Thursday, September 24, 2009

Safe Haven

Opening her eyes in the darkness of her safe haven. Fear envelops her. If someone were to look in all they would see were the whites of hr eyes. She is unsure of why she has woken so suddenly. A loud clap of thunder startles her and she jumps from the bed. The lightning brings light into the dark abyss of her bedroom. That sound. That light. It reminds her of a time in her childhood...


The thunder wakes her. Instanty she is filled with fear. She decides to seek refuge in her parent's bedroom. Their arms are her safe haven at the tender age of five. She makes her way down the hall on a mission to find safety. Hesitating, she touches the door, unsure of what has made her stop. With as much might as a half sleeping child of five can muster, she pushes the door open.
Lightning strikes and illuminates the sleeping figures. Rubbing her eyes, she makes sure her eyes aren't playing tricks on her. Sh would have thought she were in the wrong house. The wrong room. If it hadn't been for the fact that one of the figures was her mother. Who was this man and why did he have his arms around her mother?
It wasn't until years later that the concept of cheating and all it's different meanings would be introduced to her.


Cheating. That one word alone takes her back to her sophomore year of high school. The people pleaser became a hypocrite that year. The fact that so many people cheated on tests had taken its toll. Now she sat there minutes before a world history map test making herself a cheat sheet to hide from her teacher.
The adrenaline fills her as she enters the room. She becomes unsure of herself. Is this the right thing to do? She sees others with their little sheets tucked away where only they can see and is convinced that it will be alright.
She continues at this attmept to succeed at passing this test. She doesn't see her teacher making his way towards her. When he asks for the sheet tucked beneath her leg all she can think is that she should point out others doing the exact same thing. Instead, she bites her tongue and keeps what dignity she has left and hands him the only thing that would have helped her pass that test.
The fact that she is such a people pleaser comes back the minute she leaves that enclosed room. She makes her way to the bathroom. Overcome with emotion, she realizes she did the one thing she promised herself she would never do. The tears begin to fall as she locks herself in the bathroom stall. That was the first and last time she attempted to cheat.


That wasn't the first time she had sought refuge in a bathroom. By her sophomore year she had perfected the ability to cry without being heard while hiding away in those bathroom stalls. Those stalls became her safe haven when she wasn't at home.
It sarted her freshman year around the same time that she stopped eating. When everyone else went to lunch in the cafeteria, she found refuge in an empty classroom. Then it turned into a bathroom stall. Her safe haven is where she could let her emotions out. That bathroom became the place where her tears had been shed. Locked in that small cubicle, leaning against the thin wall that separated her from whoever happened to be in the next stall, separated from the real world for a short time. Whenever she felt the urge to eat, she locked herself in safety.
The day she found out her best friend ran away from home she sought refuge in a bathroom stall at church. The day her dad could have been killed in a car accident, it was her bathroom at home. Then her senior year came around. The woman who had been like a mother to her was in and out of the hospital. There weren't enough bathroom stalls in that school for this seventeen year old girl to hide away her emotions in. She thought she could let everything out without having to open up to others. That last year of high school, it spilled over to her real life and she stepped out of that bathroom stall to begin to search for a new safe haven: HOME.


A safe haven. Everyone needs one and hers was taken away when she moved to college. Now as she sits here listening to the thunder outside, she wishes she were back at home where she had always felt safe. The only safe haven she has in college is the corner of the library where her feelings spill over into the notebooks she keeps in her bag. She cannot cry because no one here knows her or who she used to be.
As she remembers her old safe havens, she snuggles up under the covers, cuddles with her teddy bear, and closes her eyes. Hoping that the thunder will stop and her mind will stop racing. Then and only then, can she truly feel safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment