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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Dark · #2108865
the terrible happenings in Esme's life, will she find her happiness again-read to find out

The unexpected incidents of life

I'm Esme and this is my story, unexpected Incidents and events who have shaped me into the stronger person I am today. I'm starting not at the very beginning, but at age 11, this is when Depression and anxiety started to rear its ugly head. Everyone put it down to just typical teenage hormones, it will pass, but in the years to come it would be realised that it was more than just hormones changing... let me not get ahead of myself, first a bit more about me, my name as I said is Esme Partridge... oh the names and jests my surname caused during Secondary school were soo funny... NOT although some of the attempts to insult did amuse me after a while. Anyway to give you more of a mental visualisation of me I'm 5.8", pale skin, dark brown eyes, brown hair, have glasses for reading or work which I very rarely wore during school as it wasn't cool to have glasses unless they were designer. Also like a typical teenage girl I would skip breakfast rather having the extra 10 minutes of sleep I began using pocket money to buy a bacon cob at break times and then skipping lunch too, not eating the lunches my mum provided me with but eating sweets with my tutor friends as being seen eating seemed terrifying to me.

At age 12 the Self-loathing thoughts started, along with typical teenage hormones changing, the pressures of secondary school life, homework, general teenage life problems, figuring out what social group you were going to slide into whether it be by choice or association, the need to be classes as or associated with the popular kids and of course the growing depression slowly emerging in my head. My eating habits worsened, breakfast did not exist not even from the cafeteria at school and lunch because just fluids and occasional crisps and chocolate with friends who offered persistently. Chewing gum was the only thing I ate on a daily basis not that it gave me any satisfaction or nutrition, once I would get home finally able to eat in private the urge had usually passed but I would force myself to eat something although some days the hunger was strong filling my stomach with pains and groans. After a meeting with my head of year as my tutor and a few teachers had voiced concerns about my moods I was assigned a regular slot to meet with a Casey counsellor linked with the school, I tried to keep this secret but after weeks of regularly disappearing at a certain time every Tuesday people started asking questions. I told one friend who was also getting the counselling she understood the urge to keep it quiet, we first met in the support centre, who knew me and Morgan would later become inseparable. Someone saw me going into the counsellor one Tuesday and it was spread round the class that I must be crazy and suicidal... this decided my social fate I was then branded as an Emo... although this I didn't mind as so was Morgan, I started to spend more time with her and the gang I would later see as my friends too, yes so some of them were odd but they were kind to me.

At age 13 I fell in with what most people would view as the wrong friendship group but to me Morgan and the other girls were my sisters and anyone who was their friend was cool with me. Most of Kristyn's friends were much older and a few involved in petty crime or dealing and using drugs but not the ones we were close to, our friends were just either "emo" looking for somewhere to sit and blare out music or skaters using the skate park some may not have been great influences but they also never pressured you into doing anything or trying anything most were just pretty cool people who didn't ask questions and treated you as one of their own. Titchfield Park became our weekend spot, every Saturday we would meet and see who would be there and what would happen that day, taking it in turns each week to buys junk from across the street and sit snacking all day on typical bags of crisps and sweets or once we got back to our destination for the night ordering chips and all sharing 1 carton as being school kids we were clever with money, the less we spent each week the more we had in case of emergencies such as finding someone who would purchase cigarettes for us or needing that extra 1 to buy body sprays to mask the smell of cigarette smoke on my clothes and hair. Sometimes if it was someone's birthday or during a holiday or weekend where we were all sleeping over at Kristyn's when her parents were away her boyfriend would go buy everyone a bottle of whitestorm, a horrible tasting cider but it got you drunk and was 1.20 a litre... to young messed up teenage girls this was the greatest thing to numb your mind. During the summer holidays police would patrol the park checking for underage drinking or illegal activity, it was very rare they would cuff anyone as everyone knew who they would check and where to hide things during a patrol...there was one incident I will always remember, some underage girl was noticeably wasted and when asked to empty her bag attempted to run... instead she fell over, her top fell down and she threw up on the police woman... needless to say they took her away. Weed was always around even if you weren't involved someone would be smoking it or dealing it but being a goody two shoes as the rest of the group usually put it I would never get involved and neither would my group of girls, we were just there as its where Kristyn and Morgan's boyfriends and mates always hung out and no one would judge.

