and my mom kept it from me for two weeks

Hiatus... kinda?

Thank you all for the kindness - sorry I was down before. Things are just changing fast for me and a lot reminded me of my mom… And I’m still grieving I guess, haha.. I don’t know when I can next update. My laptop is getting fixed because it kept crashing… And the other laptops in my home can’t handle sai even… And with me restarting this blog, I want to make sure my art looks the best for a promo. Even if I do get my laptop back, I have a really exciting event approaching… And all the prep for it. I’m going to Tokyo in two weeks from today ! I’m ready for the culture, the new friendships, hopefully a way to give back. Soon my blog (or Gaku being around) turns 2! And so I thought i would snag some cool vocaloid items while on my trip and setup a giveaway. If you wanna talk while I’m on my trip just message/ask me before July 7th and I will give you my skype/kik/line/snapchat… something;; I’m so sorry for the delay with updating. I just haven’t caught a break yet haha… please bear with me as I bring back g aku again - as just a regular old guy again. See you soon! ^o^

Originally posted by animes-all-the-time

That one summer when I was severely depressed, graffitied my school, and demonstrated seriously risky behavior and my mom grounded me for the whole summer. She took away all technology and kept me from seeing any of my friends. I got out of the house three times a week, and for the first two months, I wasn’t even allowed to go to the library for books. 

That one summer I had so little to do that I started playing pretend again out of sheer boredom when I hadn’t done that in seven years. Half of me actually believed that Dmitri, a fictional vampire prince from my recurring dreams, was real and would come rescue me soon.

That one summer when the school counselor finally diagnosed me for depression and my mother told me to suck it up, ignore my bullies, and take the secret of my mental illness to the grave. If the counselor asked, I was to tell her that, yes, I was going to a psychiatrist just like I was supposed to.

That one summer I broke down so badly because of the isolation and lack of stimulation that my parents had to let up a little.

That one summer that hurt me so badly that I spent the rest of middle school depressed and hostile.

That’s abuse.

Experinences w/ ADHD by your resident inattentive type

I.

I realized I hated – no, despised – school when I was in third grade. I had already been marked by all my teachers as either lazy or stupid by the middle of that winter, but I had yet to acknowledge the general awfulness of the situation.  At the time, I still saw the world through the distorting lense of an oblivious, optimistic nine year old.  That changed the day that my homeroom teacher, Ms. Burke, became frustrated with me handing in crumpled pieces of paper from the bottom of my backpack.  She marched over to my cubby, unzipped my lime green, rolling bag, and dumped its contents onto the floor.  I tried to repress the tears as she barked, “You need to keep your backpack more organized. Clean this up.” I stared down at the pile of unfiled paper, pink Legos, Ticonderoga pencils, and unidentifiable gray powder.  I squatted down towards it, letting my tears fall upon the already overflowing mess.

My classmates, who were disgusted by what they had seen, stopped talking to me after that.  I felt like an alien, a distractible puppy in a world of sensible cats. My teachers, of course, were cat people, so they continued to punish me, doubting both my dedication and intelligence.  I was a bit indignant; I was trying hard, and – for a time – I thought I was smart.  Despite my distractibility in the classroom and the fact that I couldn’t add single digit numbers, I was able to read books far above my grade level and had taught myself basic programming language.  Still, in the scheme of things, the ability to get a mark other than “needs improvement” on a report card seemed far more impressive to me than anything I had ever done.

II.

My sixth grade geography teacher, Mr. M, was the strikingly intelligent and well-spoken principal of the school.  He intimidated me at first, but I began to feel excited at the prospect of going to his class each day, wanting more than anything to learn. On my report card, he described me as a bright, strong student, words that I had never before heard in combination with my name.  For once, I felt like there was a chance that I might succeed.

That spring, my friend, Sidney, bragged to me that she had been accepted to CTY, explaining that it was an academic camp that admitted students based on their standardized test scores.  Boosted by Mr. M’s confidence in me, I decided that if she got into the program then so could I.  When I approached my parents about the camp, they agreed to let me try out.  About a month later, I received a letter from CTY informing me that I received their award of high honors and was admitted to the program.  I returned to school feeling more self confident than ever.  

