Process your pain. Writing releases memories from the body. Written after breath work, meditation and yoga.
In the Town Where I Lived.
In the town where I lived, there was a shop in the precinct. Stood opposite the shoe shop where the hardest girl in town threatened me for casting a look at some girl she knew.
I passed the shop everyday after school, looked at the manikins dressed in the window. One of them had on a stripped pink sweatshirt, looked like something kids in America would wear. Everyday, I’d stop and gaze at it, get lost in scenes of where I’d wear it. On the playing fields, walking down the cinder track and in the cool of late Autumn when the fair came to town.
I was 14 years old, there’d always been trouble with our Dad. I knew I couldn’t ask him for the money . He’d be full of, what do you want it for? I’m always shelling money out.
I’d set my heart on that sweatshirt. I did what I always did, took the money from his wages while he slept. It was a tacit arrangement. When I took money for alcohol that left me disappeared from the house for days. He never said a word. Picked and chose his times to create a fuss over me stealing money off him.
He set the touch paper alight by telling my sister. I’d been wearing my new pink stripped sweatshirt for weeks, everyone had said they liked. Asked me where I’d got it from, stunned at the expensive shop in the precinct. The smiles on their faces showed they thought I was lucky, when I said, me dad gave me the money.
One day, my sister appeared in the front room. A rare visit from the City she was living in. I sat in my mother’s chair, my sister towering before me, she started her questions. That’s a nice sweatshirt – where did you get it from? Where did you get the money? My neck got hot when I told her offhand, I’d saved a fiver a week. I recall the horror on her face that said you’re lying to me. My sister became consumed with two points, that I could lie to her and that I’d stolen money from our Dad.
My Dad made no appearance, instead made coffee in the kitchen wandered into the other room, let out a sigh and read The Telegraph. My sister, wanted to take it off me. We had a blazing row, I refused, through red hot tears – I can still feel now. Seem like they left some kind of shadow across my face. Our voices raised for 20 mins, felt like forever – to me. Crying my eyes out, my sister indignant, accusatory, rejecting of my tears. I scream-cried that she didn’t understand. It took all my breath, made me feel like I was screaming for my life, until now.
Today, I breathed in that moment for the first time. Moving it to who I am now.
Now I can breathe.
Stella McHugh – Therapist in Training
After Years of Being Everyone’s Therapist.