I started self-harming to deal with my emotions but always cleaned and dressed my wounds afterward to avoid infections and anyone discovering my coping strategy. During one of my weekly visits to the support centre to meet my counsellor who was either never there or as useful as a chocolate teapot, one of the School support staff saw the bandage under my blazer. She pulled me into a side office asked me to remove my blazer and forced me to remove the bright white bandage revealing the deep gashes on my wrist I had done the night before. I was put in isolation until my head of year and the deputy head who was also the student welfare officer were able to see me... by this time I had broken into a nervous wreck mascara streaming down my face the realisation I had been caught becoming a reality. My mother was called they didn't tell her over the phone, just she needed to get to the school as soon as possible as there was an emergency. I knew that the welfare officer would tell her and I thought she would be angry. They put me in the vacant counselling room, took away my bag and all items from my pockets, they left me with my drinks bottle and a soggy tissue and in my small plain isolation room that contained only a chair, a desk and a wall clock waiting for the escort to meet my mother and welfare officer every minute felt like ten, the clock seemed to get louder with every second. My eyes stung from salty tears and my mouth was so dry no matter how much I drank. After what seemed like hours the kind faced support staff member collected me from my cell with my bag and belongings and walked me through the courtyard into the main building and up to the office. It was end of class and students slowly started to appear from classrooms filling the courtyard and halls, I wanted to run and avoid being seen on my walk of shame but every step my heart felt tighter and tighter I didn't want to face my mother she was my world I couldn't hurt her. I walked up the long office corridor into the welfare office, I saw my mum she was sat opposite the lady, she too was clutching a soggy tissue just like mine with red eyes. My heart broke as she grabbed me into an embrace and sobbed into my hair "why sweetheart, why didn't you come talk to me, please tell me what's wrong" we both sat and the officer asked me to remove my blazer so she and my mother could see what I had done. I once again revealed the three large deep gashes down my wrist and forearm, I could see in her eyes she was distraught at what I had done. Seeing my mum in bits truly did break my heart but I also knew that I couldn't tell her what was wrong as I didn't know why I was feeling this way. After a long meeting and once the welfare officer made phone call to my GP who arranged to see me straight away, me and my mum left in a hurry down to our next meeting. The meeting with the GP consisted of the same heartbreak, tears and questions as the welfare officer, once it was over we both went home I went to my room and quietly cried into my pillow until there was nothing left, that night I heard my mum crying in the bathroom...another part of me died inside. I was watched day and night by school and at home... I stopped harming and continued with my bad eating habits skipping food as much as I could do I wouldn't gain too much weight, until they relaxed the watch. I started being more sly where I cut. I was becoming very agitated and defensive from all the whispering and rumours. I was so angry all the time and occasionally felt waves of rage come over me, instead of hurting anyone else I would use the rough walls to remove my knuckles. The GP referred me to CAHMS, before the method of treatment was decided I had to attend various assessment meetings, some were just for me some for me and my parents and some just for them. I started seeing a counsellor she was young, blonde and polish she tried her hardest to get me to co-operate and open up in our weekly meetings where I wouldn't talk just hide in my jumper and glare at the strange woman facing me. This is when they decided medication would help. The cutting got worse again, it was the only thing I felt in control of, my pain release.

Everyone has that one major school crush, for me it was Cameron. We met when I started secondary school being put in the same tutor group I saw him every day. He was a class clown and would torment me daily but that's what I liked about him. We were from different friendship groups he was popular and cool, I was smart and classed as an "emo". Not wanting to break the sacred rule of not fraternising with another popularity level we messaged secretly first through facebook, then via text message. We talked daily, before, during and after school. During one of our games of 20 questions he asked if I fancied him, obviously not breaking the rules I was honest and told him about my crush. From then on we both kept with the act of being rivals and secretly exchanging messages and looks across the classroom... typical Romeo Juliet storyline right.... Or so I thought. Both of us whilst messaging had been In relationships that we weren't happy with and both using as a cover or at least I was... he just wasn't getting what he wanted from his younger, pretty, popular girlfriend and saw me as an easy opportunity. Age 15 in October during half-term I got what I wanted he broke up with his girlfriend for me, being nae and in love, I let him take my virginity. I should have listened more during what I saw as one of my mother's lectures, she was actually telling me very good advice and I really wish I had listened and waited for the right time, place and guy...not to mention until I was legal. Turns out he lied about breaking up with his girlfriend for me, they had just had an argument about him not getting what every hormonal teenage boy wants and came to me for it instead, knowing I would believe anything he told me. He spread it to his friends as to them it was a competition who could sleep with the most people and for someone to be a girls first gained extra points and typically this being juicy gossip it spread like wildfire. Days later the rumours started from pregnancy to STI's I heard it all. Then the girlfriend eventually heard and obviously told her big brother, this is when the names-slut, whore, skank, slag and the rest... any bad derogatory term you can think of, I was called it by not only people from my own year group who were close with the other involved parties but the year above and below too. Every day I dreaded going in to school, knowing what was awaiting...at least there were some people who truly knew me and still believed that I was the innocent party in this whole drama, Morgan and the others were always there with some snarky comeback to shut up the vultures. I was eternally grateful to be in the "emo" group, they took no crap from anyone and always protected their own.

