This Christmas, I have no fear. I need not fear the disapproval and disappointment that fills my mothers eyes as my present isn’t good enough. I need not fear a boyfriend that will exploit or use me. I need not fear that I won’t be safe, because I’ll be safer than I’ve ever been.
Last Christmas, I was in a relationship where I was beaten blue and numb. My brother told me I had to find a way out, any way, and he’d help me, but deep in my soul, I loved this guy because he was my first proper boyfriend and I was experiencing that fall for the first time. We had planned the new year in his holiday home in Cornwall and it all seemed well and good if you were on the other side of the glass. But I knew that I’d be sharing a bed with him for a week, and exactly what I’d be forced into.
But this year, I won’t be forced into anything. I won’t even be forced into the mental health unit because I know that I need to be there, and honestly and cold heartedly, it’s where I’d rather be.
When I was a child it’s funny how the only thing I feared was whether I was on santas good list. I didn’t even think about growing old, but now it’s pursuing me so quickly, one of these days I’ll have to give it.
And when I was a child, I dreamt of my Prince Charming, how he’d sweep me off my feet and kiss me, not hit me should I refuse. I imagined this attraction that was so very strong I wouldn’t begin to deny it, but now I know I was wrong.
My friend has recently been sent to one of these places for her anorexia and I remember the night she first told me and she was screaming and howling down the phone like a terrified creature. That’s what fear is: being so damn scared that won’t won’t even embrace you and you can’t hide it from the ones you love most. I used to be in that place, but I’m not scared anymore because I’m free.
Of all the things I am, scared will never be one of them again.