There is a line we do not cross
Hop over it once and it’s all your fault
Step over it again and find out what’s wrong
Thin lines grow between hearts and breaks
Thin lines grow between us
Keeping us apart yet very much the same
There are lines we do not cross
Reach over them once and it’s all your fault
Fall over it again and find out what’s wrong
Thin lines grow between souls and life
Thin lines grow within us
Keeping us together yet very much the same
“What do you got there Sylvia?” An orderly asks. Her young frame hunched over an open notebook. She pretends to not hear the question. “Hey Sylvia,” he calls out once again. As the youngest patient in the asylum he isn’t used to her teenage attitude in this dark dingy place overcrowded with pain, neglect, and isolation. “Nothing, just something I have been working on to pass the time,” she answers. “Did you not hear me the first time?” He ask. “I heard you,” she says into her notebook. “Okay, well maybe sometime you could show me what you have been working on,” he smiles. She looks up at him, “Yeah maybe.” She buries her head back into her notebook. The orderly shakes his head and walks over to the other side of the room to talk to the other patients in the recreation room. “So what are you working on Harold?” She hears him ask the only other patient not drugged out of their mind. She picks up her pen.
I’m so depressed here. I wish I never “volunteered” to be admitted. Should have just run away again or finished what I started. I’ve been rubbing the scars again. No one would listen to me outside of this walls or inside them. I should have known he would have sent me to a place that wouldn’t listen. This place is like school. “Sylvia stop your lying.” Maybe I’m not lying. Maybe you aren’t listening. The deep jagged cuts down my arm don’t help me to forget. The pain is long gone from the last time, but somehow still linger in my mind. Thought maybe if I wasn’t pretty anymore. Wasn’t perfect then maybe. It doesn’t matter what I thought. How many times am I going to tell myself the same thing? How many times am I going to justify trying to kill myself? No one cares why it happened as long as it isn’t happening. I’m safer here than at home. That’s what is important. As long as I keep my volunteer status he can’t hurt me. As long as I am here I am safe. The reason doesn’t matter anymore. No one is going to stop him, but at least I did.
The orderly makes his way back over to her. His footsteps echo within the room. She closes up her notebook, “Yes Charles?” He checks his watch, “I’ve been reminded to remind you that your next appointment is in a five minutes.” She rolls her eyes, “Funny how that seems to be the case every week.” He smiles and pretends that her attitude isn’t bothering him. A talent he learned from his two girls at home. “It is quite odd. Might have to do something about that,” he jokes. “Them doing anything here would be a first,” she says as she gets up from her chair and walks away.
The door to the doctor’s office is open slightly as she knocks on the door. “Come in. How are we doing today Sylvia?” The doctor asks as he looks at a chart that isn’t even hers. “Fine, I guess. Same as always,” she mocks. “You know you can leave whenever you want? Maybe go back home and spend some time with your family. Wouldn’t that be nice?” He asks without looking at her once. “I’m sure they miss me immensely. At least that is what they would want you to believe, but I’m certain I am just fine right here,” she looks down at her scars once again. “Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. I’ll make a call to your parents and tell them you are ready to go home,” he says. “I didn’t say that at all,” she says. “I just want to tell you Sarah we made some real progress in the time that you have been here,” the doctor rattles off. “My name is Sylvia,” she says in anger. “Yes, I am aware and I don’t want you to worry. I’m going to write you a script for some mood suppressors. You don’t have to take them, but if you feel all the anxiety coming back on I want you to feel safe,” the doctor says. “I feel safe here. I want to stay here,” She tries to reason. “Change is good for you. You have been here too long. It’s time for you to go home. I know your father misses you every much. I have been keeping him updated and he seems as optimistic as I am about your recovery,” he looks up from his chart. “So go ahead and get your things ready for tomorrow. That seems like a perfect place to end today,” he gives off a weak smile. Sylvia begins to cry. The tears falling from her eyes to her arms and running along her scars, “I don’t want to go.” The nurse comes in and places a hand on her shoulder. “Nurse remind me that I need to call her parents in a bit and if you could have Charles bring in the next patient that would be wonderful,” the doctor asks. “Yes, sir. Come on Sylvia let’s get you back to your room,” the nurse says to her. “But I don’t want to go,” she begins to sob. “I know dear. I know,” the nurse says as she rubs her shoulder. The doctor goes back to his file as the nurse escorts Sylvia from the room.
“There she is,” Charles calls out as he walks by her open door. “Glad to see you writing again,” he says to her. She doesn’t respond to him as she sits still at her desk. Memories flooding her mind. “Wanted to check in on you. Heard you were pretty upset earlier,” he says to more silence. “Also heard you were going home tomorrow too. That is good news,” he tries to sound excited. “Mind If I take a look at what you are writing? I understand if you don’t feel like talking,” Charles suggest. “Very much so. It is private,” she snaps at him. “I see you are excited about leaving tomorrow,” he snaps back. “Maybe even sooner,” she says under her breath. “What?” Charles asks concerned. “I said I want you to leave. Did you not hear me the first time,” Sylvia screams at him with tears in her eyes. “I just want you to know that I am here if you need to talk,” Charles says in a caring voice before walking out of the room. Sylvia quickly gets up from her chair and slams the door behind him. Only doors don’t slam here. She pushes all her weight against the door to try and get it to close faster. Tears streaming down her face as she struggles. Despite living in the same room for the past six months her room is nearly bare. A bed, a dresser, and a desk. “Her desk,” she thinks to herself. Her father’s money was at least good for something in this place. A private room and her own desk, but they wouldn’t let her have her pens. Not after what happened. They gave her special hospital pens, but only after she had developed trust. She couldn’t do much of anything with those useless things any way. She calms down enough to return to her desk and flips open the note book to where she left off.