Cameron was in a lot of my classes so avoiding him was impossible he would give me a smug grin all the time as he knew this agitated me. One day in a drama class he pushed me too far like a cornered animal I lashed out and grabbed a chair close to me, although being pretty intelligent and knowing if I hurt him I would be excluded and tarnish my good record I threw the chair towards him aiming carefully to his side knowing he would run anyway...my theory worked, I released my anger, scared the crap out of him and to top it off the teacher sent him out for aggravating me as this particular teacher knew a lot about both my issues and the reputation of the idiot that was on the receiving end of the flying chair.

School became unsafe for me to be out at breaks and lunch hours because of threats. Having 3 separate year groups that loathed the sight of me because of him and the girlfriend and her brother and of course my naivety and stupidity. I received cyber-attacks as well as verbal attacks daily. I was allowed to be in isolation, this was my safe haven from the crowds, at least until someone leaked my location for that day then they would find me to carry on verbally breaking me. My self-harming got worse, my arms and thighs always raw and scabby but always well hidden.

Other guys started to use me the same way he did, I started receiving texts and inbox messages from other guys just general conversation, compliments... them gaining my trust then asking me for sexual acts, they were just wanting to use me like an object, to them that's all I was... I was now broken, damaged goods. Every guy saw me as an opportunity for easy sex. My self-respect and confidence dissolved, I hid behind baggy jumpers with hoods, loose clothing and dark colours... anything that would help me blend into the background, I wanted to be invisible. Binge drinking and smoking with the wrong people became my release.

I met Matt through my best friend Morgan's boyfriend, they set us up on a blind date, it went well so after a few more double dates we began dating, the same could not be said for Morgan and her boyfriend they shorty broke up but she moved on to Luca, one of Kristyn's boyfriends mates, she liked him when they first met so I was happy for her, but I was still grateful for her short lived relationship as they brought me and Matt together, he took my good days and bad days with a pinch of salt he was so kind but we were rocky and frequently broke up then got back together, typical teen relationship. During another low spot during the hell of my very own WW3 in school and not knowing who was truly a friend and who was just using me and being on a break with Matt, I stupidly slept with my best friends latest ex Luca because he wanted revenge on her cheating on him and I was stupid enough to go along with it as we had had another of our huge arguments where she revealed even she believed the rumours about me and that Matt could do better than me. I wanted to hurt her and hurt Matt because he let me leave him again knowing I was unstable and I was convinced he was cheating on my anyway, this was such a stupid childish decision. Once again Luca told his friends, one of his friends told his girlfriend Kristyn who was also part of the close knit friendship group me and Morgan were in, who told her... I was ashamed at what I had done but also angry at the world for tarnishing me a whore... but if that's what they wanted me to be then I didn't see why I shouldn't. I began to lose not only friends but self-respect and any feelings and emotion, I closed myself off from the world put up my walls and always on guard... I was exiled from the friendship group ... I was left alone and broken with another group hating the sight of me but for a completely different reason. After a while Morgan and I spoke about what happened, I couldn't apologize more and also couldn't live any longer without my sister, she was the only person I could talk to and being unable to talk had not only affected e but her too. Although the group accepted me back after a lot of debate, our friendship was never the same, no one trusted anyone anymore but I had them back...sort of.