My confidence, however, was short lived.  A few weeks into seventh grade, my advisor and history teacher, Mr. O told me to stay after class.  “I need to call your parents,” he informed me.  “Your science teacher is complaining that you laugh too much in class and take everything as a joke.  Your math teacher tells me that you never pay attention in class.  Your French teacher says that you never appear to be listening when she speaks, but always know the answer when she calls on you.  You always talk to other students during class during Latin.  You are one of the best students in my class, but it seems that it is the only one you are trying in.”

I felt so horrified that I couldn’t swallow for the rest of the day.  I told Sidney what had happened, and she said, “You might have ADHD.”

When I got home that night, I googled the symptoms.  “Forgetful, misses details, difficulty focusing on one thing, unorganized, seems not to listen when spoken to,” I read.  That’s so me, I thought.  

My mom, on the other hand, did not think that was me at all.  “Are you kidding me?” she rolled her eyes.  “You don’t have ADHD.  Those kids really can’t sit still.  I have seen you spend the entire day reading Harry Potter.  Of course, it is hard for you to focus on things you’re not interested in.”

“I don’t think you have ADHD,” my dad agreed with her. 

III.

I was nothing if not persistent, so by the time I went for my annual check up in June, my dad agreed to ask the pediatrician about how I could get tested.

“Educational testing is expensive,” she informed us, “so I wouldn’t do that unless you really think you have it.  I can give you some forms to hand in to your teachers.  They can evaluate you, then we can diagnose you if you have it.”

The next September, I handed the forms into the administrative assistant at my school, Ms. Blackman.  The leaves turned red and orange, then fell off trees as September turned into October, then November, then December.  Winter break neared, and I would be moving to California in a few weeks.  Finally, I asked Ms. Herlein, the academic resource coordinator, what had happened to my forms.  “Your teachers have them,” she snapped angrily at me.  “We will return them to you when they’re done.”  They never gave them to me or my pediatrician.  

IV.

My closest friend in California, Mia, had ADHD, dysgraphia, and dyslexia.  She was a member of SAFE (student advisors for education), which aimed to “educate, mentor, and support students, parents, and teachers regarding the challenges and strengths of learning disabled (LD) and ADHD students.”  Convinced that I had ADHD, she brought me to a few meetings.  The members of SAFE discussed ways to change the educational system to make it more LD friendly.  At the time, I felt awkward because I didn’t know if I had an LD.  If I could rewind time, I would share what I know now: that teachers should recommend students for testing,  respect accommodations, and listen when a student comes for help. 

V.

The next fall, I moved to DC and started at a new high school.  Since I did well on the placement test and in my eighth grade science class, I was recommended for Honors Biology.  I got a 56% on the first test, so I asked my mom to get me a tutor.  She agreed and asked the teacher, Mrs. C, if she had any recommendations at Back to School Night.  “No,” Mrs. C responded, “students in this class don’t need tutors.  Lauren belongs here, she will be fine.”  Unfortunately, she was wrong, and my performance in the class only went downhill from there.  Guiltily, Mrs. C agreed to meet with me every day in order to help me review the material we learned in class.  She was able to help me raise my grade to an 80%, but my confidence was severely depleted.  

VI.

That summer, we moved back to Baltimore, and I started at another school the next fall. It was an easy transition socially, and I quickly fit in with my classmates, who invited me to parties, sleepovers, and hangouts almost immediately after meeting me.  However, although there was decidedly less work at my new school, I still felt hopeless.  My worst class was Ecology, which everyone else claimed to be an easy A.  The first quarter, I got a 70% in that class.  I’m glad I like partying so much, I thought bitterly, because that’s all the college I’m getting into will be good for.  I complained to my friend Maria about my poor performance, and she responded, “What do you expect? You never pay attention.  It’s your own fault for not trying.”  Her comment made me feel sick to my stomach, and I started spending much of my free time in the library after that, wanting to prove that I could succeed.

