| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

I Woke up in a Stranger’s Apartment

Oh my head. Everything is spinning. And everything hurts. Especially my face. I slowly open my eyes and see beige-brown
curtains. There’s sunlight coming in and out from
the curtains that are moving slightly from the wind. There are empty pizza boxes on the ground
and what looks like enough beer bottles to drown an elephant. This is not my room. I don’t know where I am. But to be honest, this isn’t an unfamiliar
feeling. Even the things that scare you to your very
core if they reoccur enough, you start to feel like it’s a part of your life. It becomes familiar and comforting. Oh my head. Maybe this is who I am now. Someone who wakes up in strange mens apartments. Speaking of strange men…. Where is he, is he behind me? I don’t even want to know. I’m going to try to sneak out. Oh my head. Am I going to be able to do this? I opened up the blanket and before I took
a step out, an arm is swung across my face, locking onto my neck and then pushing me down. Oh my head. “Where are you going babydoll?” I looked up to see the brown eyed, messy brown
haired man grinning at me from ear to ear. He’s choking me. “Your choking me.” “You didn’t mind it last night.” “I can’t breathe. Stop.” “You don’t tell me what to do, I thought
you learned this last night. We had some fun didn’t we?” I’m really choking. I can’t breathe. Everything is becoming a blur. “Stop.” He let’s go. “You almost killed me you son of a – !” I tried to punch him with my right hand but
he grabs my wrist with his left and with his right hand slaps me right across the face. “You don’t learn your lesson do you? I thought a black eye would teach you a thing
or two.” That explains the pain. “Who are you?” “I told you baby, I can either be your dream
come true or your living nightmare.” “I would say the latter fits best.” Screw this. I’m leaving. I tried to get up to grab my clothes. He grabbed me, pulled me closer and tried
to kiss me. I tried to fight him off, getting in a punch
or two. But in the end, there wasn’t much I could
do… I bent down to grab my clothes on the floor
and my legs completely gave out. I had no energy left I … I gotta get the
hell out of here. He’s laying in bed smoking and on his phone. Got what he wanted, he has no need for
me anymore. I grabbed all my stuff and got dressed on
the way out. I gotta get the hell out of here. As I was walking out, I managed to keep a
straight face. But i was shaking the entire time. By the time I passed the first house, I bursted
into tears. I can’t believe I let myself get into that
position. He could’ve killed me and I wouldn’t have
been able to do anything about it. I passed a few houses and curbs and couldn’t
walk anymore. I sat down at one of the steps, put my arm
on my knees, my head on my arm and just sobbed. I don’t want to go home and get beaten some
more. This might not even be the worst thing to
happen to me today. Yesterday, she pulled my hair and told me
that if I don’t clean my room, she was going to kill me. The day before, she got off the phone with
dad and then hit me with the phone. It’s been going on since they divorced when
I was 4. I’m 17 now. She’s like this because he cheated on her
when they were married so she punishes me for it. They were married really young. She was 19 and he was 20. I don’t remember what it was like before
they got divorced of course. Her like this is all I know. I looked up and there are more people in the
streets. I better get home. I stood in front of the faded red door staring
at it. The area around the doorknob is more faded
and chipped than everywhere else. I can empathize. I took a deep breathe – I really hope she’s
still sleeping – and I quietly opened the door. I peaked inside before stepping in. She’s not here. I took a deep breath out and closed the door as
quickly as possible. Ok. So far so good. And now, the stairs. I slowly walked up the stairs and avoided
the squeaky step. That step has drawn a lot of blood and bruises. As I crept pass her room and slowly opened
my bedroom door, my heart is beating so fast. She’s hurt me so many times and in so many
ways, but no matter how bruised and battered I am, I will always be afraid. I guess I was wrong, just because it’s a
part of your life, it doesn’t mean you will stop being afraid of it. When I opened the door, I saw that she wasn’t
there. I took another breath out. I looked in the mirror and saw that my eye
was turning black. Great. How am I going to hide this? I remembered the last time I had a black eye. I was really young but still too afraid to
tell anyone that my own mother gave it to me. I think that was when I started to stop loving
her. How could I love her as my mom when she didn’t
