In this moment I’m filled with sadness. I mourn the lives I never lived. I long for realities that could have been. In another dimension I have a loving mum. She hugs me and holds me when I hurt. She doesn’t cause the hurt. She mends my broken skin, wielding nothing but tourniquets to ease my suffering.

In another dimension I have more hobbies because I never had to make myself small to survive each day. There’s a version of me that could exist without ever feeling like she’s in the way. A version that would grow unencumbered by fear of the adults around her. With the freedom to be a child, she never had to anticipate what might set people off. What might anger them, what might annoy them, and what punishment that would bring.

There’s a version of me who knows what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. And I wonder if she ever feels lost like me. Is fear of abandonment something she can dream of but never see?

I’m making room for this grief. I’m allowing the tears to roll. I’m so torn up inside, but I never let it show. Over the years I’ve grown numb. I’ve dulled my ache for family, I’ve stifled my need for revenge. I’ve cut off feelings entirely. So my orgasms have felt barren.

I want to start feeling again. And tonight I’m allowing it without limit. The overwhelming emotion is grief. Sadness for my younger selves. Sadness for my inner child and all the memories that she’s buried.

I’m feeling all the feels but I don’t know what to do. Which way from here? I’ve let the sadness wash over me, now what? What do I do with all these open wounds? Where do I put the hurt? I don’t want to hurt forever but I have no way of changing what is, what has been, all the suffering I endured but didn’t deserve.

I’ll start by not chastising myself for who I am today. The behaviors I revert to are sometimes self sabotaging, but in another space and time, they are what helped me to survive. I am still alive after all these years. And though I feel dead inside, I must thank myself – all my selves, for everything they’ve done to take me this far. I can’t judge myself by other people’s standards.

I’ll never fit in with those who’ve been properly loved. Our stories are different. Mine is more taboo, but I matter just the same.

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