You don’t know.
Matter of fact is, the things I tell you won’t change anything, so why bother with the uncomfortable details and the awkward cringe of silence that follows after? Only some know, or rather, they know as much as I indulge them with. I censor myself, carefully picking which bits and pieces to narrate – not wanting to reveal the entire spiel. I sanitize the stories and spare the details. After all, I have identities to protect. They wouldn’t want you to know the things they’ve done to me – all the lies, the deceit, the emotional and physical abuse. But it’s over right? Why dwell in it? Silver linings. Be positive. Move on. Come what may. Shirley Temple sang it with such gusto, but did she really know jack about hanging on till tomorrow?
She didn’t know.
Yes I’ve moved on, no thanks to Shirley. Of course I’m better now, I say. Didn’t I turn out alright? Somewhat normal? Somewhat stronger? It wasn’t a facile attempt- what with experimental drugs, rendezvous and hairstyles, I’ve done some damage to this body and it outlived the assault. I forgave the past, made peace with it. And now suddenly you’ve decided to return, being the mirror image of who you were when you left. And now your past that you’ve carried through to the present, is making me face all the ugly that I had to put behind. Now you’re here and all that emotional baggage that I had to deal with in your absence, has unloaded itself once again. It’s almost as if nothing has changed. I’m still that broken child crying in a corner, torn from your doing.
If you only knew.
And you, bystander; the random unknown who’s only met me once at a gig and tell people we’re friends, the colleague I worked with who never uttered a word to me but added me on Facebook, the primary school mate who likes my posts and status every now and then. Even you, my friend of 17 years who pops in and out of my life thinking you’re my oldest friend, hence claim we’re best of friends.
You pretend you know.
With much ignorance, you’d say that I’m blowing my own ego when I tell you I could sell a sizable portion of books with my published stories. You’d shake your head at my experiences and say that it’s so fiction. You’d think that I’m being dramatic, sensationalizing the chapters of my life with a punchline at every end of a sentence. You’d read the reviews, scoff and reiterate a two word retort from the likes of Clueless. I wouldn’t put it pass you to throw in some eye rolling (!)
You don’t deserve to know.
At times, I too find some comical relief in the string of misfortunes that has happened in the past 30 years. It’s not the kind of misfortune that’s designed into World Vision pamphlets nor the type of misfortune that sees a missing limb, but it is the type of misfortune known to me. From having been punched in the stomach by a drunk aboriginal and kicked by a racist druggie to witnessing Australia’s top 10 most wanted stab my friend in a parking lot and hiding in a drain when I ran away from home. All those times I ran away from home, and the one time…. that one time that put an end to it all. No one knew. For years, I told no one.
Only I know.
But you, standing there judging my hair, my tattoos, my skin, my bag, my shoes…. you think you can sum me up in a breath. You can’t. I know you can’t because I can’t and nobody knows me like me. You just see daddy buying me nice things and bringing me places, feeding me candy.
“A golden roof shields no one from the jolts of thunder.” See, I told you, sensationalized drama. *insert eye rolling*
You read my blog and you reckon you get the jist of it. Studied in Melbourne blah blah blah broken family yadda yadda yadda loves all things Mac yap yap yap likes bambi skulls and Angelina Jolie, big whoop. Yeah, I’m just a poor little rich girl, drowning in my material comfort, crying wolf.
You don’t know shit.
I fool you, laugh with you, drink with you, work with you. Sometimes I even sleep with you. You hug me. You ask me how’s work. You tell me I’d like this restaurant in PJ. You save my number. You add me on Facebook. You ask me where I got my shoes from. You buy me things. You follow me on twitter. You forward me emails. You whatsapp me when you’re drunk. You say thank you, come again. You know me through my ex, my dad, my mums, my friend, my foe. You think I’m okay. You pat me on the back and order another drink. You don’t see pass the exterior, you just see me half intoxicated, hair shaved on the sides, decked in studs and tats and you think to yourself…she’s tough.
I wish you knew.