Should we ever be trusted to tell our own story? I am supposed to tell mine here, let little bits of light into the past 7 years so that others can find what they are looking for. Here, the clues, and here, and here. We are all operating from the same motherboard of wants and needs, aren’t we? It should be easy to figure where something went wrong. We just need the details, a light shone into corners, and all will be revealed.
But what if there are gaps in the story? Empty spaces that cannot absorb light, cannot reflect it, or send it, scattered, back out into the world? What if there is nothing for the light to bounce off? People want to shine their torches, they want to find some defining experience that will illuminate what happened – how it happened. But what if I cannot show them what they are looking for?
The truth is, they just want to make sure it doesn’t look like them, what they see. They want me to tell my story so that they can clearly see it is not theirs, that it never will be. They want me to say that here is a girl who lost her little brother. Here is a girl whose mother forgot to love her. And here, a girl who controlled her body so tightly that it became a machine, a mix of parts that could be replaced or mended any time something was broken.
They want to see a girl who let a man put her back together every time she broke apart, because she thought it was love. Some kind of love, where before there was none. Here, and here, and here the causes. The reasons, the missed opportunities, the damage. All laid out and particular to me. If they can collect enough evidence, enough light, the past will come out of the shadows; it will reveal what has been hidden out there in the dark. And then everyone will be safe again.
The thing is, we are all afraid of the dark. It is where we go to disappear – when we step into darkness, we fear it will never end. We need walls, we need something to hold us in, something to keep others out. But darkness lets everything in. It isn’t the light at all, in the end. All great truths live in the dark. That is why no matter how bright they light this hospital room, no matter how intense the glare from Detectives and Doctors, I still cannot be found. Not the truth of me, the truth of it. They will keep asking me questions, keep searching for answers, but they would have to climb down into the abyss to come close to understanding what people can do, and what can be endured.
We would light everything if we could. I sometimes think we would even stop closing our eyes if we thought this could hold back the night, and the truth that we find there.
Always light and dark at body, remember. Now it’s Lucy’s turn to explore the difference.