I know I have kind of missed the boat on this prompt, because Teresa (The Haunted Wordsmith) is no longer hosting these writing prompts. But I started this and I don’t like to start a post without finishing it.
Prompt A (elemental challenge): threatening
Prompt B (sentence starter): “Someone is angry–very angry.”
Prompt C (photo):
I mentioned in a post a few of days ago, that this week it is four years since I was attacked. I also mentioned that I have been able to deal with that more successfully than I have with what preceded it. I used an expression that I have been thinking about:
“Four years ago this week it all happened. It was as if a monster – and I don’t mean either Jack or the man who attacked me – launched an intense assault at me, and decided to pick up my life and break it into pieces.”
It did feel rather like an intense storm threatening to destroy me. It was one furious wave after another crashing over me. I felt as if I had an enemy who wanted to see me sink beneath the waves and be nothing but a wreck. It was as if someone was angry–very angry, with me. I thought I was tough. I have been through all sorts of experiences that were hard and pulled through just fine. But being the subject of vicious gossip and slander for such a long time wore me down.
Just when I thought I was conquering and my head was above water, something would trigger a new onslaught. Jack and I would turn up at the same party…before I reached home there were photographs of me and comments about me that had spread across London and across the country. I would have phone-calls, text messages and e-mails from friends asking me what was going on. I always tried to dampen down the attention that was coming my way because of Jack, telling people it was all nonsense.
There were many twists and turns to the saga. For most of the time the rumours concentrated on Jack and me. But then when they started to focus on the relationship I had with a married man – well, there was no relationship. We went to the same running club, but I worked with his wife. Rumours were being spread that there was something going on between this married man and I. It became crystal clear in my mind that the rumours originated with Jack because I remember Jack driving past when I was running alongside this particular man.
That was a line crossed. It was no longer just Jack and me. He had dragged a happily married couple into our dilemma. The stress got to my workmate first. After she screamed at me in a very busy part of a public building we worked within, the directors of the charity we worked for called me into the office. They wanted to know what was going on. They were aware of some of the talk about Jack and I. A year before, they had already helped me move out of the flat I shared with Jack, in an effort to stem the gossip.
They appealed to me to sort things out with Jack as they did not want the situation between he and I to spill over and ruin the camaraderie between volunteers. I tried to speak to Jack, I really did. He was being a donkey. He was intensely hostile towards me at this late stage.
I have often wondered what exactly it was that finally broke me. I was already crumbly and fragile after enduring so much nonsense for so long. But I have often wondered what was it that pushed me into going to the park on my own. I know I saw him several times a day for those last few days…and always was the recipient of his cold glares. But was that all? I was tired those last few days. A lot was happening. The huge party I helped to set up…only getting back home after three o’clock in the morning that night and having to be up early the next day for a full day.
I remember feeling incredibly isolated all of a sudden. The people I would normally talk to just were not there. Marta was on holiday. Another good friend who was one of the directors who had been helping me was also on holiday. Another of the directors who had been helping me was ill. I sent a text message to his wife explaining I was desperate to talk. She had changed her number and not told me. My sister Milly was in Africa. I did not want to worry my parents, there was nothing they could do. I just felt so alone.
It was my birthday. I floated through that day. It was not even real. I was with friends. I was numb. I could not enjoy anything. I just wanted to escape. I did not want to have this enemy, this man whom I loved so much, making my life miserable. I had a television appearance, another morning where I had to wake up very early. I remember looking at the camera and the whole situation feeling surreal. People spoke words to me…I could not take anything in at that stage. I was out with friends in a restaurant, there were maybe thirty of us. I had not wanted to go, now I was there, I wanted to leave, but I stayed, I wanted to go, but I didn’t know where to go, I no longer wanted to go home, because Jack was there living on the floor above me, sleeping in a bed just a few metres away from mine. I could still hear him singing in the shower every morning. I had stopped singing a long time ago.
It seemed so natural you know to walk in the direction of the park – The Heath. It seemed like a safe place. Waking up in an ambulance told me that it had not been a safe place.
You may have heard the expression that a person may feel as if they are “drowning in despair”. I know it might sound very dramatic, but I think I was back then, four years ago. It is an awful coincidence that when I was weakest and exhausted, a man, a complete stranger found me alone, and overpowered me, and inflicted so many blows to my head that I have been told, he probably thought I was dead.
And yet, we go on. For we are strong. We survive the storm. We try to repair the damage. We hope for clearer skies and calmer waters, so that we can at long last unfurl the sails, and let life fill us with desire and excitement to continue our voyage.
We are only dust…and yet there is this deep flame within that tells us these storms were never what our Creator intended…and they will pass. The burning longing for peace and security and life without end at last!