Responsible

Today’s entry is short, but it touches on delicate material.


There is something she talks about to no-one. It is a thing that she did, or — a thing which was done to her. She makes no distinction between the two, most days. When she does, it is her who is responsible for the action.

She thinks, if she doesn’t tell anyone, that nobody else will be able to blame her. It was her fault. She knows that. She feels it deep down inside. She has lacerated herself over and over for her actions and for their result. She doesn’t need anyone else to remind her that she brought what happened down upon herself.

She doesn’t need anyone else to know what happened, because for now, it is only her and — and the other. The other person who was present. She does not think about him, in her waking hours. If he begins to surface in her mind she beats him down into nothingness and drowns him out with other thoughts.

But in the night, in her bedroom, as she lays there waiting for sleep to come: in those times, she can’t force him away. He is there, and she remembers his face and his hands and the rough feeling of his touch upon her body. She couldn’t force him away in the moment, either. Not because she wasn’t strong enough; indeed, she’d been larger and stronger than him. Fitter. She couldn’t bring herself to resist. She’d frozen up, afraid of what he would think.

Why had that mattered? What he would think? She always thought too much of what other people thought. That was her problem. That was why this had happened to her, in part. It was why she couldn’t tell anyone. She couldn’t take their judgments and their blame, or even their pity.

Worst of all, she couldn’t bear the thought of their empathy and understanding. She didn’t want comfort. She didn’t want someone to tell her it wasn’t her fault, because she knew it was, and it felt better to beat herself down over it than to think about someone she cared about sharing in her pain and trying to pull her up out of her self-flagellation.

She had done it to herself. It was her fault. That was what matters to her. It’s what she wants to matter. It has become an integral part of her self-definition, this thing which she doesn’t talk about.

Yet she hopes that, if she goes long enough — if she keeps it quiet, even from herself — that it will fade away from her memory; and without any other evidence remaining, it will not have happened.

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