a diary entry of a sexual abuse survivor
by: Lee Ann Walker
All of the sweetest smells fill my nose. The fresh cut grass on a hot spring day with a light wind blowing, swaddling me, the silken feeling of rose petals rubbed between my fingers, remnants of dried tobacco leaves scenting an empty cigarette box, brownies baking in the oven, baby powder sprinkling from the sky in a fine mist. I feel the sun on my face, kissing my cheeks. So warm, so bright. I run barefoot through an endless field of poppies growing wild in the greenest grass I have ever seen. I am wearing a babydoll dress with oversized sunflowers that sway with my movement. As I step on the flowers I spring forward, almost gliding in the air. I am smiling, I never smile, it feels good to smile – my skin stretching across my cheeks until it can stretch no more. I am small like a child. As I run through the poppy fields, I feel my chest expand with laughter and air; I see my cat, Hannah. She is jumping over the flowers to keep up with me chasing pretty butterflies of fluorescent, almost glowing colors. She too looks to be smiling. Her fur is as white as snow, so pure and untouched, and her eyes are as blue as a settled sky void of cotton ball clouds. We run so fast I feel my breath is no longer pacing with my steps. It is too hurried. I must slow down; my body feels like someone is controlling me with a slow motion remote. My heart rate is rising. I look at my Hannah, something is wrong; I can see her fur turning dark like ash left from a fire. Her eyes are turning black as an empty night sky with no stars twinkling to light the way. The sun is battling a dark sky approaching from behind me. It is losing. It is getting colder now, I feel the rush of goose bumps all over my body, I can almost see my breath. I begin to quiver slightly. The sweet smells are turning rancid, spoiled, rotten. The grass is molding, the flowers are wilting, the brownies are burning, the dried tobacco is now a burning cigarette that closes my throat with every inhalation. I can no longer laugh. The darkness is upon me now whispering decaying messages of tainted love in my ears. I start to become sad. I do not know or understand what is going on. I feel like I cannot breathe, my lungs will not expand. I am suffocating. I am crying and I feel pain. My body is heavy; the darkness consumes me afflicting a sickness that turns my stomach. I am scared. I close my eyes. When I open them, they are spilling over with tears that are so hot they sting my face. I wipe them away only to have new ones replacing them like an assembly line of tears. I continue to blink trying to focus but still I am unable to see the presence above me. I feel a sharp pain, my vision becomes abruptly clear, I see the cause of my pain now. I see my father on top of my naked, cold, tiny body. He looks down upon me with a smug smirk. His breath pungent. It smells of alcohol. His eyes glassed over. He says it won’t hurt, but it does. He is raping me…I am five.