There is a silence
It is a constant
There is a sadness
It is a constant
There are so many things
And they are all constant
I can taste the blood on the page
I can feel the sweat on the page
I can see the tears on the page
As each drop becomes the page
Why doesn’t anyone understand
Sylvia tosses the note book as hard as she can. It bursts open as it smashes against the wall. Papers, words, time falls to the floor. She begins to sob at the thought of the words, “I know your father misses you very much.” Visions of the past fill her mind. Remembering the pain. Remembering the fear of it all. Remembering that no one would listen. No one cared. “How could you ever say a thing like that about your father,” her mother’s words echo in her mind. Only to be replaced by the memory of his touch and his words. “You are so beautiful. My perfect little angel,” his words like poison slipping into her mind. You are confused at first. Why now? Why this? So you fight it the best you can, but the fight becomes useless. The whole thing becomes normal. A daily routine that you can’t wash away from your mind. The thought becomes clear. If I’m no longer perfect then it will stop. The memory of the pain from before washes over her once again. Make myself imperfect. Make it go away. The blood drips on the floor. It stains the carpet, but they clean it and they move on. It never stops the abuse. The monster doesn’t care if you are perfect. The monster doesn’t care at all. Deeper you dig. Deeper you find yourself in pain. Deeper until you think that it is over. Until you find yourself here and know that it is. Sylvia reaches under her desk to grab the item hidden beneath. When she got here she was hopeful that it would never have to be used again, but deep down she knew someday she would need a way out. She holds the jagged piece of mental in her hands. “We don’t even know what she cut herself on,” he mother told the hospital. Squeezing all her anger and the pain into it. “Here we go again,” she thinks. “A conclusion I can no longer hide away from.” She holds the broken piece of metal in her hand. She gently places it on her desk and opens her last remaining note book.
“When we bleed it is only to cleanse our souls. It’s like letting the air out of the tires every now and then. Sometimes it hurts more than others, but the hurt never compares to the pain. The hurt feels good in a way. The pain doesn’t. I wish someone would have listened to me. Anyone at this point. I wish I could explain the pain that I am in, but for some reason, I can’t. It could be the lack of blood still left within me or my ever lack of words associated with the pain. Pain is nothing like the hurt. The hurt comes and goes, but the pain. The pain is always there. Every once in a while I found myself here in this place. This dark hole surround by all the pain I don’t understand. This place of self-loathing and hate. I control my own destiny, right? Or have I just misheard some well-placed advice? Maybe I don’t control anything since no matter my choices I always end up here. I always end up with this pain. No one cares, but everyone’s still listening. I know it is not my fault and maybe it still is. Should have never. Should have done things differently. This has to be for the best. Nothing else left to do. Except release myself from this burden. Release me from this hole. I tried. I really did. Maybe not enough or in the way I should have….”
This is a work of fiction, but sadly the concept behind it is not. This story is lived day in and day out by an unknown amount of children. Many of whom do not reach out. It is not normal and it is not okay. If you or someone you know is being abused. Please reach out for help and never stop reaching out for help. Help is always there even when it feels like the whole world won’t listen to you. Click the links below to find help or to find out how you can help those in need. You are not powerless and you are loved.
I debated on how graphic I wanted to get with this story… from the suicide to the abuse… I debated for a long time… this story kind of took a life of it’s own… I started the story with the idea to write a back story to a previous character… Sylvia from Purgatory… seemed pretty simple… I liked the character a lot from that story… I liked her attitude… I liked who she could have been… seeing how everyone in that story is dead already when we meet them… I wanted to do a sequel…
The original idea for Sylvia was to write out a “love story” where she explains what her scars are from to the main character of Purgatory… (Fun fact… I only kept writing that story because of her… Sylvia to me was the thread that held that early story together for me…) but I don’t do love stories very well… and I wasn’t sure how she had gotten her scars… In the original story she never says… she hides them when ever she can… spark… “why?”… and the more I thought about it… the more it became the story above… Of course when I came up for air I found myself someplace very far from a “love story”…
The first couple of drafts had way more detail… way more things that didn’t need to be said… and I’m not afraid to say certain things… I’ve got stories to prove it… but this one seemed different… though this didn’t happen to me personally… it felt personal… which made this one that much harder to write… as an observer it is always easier to write something when you are not attached to the subject… I of course didn’t want anything to ever happen to Sylvia… I don’t want anything to happen to anyone… and sadly these things do… So I didn’t want to just file it away and pretend like these things don’t happen… That these things could never happen…
Sometimes the hardest things to say are the ones that need to be said the most…