Sometimes I’m too tired to sleep. For two weeks now I have a very light sleep and find it difficult to relax. When I lay there in the dark and listen to John’s breathing, thoughts and memories come up. I think about the time we met, back in May 2011. I was so insecure about him although my feelings for him were quite clear from the beginning. I think about Julian with whom I was together when I lived on the street. We had only little, but I was happy. I had just escaped my father and Julian never asked me about him. So did John. They just accepted that something had happened to me. John was the first partner I talked to about it that openly. I needed time to build up trust.

I wonder how I would be today if my father had not taken his own life and I still lived on the street. Would I still drink alcohol, sell my body for money? When my brother found me on the street and said our father was dead, it felt like falling into a bottomless black hole. I did not know what that was supposed to mean. The only life I knew was under his threat. It was like I was allowed to breathe freely for the first time in my life, but I was afraid of that freedom. When my brother asked me to come with him, I was doubtful. I was too anxious to trust him, too anxious to accept his help. When he bought me new clothes and had me have my hair cut, it felt like slipping into a new skin. Being someone I had never been before and I did not know. I remember his looks. Kind of sad, disappointed and compassionate. Later he admitted he often asked himself how I would be if our father had not done what he did. We both did not know how damaged I really was.

I remember sleeping in his guestroom, resting on the soft bed and then settling over to the floor. When they found me, they got sad, and so I tried to sleep in the bed. I thought it would swallow me. It was not long until I went to the mental hospital.


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