The time spent studying, however, did not seem to help.  Near the end of the year, math became particularly challenging for me, as I still struggled with adding and multiplying.  Furthermore, I always felt especially distracted in that class.  I tried to listen to my teacher, Mr. F, but somehow - driven by some subconscious force that I was unaware of - I always found myself talking to whatever student sat next to me.  I began to get C’s on all my tests, so I met with Mr. F after class to ask for help.  After getting one test back, I apologized to him, wanting him to know that I really did care about his class.  “I know, Lauren,” he said.  “Your focus just isn’t always there.  Just work hard, we’ll get those grades back where they should be.”  I thanked him and quickly ran out of his classroom, trying to hide the tears.  As soon as I reached the hallway, I started to bawl.

That night, I told my mom that I wanted to be tested for ADHD again.  “I don’t think you have it,” she said, “but if you think you do, then let’s get you tested.”  She emailed my dad that night, and - although he was still skeptical as well - he agreed to set it up.

VII.

HP, a thin, Asian woman with distinct cheekbones, was a psychologist who would determine what learning disabilities I had (if any).  She administered the WISC, an IQ test with problems ranging from adding basic numbers to completing high level math, assembling blocks in patterns to defining the relationship between two words, naming all the foods you can think of in two minutes to remembering pictures and words.  The test was a grueling, five hour long process.  After we were finished, Dr. P gave me forms for my teachers to fill out about my behavior in the classroom.  That night, when I got home, I kept thinking, what if nothing’s wrong? What if this is how I’m supposed to feel?  I tried to push the thoughts from my mind, but I couldn’t wait to meet with her in two weeks.  

The same night, convinced that the bottle read detergent, I put soap in the dishwasher.  I had already done it twice before.  My mom tiredly came to my room, telling me to clean up the kitchen full of bubbles. “I’m sorry,” I cringed.  “It was an accident.”

“No, Lauren,” she sighed.  “You were just being careless.” She then proceeded to explain the difference between making a mistake and being careless.  Mistakes are hiccups of fate, things you never could have predicted. Carelessness, on the other hand, is synonymous with negligence. She was right, I could have prevented it … or at least, someone else could have. I felt incompetent and disgusted with myself.

VIII.

When we returned to Dr. P’s office, she explained the WISC results,  “The test has four sections: verbal, nonverbal, working memory, and processing speed.  Lauren scored highly in both the nonverbal and verbal section and exceptionally in the working memory section.  Her processing speed, however, was very low - only in the 20th percentile.  She’s been compensating for this with her high scores in the other areas.  Even with the low processing speed, her IQ is 117, which means she is bright.  Still, she just processes things more slowly than other people.  For example, Lauren, what’s 3 x 4?”

“Ummm….12”.

“See how she needed a second to answer the question even though she already knew the answer?” Dr. P asked my mom.  “It’s just that second that makes the difference.”

“What’s 5 x 4?” my mom tried me.

“Umm-”

“20,” Dr. P interrupted.  “See what I mean? We would be able to answer that just off the top of our heads, but she needs a bit longer”.

“So what does that mean?” my mom asked her.  “Does she have ADHD?”

“Considering her scores and the forms filled out by her teachers,” Dr. P responded,  “I would be inclined to make a diagnosis.   I will be writing up an official report with accommodation recommendations, but right now I will go over some options as for what you can do to help her.  One option is tutoring and counseling, which means that someone would teach her strategies for dealing with some of the issues that come up with ADHD.  The other is medication”.

“I don’t want her medicated,” my mom decided.  

That day, on the car ride home, I started crying.  Would things be different for me if I had known this years ago? I wondered bitterly.  

IX.

For the next few weeks, I continually begged my mom to put me on medication.  Each time I brought it up, she told me it was not an option.  Finally, some time in early-October, I got a text message from my mom, saying that she had spoken to a nurse who put her son on medication.  “You can try medication,” she told me later that night.  “But if it doesn’t go well, then we’re taking you off of it”.

