As I wake up in a puddle of my own sweat I try desperately to catch my breath. I was in the middle of having another panic attack. It was the fourth time this week that this has happened. The room felt like it was getting smaller and the darkness was getting sharper. I sit up quickly being forced to remember the awful reality I now live in. He’s back!
“BREATHE ROSIAH BREATHE! HE CAN’T HURT YOU! YOU’RE STRONGER THIS TIME. COME ON ZI CALM DOWN! COUNT TO TEN! DON’T GIVE HIM THIS CONTROL!” I scream to myself in my head whilst trying to regain control over my body.
“1……….. 2……… 3……..” I start to feel my fingers going numb. “4…….. 5……….” My head starts to feel lighter and lighter by the second. “6……….. 7……….” My mouth is so dry, I feel like a knife is carving out the back of my throat. “8………..” It’s happening again. “9…………..” My body is now close to what feels like paralysis, a wet liquid starts to run down the in between of my legs whilst the hot tears begin to sting my eyes and burn my cheeks. I try to reach for my phone to call an ambulance “10…………….” I pass out.
*Two days later*
“Dr. Lisbon, it’s started again. The sleepless nights, the paralysis, the paranoia, the panic attacks. How can they let him out 3 years early???? I thought I was supposed to be the victim, why am I still being punished?!” I cried hysterically. “This is a fear I wouldn’t wish on the worst type of person that walks this earth. My body is not my own. My panic attacks has reached the stage where they physically knock me out for days on end. How can I possibly keep living like this? When I close my eyes, I see his smug face staring right back at me. Good behaviour doesn’t disregard the fact that he tried to kill me. Good behaviour doesn’t now make it acceptable to watch someone religiously for 226 days, kidnap them on the 227th day and torture them in the most unthinkable of ways for 41 days straight. HOW IS HE FUCKING BEING LET OUT!!!”
Dr. Lisbon takes a deep breath. “Rosiah listen to me. He cannot come near you again. A restraining order has been put in place. If he even tries to contact you via third party, he will go straight back to prison. Between me and you, if you’re not black the law system is very generous towards the individual which isn’t right. I’m deeply sorry that this is happening to you. I’m your counsellor, I’m always going to help you free of charge like promised and not because it’s my job but because I see you desperately need someone in your corner. We have another session booked for next week where we will look into some more coping mechanisms but Rosiah please contact me beforehand if needed.”
As I stand up to leave I look at Dr. Lisbon with uncertainty. This woman knew my whole life. She was always there when I needed her as promised. She was there the day they found me. I was curled up in a dirty corner of an abandoned house. Dry blood mixed with dirt staining my body and purple/blue bruises all over my face, arm’s and legs. I remember the distraught look on her face. I had barely any clothes on, just a thin white top that had been torn in almost every section. In a room full of police officers and paramedics, my dignity had already been taken so I just layed there numb. I remember Dr. Lisbon running over to me without a second thought and covering me up with her jacket. She sat with me all the way to the hospital and visited me everyday but now I look at her unable to know if I could trust her. This whole situation has fucked heavily with my head so I run out before I start to think badly of her kindness.
So now I’m running. I won’t slow down. I push past the confused strangers on the street that are looking around to see what I’m running from but they can’t see that my fear is chasing me. I’m running away from the past 5 years of trauma. Nobody can stop me. I won’t let them. As I up my speed, I begin to close my eyes, I feel like I’m floating. For the first time in a long time I start to feel free. I laugh out loud and I spread my arms out wide. Fuck his pyscho arse and fuck these suffocating feelings from this day forwards I choose to be free. As I opened my eyes the first thing I seen was a red car unable to stop, coming straight at me. I had run straight into the road without realising. As I panicked my body paralysis had rapidly returned, my legs wouldn’t move. I scream in horror at the top of my lungs.
The car ended up hitting me at the speed of 60mph. Laying on the floor barely conscious, the last face I saw was his. I could see a familiar figure moving in and out of the crowd of strangers who gathered around me. He was getting closer. I saw him whisper something to the woman near me and she moved out of his way. He slowly kneeled down and stroked the hair away from my bloody face. He looked deep into my eyes but he never said a word. His silence was enough. He was back for me.
*To be continued*