It was a Monday night, I got home from dance after another day of abuse and hell in school then feeling like the odd fat girl at dance I went to my room. I was on skype to Matt as he was trying to get through to me make me understand he was there....he saw the pills during the video conversation, I brushed it off as I had taken some painkillers for a headache, the conversation ended in me crying and hanging up on him. I took the concoction of medication I stole from my parents drug stash as well as my own and washed them down with a mix of vodka, wine and Ribena I blacked out... next thing I know my mum was shaking me and my dad threw me in the back of the car... after I had hung up on him and didn't pick up my phone after 3 attempts of calling Matt had rang my house phone as he knew what I had done...I hated him at the time but I now realise he saved me

They made me eat something I chose a mini roll...I later regretted this decision

I threw up the mini roll and most of the medication when they took my bloods

I was forced to stay overnight in hospital for observation, my mum stayed by my side in a hospital boot as she had a broken ankle, again I had broken her heart ad I hated myself for it.

They lost my bloods so had to wake me up to take more during the night... I cried again, feeling so low and still groggy from all the drugs and alcohol.

The psychiatrist from CAHMS came to see me she made me go through the event of the night before and what made me do it, after speaking to me she spoke to my mother, they wouldn't let me leave until she promised to tell me what she had told them in one of the meetings when I was being assessed for CAHMS counselling, they wanted her to tell me what she had protected me from and had been hiding for 16 years.

I got released my parents took me to KFC, it may have just been greasy southern fried chicken and soggy chips but to me it was the best thing I had ever tasted.

CAHMS set up a controlled meeting where mum could tell me what they knew and thought I needed to know also the terms she had to agree to so they would release me from the hospital. The first being the tale of a bad man who had done bad things, they feel I may have witnessed something as an infant causing my memory to manifest it as the shadow man that taunted me every night for many years always leaving a feeling of dread and anger.

Second and most important... I was a twin...this was a shock but I other ways also made so much sense. It explained why I always had a memory of my imaginary friend Ebony, she was my identical friend who as I grew and changed she changed with me until the age where it's not right to have imaginary friends anymore and I forced her to leave... that's when she would appear in my dreams which then progressed into nightmares as I grew older the nightmares would get worse, more frequent and more violent but always ended in Ebony trying to take over my body and replace me. Discussing these dreams with the therapist really helped they slowly started to disappear, Ebony became once again a nice addition to pleasant dreams. After leaving secondary school and somehow through all the drama passing my GCSE's al with good high grades my friendship with Morgan and the girls truly crumbled. Over the holiday I would see them post they had been here and there doing this and that but never replying to my messages. When I returned home from a family holiday in Spain I discovered they had all blocked and removed me, once again I felt alone.

I started to try make an effort with the counselling as I no longer had the friendship support system I used to have, I took the meds, I tried to open up more in my sessions, I stopped cutting myself as much as I could instead scratching my arm or leg with my nails. I tried to con everyone into thinking I was getting better, it was working. I also got my little dog Molly, she is a Yorkie Terrier and the funniest odd little thing, she instantly became my best friend and was always there for cuddles and midnight walks, she was my lifeline.

I have always been into the arts and was looking in to getting enrolled into a local talent agent which was attached to a dance school that also ran a full time theatre college I was asked to audition and was offered a Scholarship to theatre college September 2013. This was the best news I had received I was beyond excited and couldn't wait to start... turns out accepting that scholarship was worst decision of my life so far.

The group I was with were so cruel, the need to be skinny pretty and perfect at everything was obvious... I was none of the above. As this was something I loved and wanted to work out for me I tried my hardest in all lessons and aspects of the theatre college I was asked to do. I was struggling in the dancing sessions, the teacher would make a mockery of me and the other high flying students in the classes would laugh or join in with the taunting frequently targeting me and lunch breaks or in the changing areas, they even followed me out into the street one day when it had all got too much and I had called a ride. Whilst I was waiting, they rushed out after me stood in their ballet gear shouting in my face and prodding me to get a response. I just sat on the wall slumped over in my ballet uniform and baggy jumper with the hood pulled far down my face hiding my tears, hoping any second the car would appear round the corner and I could get away. Self-harming started again it seemed like the only thing I could control and I was in control of, it gave me a physical reason for the pain I was feeling inside. It had reached the point where I was getting bullied daily by a lot of my year group and some other close friends from the other years, whether it be my appearance, lack of socialisation with the group or work in lessons, there was always something. I despised the sight of myself, especially in my ballet uniform which consisted of pale pink tights and a skimpy black leotard, nothing to hide the tops of my arms or my thighs and the leotard clung to every roll on my stomach and back, I dreaded those lessons in the fully mirrored room and would hope the time would fly by which it never did although I hated everything about this lesson there was one thing I did look forward to about it and that was seeing miss Tatiana, the only teacher who was ever kind to me in that dreadful place. And although I ate more during each day as I was able to find places quiet enough to eat I still usually went for the quick option of junk foods they were usually quick and easily hidden, there was time to eat at home.