Even though my mom had agreed to let me try medication, the problem of getting an appointment with a child psychiatrist, which are in high demand, remained.  Finally, after two weeks, my mom managed to schedule an appointment with BK.  When I met her, she told me, “There are non-stimulant medication options, but they take awhile to build up in your system.  You’ve waited long enough already, I don’t want you to have to wait one more day”.

That night, she sent me home with a prescription for Concerta (extended release Ritalin).  The pill has a colorful coating (cream at 18mg, gray at 27mg, white at 36 mg, red-brown at 54mg) of fast-acting medicine.  This layer dissolves within an hour of being exposed to a wet environment (the gastrointestinal tract).  That exposes a semi-permeable membrane, which slowly - over the course of 7 or 8 hours - allows water to enter the core of the pill.  The liquid displaces the drug, thus releasing it into the system.  

I always hear people talking about the awful side effects of Ritalin, but I don’t really feel that different.  The first few times I took it, I felt sick to my stomach, and it still makes me feel less hungry.  I do not, however, feel antisocial or aggressive, and I certainly have not slipped into psychosis.  Yet, it is not a solution to every problem either.  My processing speed is still slow, I’m still a bit careless, and I continue to have impulsive moments.  It does, however, make a difference.  I can choose what I want to focus on.  I can think more clearly.  I can succeed, but I still feel the effects of my learning disability.

X.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my science teacher’s classroom, finishing up a test when another student asked, “Do you have ADHD?”

“I don’t particularly believe in ADHD,” he responded slowly and deliberately.  Ugh, I thought, he doesn’t understand.  There are so many more levels - the processing speed, the uphill battle, the pain - that he just doesn’t understand.  I felt like I was going to throw up knives, but I just sat there quietly and tried to focus.  

One of my favorite things to have happened in this hell of a year is my mom’s discovery of Grace and Frankie (during her visit) because it brought about this discussion:

Me: I love Lily Tomlin so much
My mom: me too
Me: and I love that she’s gay
Mom turns with her eyebrows raised as high as they’ll go: WHAT?!
Me: you really didn’t know Ma?
Mom: I had no idea. How could you keep this from me?
Me: Mom, I seriously thought you knew
Mom staring at lily on the screen and whispering: I really didn’t know.

Then she called me two weeks after she got home.

Mom: I’ve been watching Grace and Frankie again.
Me: yeah?
Mom: the thing with lily tomlin still trips me out. I can’t believe you kept it from me.
Me: mom I really thought you-
Mom: I mean how am I supposed to be a good advocate if I don’t know these things?

Prior

You meet online (before harry auditions for x factor) and speak for a few years. You think harry will forget you because he’s now famous but he doesn’t and he finally wants to meet you as he has the money to do so.

————————————————————————————————–

You knew your mother would have killed you if she knew that you had been spending so much of your time online talking to a boy. You were only 16, after all; it wasn’t exactly the safest thing you could do. But you had one site that you visited almost daily – an online game which had a large community of other players with whom you could interact with if you chose – and that’s where you had started talking to Harry.

You had no real way of knowing if you were actually talking to someone whose name was Harry Styles and was also 16 and lived in Cheshire, but you liked the idea of it. It wasn’t as if you were giving him any personal information. You weren’t exchanging photos or addresses or planning on meeting up; you were just messaging each other online.

One of the things that kept you interested in talking to Harry was how interested he seemed in talking to you. He spoke like a 16-year-old boy, but he also seemed wise beyond his years. After a few months of talking, you had already discovered a lot of things about each other and had developed a friendship that seemed almost completely normal, except for the fact that you had never seen each other in person.

The two of you typically talked every single day around the time you both got home from school. All of a sudden, however, you noticed that Harry wasn’t around as much. He popped on every few days, but it was far less frequent and also very brief. He still managed to message you whenever he could, but something had changed. You started to get a bit worried that he was going to stop talking to you altogether and wondered if it was something you had done.

You finally decided to question him about it when you saw him online after being gone for a few days.


Hey.

Hey.

Where have you been?

Sorry I haven’t been around. I have a good reason though, I promise.

Can you tell me what it is?

I…don’t know if I’m allowed to, yet.

What do you mean, not allowed?

