Sometimes it can be difficult to hear a name which you associate with an enemy. The girl who bullied you in school, the name of the boy who stood you up, someone who caused you pain. Just seeing their name written down or hearing it in the street can disrupt a happy mood and turn a good day in to a bad one.
S has the same first name as my first serious boyfriend. It’s a name which has followed me since my teens; causing me nightmares and breakdowns. That name was the reason why I drank. It was the reason I stopped sleeping with O for six months.
It’s also the reason why, when S and I are intimate, I sometimes struggle to say his name out loud.
For all intents and purposes, I am over what happened; which is why I can write with such honesty. I’ve certainly accepted it, and I don’t let it creep in to my life the way I used to. I know I’ve learned from it. Still, I experienced a strange feeling when a very familiar name popped up in my Facebook inbox.
25 April at 14:41
hi, I’m glad ur doin well. I’m new 2 social networking and for some reason I thought I’d say hi. I know it’s been years but..I dunno
A quick profile check confirmed that it was him. His profile has since been deleted, but I kept the message. I don’t know why. He’s not breaking any laws by contacting me (any legal reasons to stay away from me ran out years ago), and knowing a message from him is in there makes me feel sick. Perhaps it’s a confirmation of sorts; for years, I’ve been half-convinced I made it all up. I told myself, over and over, that it was all an attention-seeking lie. I felt guilty for leading people on, for gaining sympathy for something which never happened.
Yet it did. The police station has proof. My family experienced it. I experienced it.
I want to write about it, but something is holding me back. I never used to struggle when it came to speaking about what happened, because it was like watching a movie. I was entirely detached from it; a spectator. Now, I’ve come to terms with it and suddenly it’s very, very real.
After all that happened, how could he possibly think that I would ever want to speak to him? Why, when things are going well, has something so brutal from my past come hurtling in without the slightest warning?
I don’t know how to feel.