I had an accident in one of the lessons which buggered my knee although being forced to go from leaping in the air to landing on our knees with no kneepads there is no surprise it happened and of course to me, I seemed to be the bad luck magnet.

I left in January 2014 my dad escorted me to empty my locker he was my bodyguard my mum dealt with the teacher who verbally humiliated me... he disappeared in the dance world but not before he alongside a few other tutors, the principle and the students had crushed any ounce of self-confidence I had. My depression hit rock bottom again. I would hide away but was always comforted by my trusted companion my little Molly, she was always by my side and became what I relied on.

Searching for something else to do, I started working at a children's theme park, I was happy to be earning money even if it want the greatest job in the world or the kindest boss. Being treated like dirt by the boss became normality he did it to everyone apart from a select few like in any workplace there are the ones who are treated differently, that's how I met Dean, he was older, sporty and a little awkward but who was I to judge he made me feel like a princess and I just wanted to be wanted. Everything was great, I met his family, he met mine and I felt I could trust him. I was happy. But he began to show his true colours, the guy I met who was charming and kind was not the guy I was with now. He had become very obsessive and hated me being with anyone but my parents or himself. I should have known something wasn't right when Molly used to act up when he was around, she wouldn't let him near me and would try wriggle her way in between us, I thought she was just jealous but she must have known. He started locking her out of the room when he was around, hearing her squealing to try get into me hurt but I didn't want to upset him either just for a dog.

He would check my messages and constantly look through my phone for evidence of me talking to other people. He would get so angry when I was with him and answered a message or call from another guy even when I explained it was just my friend. One night after a heated conversation I got up to leave and he grabbed my wrist I got scared. A few days later he came over to make things right, we met at my house before I went to college to talk, naturally I went to my room as I was still getting stuff ready for college, we sat on my bed and chatted, he laid down and pulled me with him saying he just wanted to cuddle for a while, after protesting I needed to get my thing ready and that I was still annoyed I gave in as I knew I needed to keep him happy, he was my only way to college that day. I should have known better, he tried to force me into having sex, I refused but that didn't stop him from pinning me to my bed dry humping me and with him being larger than me I couldn't push him off, I was disgusted but held my rage as he was my ride to college once we were in the car and a reasonable distance toward college I let loose, I yelled I cried and he pulled up outside college I went to get out and he grabbed me again forced a kiss and I pulled away once inside the building I ran to my safe place, the disabled toilet that was never used as there were no disabled females in the building, my friend saw me run and followed where she found me hunched against the wall crying she sat beside me and pulled me into her arms where we sat for a good half hour once I had calmed down and explained what had happened we compose a message saying I needed to talk to him that evening... this was the final straw I was breaking up with him. He came round that night full of apologies begging me to forgive and give him another chance, this dragged on for nearly 2 hours I asked him to leave numerous times and eventually my mother escorted him out... it didn't stop the angry calls and texts or him coming over daily in tears begging me to take him back, it was making me sick with stress and lack of sleep. I moved up to my sisters for a week to just escape until it calmed down as he did not know where she lived and although I still got the constant calls he couldn't get to me. Eventually he realised I wasn't coming back until he let off. I finally came home once he agreed to let it go and move on...or so he said. I returned back to college and work. He had bragged around work that we had slept together, staff members approached e to ask if the rumours were true I shot them down immediately, I was humiliated. He made work life hell. All trust in men had gone again but at least I still had my counselling, not that I told anyone about this just my pillow when I cried myself to sleep every night or sat up staring at the wall engulfed in my tornado of thoughts.

Age 18 usually one to celebrate...for me it meant CAHMS would no longer see me as they only dealt with "children and families" but in their professional opinion I was better and did not need referral to anywhere else...I had become so good at hiding the real me that no one truly knew what was going on in my head...at least I had my meds and a few friends I could relax around but never really let my walls down.