It’s supposed to be a secret for now.

Keep reading

So I lived in Sudan for two years and had never experienced anything supernatural until moving into our house there.

I should note first that I had never had constant nightmares waking me up every 30 minutes. But I did, and only when I was sleeping in that house. I was the only one who had these nightmares and they were awful.

The first odd incidents were the sounds of someone out in the hall. Almost every time I woke up, I thought I heard someone getting water from the thermos out there - a door opening, footsteps, the sound of something metal being unscrewed. I checked almost every single time and there was never anyone there.

The second incident was when I walked downstairs into the dark in the middle of the night and turned to look out at the room while turning on the light behind me. The bulb popped out, hit me in the back of the head, bounced off and shattered on the floor. Creeped out, I ran upstairs, tried to turn on the hall light, it burned out, burst into my parents’ room and flicked their ceiling light, it didn’t turn on. My mom woke up and turned on her lamp and that worked fine.

The last incident was when I was sleeping in my older brother’s room (it had the best AC) and his bed was by the door, with a small TV on the floor by his head, diagonally in the corner. Mine was across from the door, under the window. I was listening to music after waking up from another nightmare but I had a bad feeling and took my earphones out. There was the tapping that I had previously heard but it seemed louder. I got up, opened the door and my bad feeling got worse even before I saw that no one was there. I shut the door quickly and walked to the centre of the room before turning to listen. The tapping sounded like it was coming closer. Then there was a single, loud one on the door before it sounded like it was in the room.

I panicked, grabbed my blanket, phone and pillow and ran to my parents’ bedroom and, despite that they woke up and tried to calm me before going back to sleep, I was still terrified. I grabbed my phone to message a friend. Understand: my phone was an old flip phone with a button on the side so you could take a picture with it still closed.

Which is exactly what I accidentally did. When I was running out of the room, I had pressed the button. What I saw kept me from being willing to sleep for the following two weeks. The only sleep I got was when I physically couldn’t stay awake anymore. My mom eventually found out that it was because of the picture in my phone that I kept looking at. She deleted it.

My memory of what I had seen faded, the details were gone and I could sleep again but I remember, very clearly, that there was a young girl huddled in the corner behind the TV, looking up at me.

Collide Prt. 2

Prompt: Riley Matthews is a struggling writer who works as a bartender to pay off her student loans. Lucas Friar is a rich kid from Texas who’s lost his way. One night fate brings them together causing their two different worlds to collide.
Word Count: 2,283
Part [1

Part 2 - “Columbia.”

Friday nights are reserved for family dinners. That line has been carved into my brain. The second I moved out of my parents’ house and into a dorm room they made sure to remind me that every Friday night I was to come over, sit down and eat a home cooked meal with them. I like to think this stemmed from my lack of nutritional food I kept in my dorm room. Mom came to visit the first week of my freshmen year and almost lost her mind when she saw my cupboard filled with ramen noodles and pop tarts. Ever since then it was dinner with the rents and baby brother.

I’m out of college now and living on my own but for whatever reason we still keep up the Friday night dinner tradition. I like to pretend it’s an inconvenience but we all know I secretly love it.

I hardly ever get to see my family anymore, so I look forward to our little dinners. Even when it involves my father prying into my personal life while my mom expresses her disappointment in the fact that I’m a bartender.

I let myself into their place and plop down on their sofa. My younger brother Auggie is sitting by the window talking on the phone and our parents are nowhere in sight.

He shoots me a quick wave to acknowledge my presence before turning back to his conversation. Whatever it was seemed important.

A few minutes later my mom walks through the door with a stressed look on her face and a bag of takeout in her arms.

“Where’s your father?” She scolds. “I told him dinner was at 6.”

I glance at my watch and back at her. “It’s 5:30 mom.”

“Oh.” She mumbles something under her breath before heading into the kitchen to set the table.

