I am 24 when my doctor tells me that I was abused. She doesn’t tell
me what happened to me, or plant any memories that weren’t already
there. She takes what I have told her and she puts it all inside those
six letters, that one word.
Before she takes my memories and gives me that word, I tell her that I
have made the appointment because I want to know why I can’t stand being
touched. I tell her that I’m 24 and I’m sick of flinching when shop
assistants hand me my change, just in case their fingers brush against
my palm and there is that fire again, the one that rushes up from my
bone to the membrane of my skin any time it comes into contact that I
wasn’t expecting. I tell her that I have been trying to do this
properly, from dating to everything else, and it’s like I’m blocked.
It’s like I’m missing a piece of myself that makes me an adult, or
perhaps even a human, and I don’t know where it’s gone.