I was at my guy friend Dan's house as he wanted to celebrate my birthday with me so we settled in his room and planned to watch films and drink, he had a friend there, another guy I sort of knew as I had met him on the college bus his name was Brent, he seemed nice so I didn't mind.... My friend ended up falling to sleep cuddling my arm so left me and this other guy watching the film, he got closer and closer which was okay we were all trying to fit on a bed and my sleeping friend and sprawled over half of it whilst death gripping my arm but I was warm and always felt relaxed and calm with Dan, we had all drank quite a bit I started to drift to sleep too ... that's when Brent saw an opportunity, he got a bit touchy he started with his arm on my waist it got lower, groping me as I squirmed, he was kissing my neck then it happened his hands were inside my leggings I wriggled with discomfort but being drunk, half asleep and only having 1 arm free I couldn't free myself he pulled my leggings off and raped me, I just laid there praying for it to be over, praying for Dan to wake up. No matter how hard I tried to wake him he was dead to the world when I most needed him... after what seemed like hours but was probably only minutes it was over, he went to the bathroom I managed to free my arm from Dan's arms, quickly re-dressed myself and crept out of the room downstairs as fast as I could out to the rainy street... I ran until I reached the bus shelter at the end of my street where I crumbled into a pile in the rain, I felt so violated and felt it was all my fault, although it was summer it was so cold that night and the rain felt like ice but I was numb inside and out I staggered the rest of the way home in just leggings and an oversized T-shirt and my shoes barely on my feet from rushing out the door, quietly I let myself into my home and crept upstairs to the shower. I wanted to burn my skin off I had the water so hot it hurt I wanted to clean the memory away needless to say I didn't sleep that night, but again Molly knew something was wrong and stayed with me all night just nuzzling into my body and licking my hand. I no longer trusted anyone especially men, I never told anyone about the abusive relationship or the rape.

I drifted through day to day feeling nothing but a void it was like all the emotions had been sucked out of my body all I felt was emptiness, occasionally the void was replaced with slight sadness, anger and most of all fear.

That same summer I got the worst news of my life, my guide leader and dear friend who had helped me through so much over the years had lost her battle, she had fought the cancer for years but to me she was invincible, nothing could stop Rita, it couldn't be true.

She had always been there from first week long camp age 10 when the scared shy little girl who was homesick and had stomach cramps just needed a cuddle, to the most recent events where she was always there to listen and no matter what you told her she would never judge, just help you through whatever the situation may be.

Rita was my idol, I truly knew heartbreak the day I found out she had passed away.

The heart breaking news came around the same time that, after countless appointments, physio sessions and consultant appointments it was decided we would try surgery on my knee from the 2013 accident at the theatre college. The letter arrived with my confirmed date for surgery Friday 26th June my surgery would take place, I then received news that Rita's funeral would be on the 29th June just 2 days apart.

Surgery day came around, going in as a day case was confident I would be fine to say my goodbyes on Monday, I got into my horrid gown and paper panties and walked with my mother to the surgery room door where a kind nurse let me through settled me on a bed and wheeled me through to be surrounded by men and women in medical uniforms attaching various wires and machinery to my body, I admit I felt like a young child again and wished nothing more than to be back on the other side of the large metal door with my mum not lying waiting for the unknown the nurse who stayed with me must have seen I was distressed and she held my hand and stroked it, just like my mum would have. The last thing I remember was listening to the kind nurse say soothing reassuring things as I was breathing in the strange smelling gases and slowly falling into a sleep like I have never before experienced. The dream was a happy one filled with all my beloved family and friends but most importantly Rita, I woke confused and thirsty and was told the surgery went well, I returned to my room and greeted by the friendly faces of my mum and aunt who was on duty at the reception on my ward. My mum sat folding and assembling origami flowers as I watched still in the clouds from the medications nurses would pop in and out checking on my blood pressure and other things as well as to watch and see what my mum was making. I was fine up to the point where my mum had left to get a coffee and I needed to pee, the nurse came brought the dreaded porta potty but before allowing me to empty my bladder decided it was time to remove my cannula which had been bugging me since I had woken from the anaesthetic, but must have skipped the section in my medical notes where it clearly stated I was a FAINTER as once she whipped out my cannula and helped me over to the loo then left me to do my business, 5 minutes later I wake up on the floor with a sore face, 2 sore legs and still needing to pee...yes I had fainted off the porta potty in hospital and hit the floor, I was terrified I had messed my the very sensitive knee that had just been operated on, once I was back with the world they helped me back to the loo then to bed I was mortified my mum helped me change out of the horrid gown into some pyjama's she had packed for me and I fell to sleep. Once I woke up I realised that I had a gash on my other leg and a big black eye beginning to show. All the nurses certainly had a memorable story that day. I was released that afternoon after the standard crutch lesson determined I would be fine for Monday, as always my fur baby was waiting for me and was very cautious around my bandages. The weekend to follow was for resting, the consultant promised I could go to the funeral if I rested over the weekend but all I could think was what if I had caused some damage from falling off the stupid porta potty, Saturday night was excruciating I was writhing in pain and worry, but after a bandage change and some stronger pain relief I could finally rest, all the while molly stayed by my side.