Keep reading

I Promise

Except for the dim light coming from the lamp in the far corner of my room, the place is mostly dark. The shades are drawn to keep the sunlight from peaking in too much. My television is on, but the volume is turned down fairly low. Currently, I’m curled up into a ball, staring aimlessly at the images that color my television. My small apartment is unnaturally quiet; my only roommate is visiting family back in the States, so I’m left alone here in London. I’m quite alright with that actually. Today is not a day that I want to be bothered, and most people who know me understand that.

It’s three in the afternoon, but I haven’t so much as changed clothes. I’m still wearing Harry’s black longsleeved shirt and red plaid boxers that I wore to bed last night. Harry has been back in England for the last two weeks. When he hasn’t been in the studio, he’s been cooped up in my apartment with me. Neither of us really want to leave the apartment that often when he first returns from tours or trips with the band. We’ve gone out for lunch and dinner a handful of times; we’ve explored the London scenery a few times, but mostly we’ve kept to the confinements of my apartment.

Because we’d rather make up for lost time, we never like going out much when he first returns because of paparazzi and fans. We watch movies and television shows, cook brunch (well Harry cooks), play our favorite board games, goof around while we play FIFA, don’t leave my bed if you get my drift, and so on. It’s always incredibly nice having Harry back. He’d been gone for five months this last time, doing various things: promoting the new album, working on the new perfume, and filming commercials for it. After much reassurance from me, Harry left to visit his family in Cheshire three days ago on Wednesday.

Normally I would’ve gone with him, but there was no way I could miss classes at uni or call off work at the diner on such short notice. I’m fine with him going of course. Harry and his family deserve some much needed alone time. Plus I needed to spend today by myself. Harry is always comforting when it comes to this and what happened to make me feel like this. We’ve been dating for two years (as of next week) and we’ve been best friends for eight years, so Harry’s been around long enough to know about how to handle my feelings towards this.

Throughout the year, I’m usually fine. There may be some moments that are worse than average, but those bad moments are typically reserved for today. Today’s the anniversary of my father’s death. My father passed away from pancreatic cancer several months after Harry and I met. I was only thirteen, and it was devastating. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at dealing with it, but I’m still not close to where I’d like to be. I’m still spending the anniversary of his death locked in my bedroom not talking to anyone or doing much at all.

It’s too much to handle, even now. My dad and I were super close. He did everything for me: took me to school, watched me play football growing up, and worked overtime to give my brother and I everything. My parents divorced when I was three, and my dad had sole custody of us until he passed away. When my father died, it took everything in me to get back to normal. Well, what I could call normal. Although it’s still difficult, I’m much better now. I don’t see my psychiatrist nearly as often anymore and I no longer have nightmares.

With help from my brother and Harry, I’ve gotten a lot better at handling the pain. Suddenly, my daydreaming ends when I hear footsteps enter my apartment. I glance at the clock on my bedside table, realizing it’s just past four o’clock now. I know Natalie shouldn’t be back yet, so it must be Harry. He texted me a little while ago saying he was on his way back. The footsteps make their way to my room. There’s a knock on my door before I hear Harry’s voice.

“Hey love, it’s me,” Harry mumbles just loud enough for me to hear.

I find the effort to crawl from beneath the covers and towards the end of my bed. I get up and walk to the door. Unlocking it, I open the door to find Harry smiling softly down at me. The dimples in his cheeks pop slightly because of he smiles. I nod towards the bed, indicating for him to join me. Harry shuts and locks the door behind us before following me to the bed. He removes his shoes as he sits on the edge of the bed. Finally, he crawls under the covers as well. I immediately snuggle into his side, smiling because of how warm he is.

Tucking my head between his neck and shoulder, I can’t help but smile wider as I take in Harry’s scent. Musk, chocolate, and so much else is captured in his scent.

“I missed you,” I whisper. I lean up slightly and kiss his dimple.

Harry grins as he says, “I missed you too, Y/N. So damn much.”

I take one of his hands in mine, admiring how much bigger his hands are than mine. It’s amazing how much room he takes up on my full-sized bed. His poor feet hang off, but he never complains. I always offer to spend time at his flat here in London, but Harry loves my apartment. “It’s quaint and homey,” Harry reminds me every time I bring it up. I suppose it makes him feel normal. Harry loves my decorations and aesthetic; my roommate and small circle of friends are so lovely according to him.

