Writing as Anika: The victory lap. 

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

I’m jealous of those who can forgive themselves. 

Forgiving him came almost effortlessly.

Society gave him the perfect alibi. He wasn’t culpable of his crime. The crime scene was my burden to bear from the start. My dress, my demeanour, my callousness.

So I forgave him.

But I needed someone to blame.

I commit a worse crime;

I blamed myself.

I’m jealous of those who can forgive themselves so easily.

Enter self-harm;

It came in waves –

The first wave was silence,

I shut them out, the voices inside and the voices outside. I shunned the calls of love, I muted the sharp knives of blame – the betrayal of society.

The second wave was more apparent,

The scars on my wrist bears testimony, to date. Louder the silence, deeper the cuts.

The third wave was pretension,

To convince an audience that I was okay, with the hope that I would convince myself.

The third wave had a more subtle backlash – a form of self harm that fools the naked eye.

A toxic amalgamation of nicotine, marijuana, sleeping tablets and starvation. All wrapped in loud laughter and endless distractions.

I punished myself.

Nicotine, because everytime I inhaled, I knew I was dying a little more. Killing the body that brought me pain. His words echoing with every puff I took, “I’ve always noticed your body”.

Marijuana, because the helplessness of panic attacks were too much to fathom.

Sleeping pills, because his voice was stuck in my head, stealing the oblivion of sleep from me.

Starvation, because.

I had convicted myself for the crime of being a woman. I had convicted myself for being vulnerable, for letting someone break me. And through all of this, I convinced myself that it was my fault.

But time and love always heals.

Love comes in different forms, and in each from, it heals.

Love comes as people, as places, as animals, as songs. All of which heals.

I muse the courage to utter a phrase I thought I’d never say, “I believe in love”

I whisper a promise to the universe that’s shinning over me, I promise to love myself. I am no longer blaming my body for his sins. He bruised my body, but my soul is in tact. I am not what has happened to my body. I adorn myself with new scars -black ink to remind myself of the struggle, to remind myself that I made it through. Black ink, a trophy of sorts – a reminder that the ink on my wrists won’t define my soul just as much as his sins don’t.

Two years later, I forgive myself –

Black ink, my victory lap.

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