Monday 29th June 2015 came, the day of Rita's funeral my final chance to say goodbye, I woke up took my pills and breakfast and grabbed my crutches to go pee... I fainted of all days for me to flake my body chose today, my mum refused to let me go to the funeral in case it happened again as I'm no light weight and she wasn't able to attend with me

I was distraught I called everyone but mum had beat me to it and already told them if I called not to pick me up and I was not well enough yet I hated her for it but I also understood she needed me to be safe. Being as stubborn as usual I called a taxi and had just enough money for both trips I was stood outside feeling and looking like death when my neighbour saw me and came to sit by me and find out what was going on after a flood of tears and cuddles she reasoned with me and helped me back inside where I staggered to the sofa and held molly as she licked away my tears. I cried for 2 days as I felt I never got to properly say goodbye and get closure that this wonderful lady was really gone.

My life continued on, days rolled by, months blurred into one as I continued to conceal the tornado of self-hatred and fear in my head and the void of emotion in my body, I truly felt like a zombie. My eating habits had turned the tables, I was eating three meals a day as well as smuggling extra food, sandwiches, crisps, chocolate... whatever I could find up to my room, each night I would binge eat until I hurt,, al the while the voices in my head telling me this was the only way to stop the men from hurting me... no one finds a fat girl desirable, the fatter I got the safer I would be. As you can expect my weight ballooned and this did not at all help my mood, it worsened. Years went by as I tumbled from job to job nothing ever working out, my heart was just never in it, I wanted to curl up in my duvet cocoon and hibernate until the void inside finally felt something other than the void in my body and the constant pains from my knees but knew this was not possible as everyone else thought I was doing just fine. I had finally created the perfect character that had replaced me in my day to day life, the painted smile and chatting just a cover of the true me, always dreading socialisation and any kind of event or gathering, whether it be family or friends, 2 people or 200 the sheer thought would send the tornado of hatred in my head spiralling out of control. There was one holiday I despised more than any other... Christmas, I dreaded the month of December arriving and the country filling with chaotic shopping, crowds and the mandatory family gatherings full of festive cheer and happiness. I dreaded these events as I had to again bring out the cheery character everyone saw as me in even more crowded situations constantly worried that someone would final see through the cracks or it would finally all be too much and I would crash and burn and although I was surrounded by family who loved me for whoever I may be and I loved them, all I would feel is pure hatred as seeing them all happy and full of cheer and emotions made me realise how I truly felt nothingness, just a huge black void, loneliness. For me Christmas was always the loneliest and saddest time of the year, then into the New Year celebrations toasting to past achievements and new beginnings when all I could do was let the tornado of thoughts spit cruel memories and hateful words into the void that was me. At least I always had a get out clause if I needed to escape, again Molly was always aware of when I needed to get away and would instantly need to go toilet so we would creep out and go for a walk or sit on the park.

After 2 years of hiding my secrets I finally burst I let all the anger and fear out in a long talk with my mum who held my hand through it all and Molly curled up by my side I finally revealed the terrible things that had happened to me that id kept bottled up for so long. The feeling of relief that came over me was amazing like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders I finally felt something other than a void. Amongst the tornado of negativity... I felt a glimmer of hope. I realised that everything happens for a reason and has all helped shape me into the person I am today, I stopped binge eating and cut down my meal sizes rather than letting thoughts cloud over my body listening to my body instead only eating what I needed until I was just full and drinking more water, the more healthier I started to feel and as the weight slowly dropped the physical pains lessened. Also without my furry little miracle I don't think I would have been here to tell my story, animals truly do just ask for love and safety, in return the will love you. My name is Esme Partridge and these were my unexpected incidents of life and I pray they can help you see everyone has bad times, work through them and you too will find hope.

The end... for now.

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