“How’s your family?”

“They’re great.” Harry kisses my temple. “They miss you like crazy. Gemma wouldn’t stop talking about the plans that you two have for a couple weeks from now. Mom kept seeing things around town that she wanted to buy you. Robin would point at random things—like a bird or piece of fruit or a cloud or even a sign—saying it reminded him of you. They want to get together with the pair of us soon.”

“I’m glad. I miss them just as much. I love your family, Harry.”

Harry raises a brow questioningly, but I see the glint of humor in his eye. “Do you love them more than me?”

“I love them just as much as you,” I say with a smile, “but in different ways of course.”

Harry grins and rubs the back of my hand with his thumb. We’re silent for a few moments, simply happy to be back in each other’s arms. I stare at the television again and notice that a rerun of Parks and Rec is on. Harry chuckles at Andy’s words. Because our hands are resting on his stomach, I feel his stomach rise and fall as he laughs. As much as I love Chris Pratt and his character on the show, Harry’s laugh is enough to make me giggle as well.

“How are you doing, love?” Harry asks once we both stop chuckling.

Out of habit, I go still. I’m not as nervous as I would have been a few years ago if Harry asked me this question.

“I’m okay, I guess,” I reply. “I’m still not as great as I would like to be, but I’m so much better than I was last year. And the year before that was even worse.”

My voice trails off, but Harry doesn’t speak quite yet. I’m very appreciative of him and his support. Harry is very great at guessing what I need and when; he manages to know when conversation or silence will help when I’m in this state.

“Thank you,” I continue. “Thank you so much for everything. It doesn’t seem to be enough to convey how much I appreciate all that you do for me every single day, even when you’re not here. It’s so hard for me to express how much you mean to me and how I feel about you. I love you, Styles.”

Harry runs a hand through my short and curly chestnut hair.

“You’ve been there for me through it all in the last eight years,” Harry says. “I can’t thank you enough for sticking by me. Despite my flaws and despite the fame, you’ve never left my side. You’re the greatest person I’ve had the pleasure to know. Thanks for being my biggest fan and best friend, Y/N. I always have your back—just like you have mine. I promise.”

I smile at his words. I can’t help but bite my lip as I feel the heat rise in my cheeks. Harry’s always so sweet, and I still find myself blushing after all these years. For the rest of afternoon and into the evening, Harry and I continue watching the Parks and Rec marathon. We order take out for dinner, and then we play some more FIFA once we’ve finished eating. I’m not sure when exactly, but eventually I fall asleep.

My overthinking and crying has made me exhausted, so I can’t help but fall asleep tucked into Harry’s side. I’m not aware of it, but Harry smiles widely at me from his spot in bed. Before repositioning himself under the covers, Harry kisses my nose. It’s a silent and unnoticed reminder that he loves me and that I am his.

Last Monday evening, October 26th, I sat down at our kitchen table and called my dad.  

We talked about all the usual stuff: Our days, our work, sports. I put him on speaker phone so he could talk to Patrick. They discussed football and baseball and, in no uncertain terms, my dad instructed me that I should be raising him to be a Red Sox fan.  

I told him that I was pregnant and that he was going to be a grandfather again in April. He was so happy, so excited.  "I’m going to have six grandkids! This is wonderful, Selena! I can’t wait to tell my students tomorrow.“ I could feel him smiling.  

"I love you, Teeny.” He said as we we were getting off the phone. “I love you too,” I responded.  

A few hours later my dad had a massive heart attack. My brother heard him collapse and gave him CPR until the ambulance arrived.  

When my mom called to tell me what had happened she just kept repeating over and over again, “Selena, he was so happy about your news. He was so happy.”

We drove to Massachusetts on Tuesday night and I spent the next two days by his bedside in the hospital. He passed away peacefully on Thursday night, surrounded by his family.  We were listening to Pearl Jam on my sister’s Kindle and the Patriots silently stomped all over the Dolphins from a muted television in the corner of the room.  