treat me like she was my mom? That was also the moment I started to hurt
myself. It got so bad that by the time I was thirteen,
the principle sent a letter to my mom that she had to send me to a psychiatrist. So I went to a psychiatrist. After a few sessions, he told me that I have
BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD is a serious mental illness that makes
it hard for people to control their emotions and causes problems in relationships. The symptoms are an intense fear of abandonment,
having unstable relationships, self-destructive behaviors, unclear or unstable self image,
chronic feelings of emptiness, explosive anger, extreme mood swings and more. But she didn’t do anything about it. The only thing she did was made sure my dad
didn’t know. But things got better when Nathaniel came
into my life. I felt supported for the first time in my
life. I felt like I wasn’t alone. But we were stupid teens and we broke up twice
in two years. In the break ups, I started to feel that empty
feeling again. A feeling I hadn’t felt since I met him. It feels like there’s a sharp pain in your
stomach. It feels like there is a hole there. It feels like something is falling in it and
never finding the end. It feels like you’re shaking on the inside. It feels like hell. I couldn’t handle it. Every time I had that feeling, I’d rushed
out to find someone to help ease the loneliness. But it only made me feel worse… We got back together and had an 3 amazing
years together. We both knew each other like the back of our
hands, I could finally control my emotions and impulses, and that empty feeling was gone… I was happy. Really happy. But then he broke up with me. And at the same time my dad lost his job. And since mom hadn’t had a job in years that
meant that I couldn’t go to university. Oh and we also might be kicked out of our
house soon because we have no money to pay the rent… So here I am looking at myself in the mirror
with another black eye. But it’s okay, it’s all going to be okay. I’m ready to go. It’s been really hard trying to deal with
all of it alone. I have no medication to treat my depression
so I really am on my own. At one point when I was standing on the bathroom
floor staring at the pool of blood, I realized that this is the end of my time. Maybe this is a sign that the world is rejecting
me and that I shouldn’t be in it. So I’m just going to give it what it wants. It’s works out for everyone. And ever since then, it’s been kind of a
relief. All I had to do was one thing and then I think
she would finally be happy. I laid down gently on my bed and took out
the note that I wrote a few weeks earlier. The first sentence is written, “Since there
is 45 days left of my childhood it only seemed fitting that I would end everything at the
same time.” While I was reading my it, I fell asleep. I woke up again when I heard the door slam
against the wall. It was my mom. She looks pissed. She’s yelling something I can’t understand. My ears are ringing and her words aren’t
making sense- as usual. The note was still in my hand so it
can’t be that. I quickly tucked it away behind me and tried
to listen again. “What is wrong with you?! You evil little – !” My dad appeared behind her. I didn’t even know he was here. He took one look at me and started screaming
at her. She seemed actually scared but as she walks
away she still called him all sorts of names. He threw a duffle bag on the floor, walked
over to me, kneeled down next to me and kissed my forehead, and then told me to pack up my
stuff. “It’s time to go honey. You’re turning 18 in a few days so she will
no longer have any legal right to keep you… I know you’ve been really sad. I know you’re struggling. I’m going to take you to a doctor and everything
is going to be okay, I promise.” Seeing a psychiatrist helped me immensely. The pills I’m taking really made me feel
better and I started to have a positive outlook on life. My dad got a stable job which meant that I
could start studying. I discovered that I love to dance. It’s not only a way for me to express myself
but it’s extremely therapeutic for me. I am doing so much better and I’m so so
glad I didn’t go through with my plan. Nowadays I work as a dancehall teacher, I
am about to begin my second semester at university and I am planning to participate next year
at the Hip Hop International 2019, a dance contest. Guys, things really do get better. It was so hard to see a way out but I promise
you, there is one. Sometimes you might just have to trust that
things will get better. That you will be okay. Sometimes you might not make it on your own,
but do not be ashamed of asking for help, it’s really necessary sometimes. But no matter what, I promise. THINGS WILL GET BETTER.

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