I couldn't even breathe.

What happened that night? I still don't comprehend.

From my therapy sessions to my wet, sweat-filled sheets in the middle of the night, and haunted slithering dreams. I couldn’t breathe.

I still don't know.

I know you took something from me.

I don't quite understand what.

I still don't comprehend.

Did you really think I wanted it? My dress. The way I was dancing with my friends in the club. My drunken charisma and obsessive engagement with crazy adventures and grasp with good times.

I never said yes. I never said no. I tried to. But you never gave me the chance…I couldn’t even breathe.

My anxious mind begs me to search for answers to unanswerable, heart-stealing, mind-numbing questions. The voices inside scream to find the something you took, but my mouth remains stitched… just like when I couldn’t even breathe.

Why was I out that night? Perhaps it all began when I was a little girl being scolded by my father for not scoring enough points in the game, or when I got an A but it was not that A plus that doesn’t even take him out to dinner or tie his shoes that he desires so much nonetheless… that irrelevant plus sign next to my lonesome A that caused him to neglect my achievements… or maybe it began when I became enslaved as his scapegoat for when things did not go his way.

Maybe it even started from that ex who would call me ruthless names like "whore" or "bitch" when I would catch some random stranger's unwanted attention or stay out late with my best friends instead of babying him and his patriarchic-yet-female-reliant-sorry-ass.

Maybe even just maybe it all happened because my story of love was tarnished from those years and years of bickering and thrown tea kettles, bitter silent dinners, and war-torn Christmases. From putting on a face for large gatherings, when my mother had just been crying in the car 15 minutes before. Acting like that picture-perfect family.

From the time my thighs stained dark cherry red and my face bubbled with Kleenex-rub rashes.

From the time my wilding thoughts whipped around the racetrack of my mind telling my own self I was not good enough for this world. From my deep inner need to be accepted from this world but my stomached guilt for yearning for women instead of men deceiving the outer me to be someone I am not.

My desire to throw back that extra shot of tequila to drown those thoughts and submerge them deeper in liquid toxins. I was already shattered, and you took something I could not afford to lose. Your own sty-eating, horn-headed self took something I did not give.

I still don't fully comprehend how I couldn't even breathe.

That laundry room floor, cold, and pressed up against my rosy cheeks. I couldn’t even breathe. My arms crushed by the weight of a monster. My throat dried with desperation, shock and disgust. My heart numbed away to a distant land without pain, focus, or reality.  I couldn’t even breathe.

That vile stream of wet you left on my back. A hellish gift sent from the devil himself. I couldn’t even breathe.

I live in numbness and distortion. A different dimension filled with misery, dark clouds, and sleepless nights. I still can’t breathe.

You took something from me, I still don’t even know. And with it you stole the very thing that allows me to keep living. The air from my lungs. I still can’t breathe. For my 2-minute eternity of torture and your 3 second vomit-inducing orgasmic relief.

And yet I find myself ashamed for you. I pity with your poor kids. Their father a shadow monster under their own roof, and them, young, unaware, and unknowing of their birthright protector and rock and shoulder-to-cry on. They will never know that their father held a 21-year-old girl, visiting the city of angels down to the floor of some unforsaken house, and showed her to the city of the devil. They will never know that I couldn't even breathe.

You took something from me and I will never be able to get it back.

My diaphragm can’t contract and move downward. It cannot increase space in my chest cavity. My muscles between my ribs cannot help to enlarge my cavity to expand my lungs. They cannot contract to pull my rib cage upward to inhale. I choke on the very thing that gives me life. My body cannot use the chemical and mechanical process to deliver oxygen to every cell in my body and fuel my body to do its one job: live. You poisoned me and over took my body like some blood-sucking bacteria pushing me one step closer to that ledge I already was on the edge of. Because I still can’t breathe you satan-filled prick. You took something from me AND took my ability to breathe.

So while I heal and medicate and find the love and power to continue to fight for my own breath, you slither on this earth probably unknowing what you did and what you took. I don’t even know your name and you didn’t know mine. But I am slowly ripping out the stitches you buried on my mouth and am discovering my voice again. I am shoving my arms free of your weight and finding my strength. I am doing better and becoming a superhero born of my own power in the same search for my breath. And when I find it, I will make sure you of all people will understand the very thing that I still cannot comprehend. What the fuck happened that night.


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