"How does it feel?"

Her voice is even.

"Like there's a scream in my head. It feels like living with someone screaming in your head for months and never telling a soul. It's loss. Despair. Rage."

"Why wouldn't you tell anyone?"

Her voice softens.

"Because I believe I deserve it. I deserve all of it."

Hands fidget.

Grasping and squeezing.

Nails tear.

Trying to wring the shame out.

"No one deserves it. You're not here to be blamed. I'm not here to condemn you."

Her tone remains even. Soothing even.

Teeth tear at lips.



A new nervous habit to the growing list.

"Why? Why not?"

Thick. Shaky.

Swallow. Rattle.

Nails rake across pale forearms.

Anxious. Always.

"... Don't you realize there's more than violence in your hands? You are capable of so much more than this."


Hands clench.

"There's nothing left but this!"


Hands gesture wildly.

"But there is. You told me you paint and draw. You told me you knit and crochet. You told me you write. You are more than the violence that has been inflicted upon you."

The urge to scream bubbles up.

It is barely restrained.

"You create. That's an important part of who you are. You are so much more. I believe that. You asked for my help for that very reason."

Her voice is like honey.

Like she is consoling a child who is lost in the supermarket.

Her eyes are brown and calm.





"And you won't bail?"

She laughs. Loud and unafraid.

"Darling, I couldn't bail even if I wanted to now. Who would knowingly let another person drown?"

Grinding teeth.


"I won't go. You came to me for help and I will see you through this."

Hands cover a rapidly crumbling face.



"We'll get you out on the other side girl."

I can only weep in her office at this proclamation.