible? Does my black clothing camouflage me? Does the sunlight have a melting effect on me? No one asked how my day was. No one even said hello. If home is where the heart is, why is mine left trampled at the back door?
My only refuge is my bedroom which I reach with a sigh of relief. As I close the door I know I am rejecting life. These four walls have become my prison. I long to be free but I can’t find the way out. I am on an island alone with with no way to bridge to gap.
At 4 pm I leave the seclusion of my bedroom and dare to chance the unknown world. I walk into the kitchen where my sister and mother are having afternoon tea. As usual, no one noticed me. Why don’t we try anymore? A few weeks ago we would have engaged in conversation. Not now. I guess we are too exhausted to try.
There was a knock on my bedroom door and I almost felt offended that someone had dared to invade my privacy. Then I felt warmed by the thought they still cared. I called out “come in” but no one did. I opened the door but there was no one to invite in.
Dinner was ready. I left the harbour of tranquillity and walked into the mouth of the dragon – my family seated at the dinner table. Communication was at an all-time low tonight. No one spoke or dared to break this suffocating silence. We all stared at the television, mesmerised by happy people living in fantasy worlds.
Dinner finished and again I wished I could talk to my father, despite the pain he’s caused. I want to forgive and receive forgiveness but I don’t remember how to talk. My mother whisked the plates away without a word. My sister left the table without saying good-bye.
I fed the cats, my only friends. I walked through the house to my safety zone, the slamming of doors echoing in my mind. I recalled the feeling of belonging I had felt a few weeks ago. Before the pain when my sister died in a car accident. Her room an untouched relic. Her memory burned in our minds. Her face distorted by God’s cruel trick when the drunk slammed his car into her. Her beauty lost in the Grim Reaper’s collection of the dead. Her funeral a quiet reminder of our own mortality.
Home sweet home, what a joke! Would they prefer it if I had died? Do I have the courage to live? Will I find “home” when I’m married, embraced by someone I love? I need someone to hold me too. Why did my family die with her? Will I ever get back my home or was it shed with our rainbow-coloured tears?
How could I care about my Grade 12 formal when my life was falling apart?
There was too much sorrow in my life. Then my uncle died. The atmosphere before the funeral was so thick you couldn’t have sliced it with a chainsaw. My problems were insignificant and if I had the audacity to believe I was important, I was wrong.
Soon I became a silent, shrouded ghost wandering lost from room to room. No one questioning, no one noticing, no one caring. I dealt with my problems alone and I felt overwhelmed. Neither my family or friends noticed anything was wrong. I am a moody bitch anyway.
My hopelessness erupted into a cesspool of inordinate pain, mixed with the remains of my soul. I felt blinded by isolation and frustration. My master, this pit of empty blackness, whipped his new slave.
I became withdrawn and I was finally seen as the fragile shell I had become. My friends asked what troubled me, but I said nothing. My friends couldn’t reach me so they gave up. It was too late anyway.
Instead of asking for help I contemplated slitting my wrists. I didn’t want to die, but I needed something real to cry about. A release from this pain. The only time I dropped this facade was at night in bed, exposing my battered and torn mind. I cried myself to sleep every night. Sixteen and with nothing to live for.
Then the glorious day arrived. The funeral party in honour of my dead uncle. His mourners were ready to wail. I was ready to die. I went and stood alone in the church with no one to cry on. The tears I cried at his funeral were for me.
We arrived at the cemetery encircling a toffee coloured coffin. A final goodbye to a man I didn’t know. A hole in the ground was his new home, to become rotting worm food. I looked up at the sky and collapsed to the ground. Unconscious for no more than a minute and a half, my life changed forever. I had my first tonic-clonic seizure. I have epilepsy.