Did I write back then? During all of those broken hearts and bones? I did sometimes. I was given a journal by someone, I don’t remember whom. It was hardcover and white, dotted with tiny, black Mickey Mouse silhouttes, a black spine and the same tiny, faint Mickey Mouse silhouettes on the pages. It was perfect.
I wrote in it sometimes long after our relationship had fallen apart and we were bound to each other for our own reasons. I wrote in it sometimes while I was reading my Bible, searching for verses in the Book that would have me believe that the God represented in it was good, faithful and true, that He would show sympathy on those who were faithful to Him. I jotted down verses that meant something to me (Romans 9:20-21 carried me through several mental breakdowns when I couldn’t stand to look at my own face in the mirror). I scrawled out my dreams and hopes for the future. I wrote to get the madness out of my head and in the hopes of keeping the darkness at bay.
I kept the book hidden in my underwear drawer underneath layers and layers of cotton and lace, material things that brought me no pleasure. I would only ever write when he wasn’t in the room, although sometimes he would come and stand at the bedroom door, his arms leaned on the top of the doorframe, staring down at me.
Sometimes he would ask me what I was writing about and I would lamely answer that I was just jotting down whatever came to mind in the hopes that I could sharpen my writing skills. He knew how badly I wanted to become a published writer one day. I knew in the back of my mind that he would read my words once I went to sleep or to work and so I could never truly write anything too personal, too real. I just wrote things I thought he would like to hear, things that wouldn’t have me laid out unconscious later on in the night because of.
For ten years I did this and at the end of those ten years I blamed those ten years for my depressing case of writer’s block. Long after I was away from him I would sit in front of an open laptop or on the couch or my bed with a notebook open, pen poised, and the words in my mind would dissipate, like a cloud of smoke swirled away by unappreciative fingers. Where inspiration and an endless well of ideas had always multiplied, now there was nothing but a black void of nothingness and this broke my spirit more than any nasty words, any punch, kick or slap ever could, for what is an aspiring writer if they have no words? I told myself I could handle any type of bruise. I could silently endure the pain of broken bones and concussions. I could endure the heartwrenching insults of the type of woman I was in his eyes, the type of woman I would never be, but without my words, without my undying passion to continue writing away the pain through it all, without my love of words I was nothing. Nothing at all. And this hurt my heart and soul more than any type of physical pain he could have ever inflicted on me.