“When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world” – Timon

When I think back to when we first met, and the months that followed, the long walks and endless laughs, me and you against the world. I can’t help but wonder if everything that happened next, the way our lives spiralled out of control, was all my fault. You loved me but surely that was my doing? You got obsessive but couldn’t I have handled it better? If I’d have just known the right words, done the right things I wouldn’t be sat here covered in physical and emotional scars, trying desperately to rid my thoughts of you.

Because you’re the reason I wake up screaming in the night, that I can’t sleep without a light on. That I keep my tv playing softly in the background to drown out the creaks of this old place, the ones that wake me in the night, leaving me wondering if you’re creeping through the halls. Your sick obsession driving you to sick ends.

I sleep a lot, but I rarely get any rest. Not from you. Not from my twisted nightmares. Most nights before I go to bed I reel off a list of things I don’t want to dream about, a no-go rule for my brain. You’re on it – of course, and generally it works, but as soon as I forget it, there you are.

You’re the ghost that’s always haunting me. I can’t keep you out. You wander as easily through my thoughts as you do my house. Kicking away newfound happiness and uncovering buried memories of walks in the fields and pleas for you to stop.

And then there’s the reason that I keep you a secret, even though I’m open about the abuse I suffered at the hands of others. I think it’s why you still haunt me more than they do. But I can’t tell, I can’t speak out. Nobody will believe you held this power over me, that I was terrified of and loved you simultaneously. People will shrug it off and say it can’t have been that bad, that I’ve overplayed it in the years since it happened and made it worse in my own head.

People won’t believe me, because you, you were just a girl.