The past week has been the most painful thing I’ve ever lived through yet I can’t stop replaying  it over and over and over again in my mind. I keep picturing my dad in the hospital bed, hooked up to the machines that were doing all the work his body couldn’t do on its own. I can hear my mom’s voice as she seamlessly shifts into respiratory therapist mode to discuss test results with doctors and nurses and then stoically communicated the information back to my siblings and me in layman terms. His room smelled like baby power and antiseptic. His hands felt so soft in mine.

The last conversation that I had with my dad was a gift that the universe gave to me. And the tiny new life growing inside of me feels like the most precious of blessings right now. Even in the darkest moments of my grief there is a little light that grows bigger and brighter with each passing day.  

I said no.

I’m not sure if you even remember it now, but it was November 17, 2011 and I was only sixteen. You were twenty and you were so popular.
When I moved out for college I couldn’t look at that red couch in my living room. I didn’t see a couch, but rather your hands around my throat, your fists hitting my ribs, my arms, my legs, my stomach. I was so bruised the next day.
Because I said no.

For so long I blamed my parents (for not being home)
and God (for not being there)
and myself.
Oh how I blamed myself for opening the door and letting you in.
Sometimes I still do.

I couldn’t look in the mirror for so long; when I put my makeup on I would try to do it as fast as physically possible. When I looked into my eyes, I was no longer a little girl, but an old woman who had experienced more hurt than years she had been alive.

I started acting out about a month after it happened. My parents didn’t understand. They were concerned.
I didn’t care.
If I couldn’t feel anything anymore, I was going to make someone feel something.
I didn’t tell them for nearly eight months. I told them in a hotel room in New Jersey.
My dad cried.

We filed a police report when we got home. I had to sit in a room colder than my soul and tell two detectives how you asked me for a hug, then threw me down upon my couch and choked me, hit me, ripped my clothes off of me. I was sobbing when I told them that you threatened to “do something worse” if I ever told anyone. You threatened to hurt my seven year old sister. They both cried with me as we finished up two hours later. I kept repeating-
I said no, I said no, I said no.

They brought you in for questioning that week and the detective told my mom that you laughed at my accusation. (That didn’t surprise me. My innocence was always a joke to you.)
They had nothing to hold you on- there was no evidence.

I kept having to quit my jobs because you would show up wherever I worked and just watch me. I felt like I was drowning constantly. Nowhere felt safe.

College pushed you further from my mind, but you were never completely gone. I felt gross and unwanted by everyone but mostly by myself.

The first anniversary came around and I locked myself in my dorm for most of that whole week and sobbed. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t want to live.
The second anniversary came and I busied myself to the point where I wouldn’t let myself think. I couldn’t think.

Today marks three years since you came into my house under the guise of needing a place to hang out for a couple of hours while your best friend -my neighbor- screwed his girlfriend.
Today is the third year to the day since you raped me as I sobbed and cried, until your girlfriend called and you pulled up your pants and walked out of my house without a word, leaving me to bleed.
Today is the third year to the day since you stole my innocence and childhood.

You have a family now, a two year old son and his mother, your girlfriend.
Somehow you moved on.
Somehow you’re fine.
I’m still learning how to be.

All I can say is that I feel less broken than I did a year ago.
I am finding solace in a man who doesn’t see a victim or something tragic when he looks at me, but rather beauty in my brokeness.
Through his unconditional love, I am learning to love myself again.
And when the dark clouds roll into my mind and try to tell me that it was ‘my fault’ for letting you into my house, that I am worthless and unsavable, that I have no redeeming qualities, I am able to look those fears in the face and
I am able to say no.

—  I am not just a victim. - @processandinbetween
Hush Hush- Chapter 2 (TTOYL Sequel)

Masterpost

Hey guys, so although this IS a story about Kellin and Vic, I’m dedicating this chapter to the Kellin/Oli relationship because I’ve gotten a lot of asks about them so might as well clear it all up now. Also, this chapter is mostly flashbacks so read the dates I put at the start of each section. Note that Kellin got sent to the boy’s home thing sometime in November. Okay, enjoy.
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