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Authors: Maria Ann Green

In the Rearview

BOOK: In the Rearview
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In the Rearview

by Maria Ann Green

Published by Astraea Press

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and events are fictitious in every regard. Any similarities to actual events and persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if any of these terms are used. Except for review purposes, the reproduction of this book in whole or part, electronically or mechanically, constitutes a copyright violation.



Copyright © 2014 MARIA ANN GREEN

ISBN 978-1-62135-328-7

Cover Art Designed b
y Book Beautiful

For my better half.

Travis, you push me to be a better person every day.

Thanks for letting me push back.

And thank you to everyone else who has helped this

dream become a reality.

Chapter One

This is me

As her chin dipped down, and she noticed the soft raised skin, her heart skipped a beat. Meagan hated that an accidental glimpse still shot anxiety through her like knives. Her stomach could drop to her feet while her heart raced, all from just seeing a part of herself. It was a stupid reaction Meagan didn't often have, but when she was already nervous about judgment it was inevitable.

She hoped against hope it wouldn't always be that way.

Meagan was strong, she wasn't a kid anymore, and she loved herself. It was stupid to feel such turmoil over something that was so far in the past. And it was truly overcome. But the visual, the tangible marker she could touch, the fact that her skin was marked and different forever, that's what sent her nerves into overdrive every once in a while.

Even after all this time, it could still catch her off guard. After everything, as much as it represented her strength, it also represented the wastelands of hurt she had waded through; she tried to remember that some badges of honor weren't pretty. And hers were small enough. But just like her past, they would never go away. Life didn't have rewind or pause buttons. There weren't real un-dos or re-dos. Life only had the present, the here and now, and it only had a play button.

She wished so often the tiny pink reminders were easier to hide. Though they didn't stand out too much, their placement was inconvenient. If she could take them off, she would consider it, because she always had her memories and the lessons she'd learned. There were little pink reminders inside her head as well. Those could never be removed. The rest, even if they were badges of honor, weren't as necessary anymore.

She would always remember.

It sounded shaming, to want to hide them, but that wasn't Meagan's intention. She wasn't embarrassed or ashamed of who she was, but others still questioned or judged when they noticed a scar. They pried and probed about personal experiences that weren't any of their business to be nosey about. Then they went quiet after she answered.
That was the worst.
Eyes averted and the subject always changed, but not until a pregnant pause passed between them first.

She absolutely despised awkward silences that followed a forced explanation.

how Meagan liked to open up.

Because that's what it was to tell people about what had happened. It was opening herself up for examination. She had to be vulnerable and share history that wasn't always easy to talk about when she was honest about her scars. Trust was needed in order to be comfortable in giving parts of herself away like that. Otherwise it felt wrong. But when Meagan was the one to choose on her own to share with individuals she cared about, it was only when she deemed both parties ready. It was always better if everyone was ready.

She just preferred to give the information instead of have it pulled from her. That wasn't too tough a concept.

Because sometimes when it was demanded or requested of her before she was ready, somehow Meagan felt violated. She loved herself, she was proud of who she was despite what she'd faced, so she never lied about how she got her scars. Even if she was unprepared and surprised by the questioning, or reluctant to answer, she always told the truth. But it felt like betraying herself, violating her own security, when she gave out the information before she was ready.

She wouldn't pretend. No lies. That was a rule. She'd promised herself after healing to never diminish her past or push it under the rug. So occasionally when she knew it wouldn't go well, and it seemed easier to lie, she had to bully herself into honesty, which only added to the feeling of violation.

Don't you love yourself?

Don't you still think you're strong?

Who cares if the truth makes others uncomfortable.

If you lie, it's like you're hurting yourself all over again. That's not worth it.

And her honest side always won.

But today wasn't worth the internal battle. It would just be easier
to need debating, convincing, or sharing at all. So as Meagan got ready for her interview, she put on a long-sleeved shirt.

She covered the scars for self-preservation, for protection. And she guarded herself from the judgment of others. Never from herself, not anymore. But from others it was still necessary.

And to be honest, even if she was ever given the chance to remove those scars, if she thought about it hard enough, she wouldn't. She would keep her badges. It was just a reactionary thought that floated around sometimes. But the scars were always there, and they were hers. They just didn't need to be seen by everyone. And they didn't need to be seen today.

But they would never totally go away.

And that was okay with Meagan. It had taken time but after a long road, now it was okay.

Chapter Two

My story

My name is Meagan, and I'm twenty-three years old. I have a run-of-the-mill family: sisters, parents, friends and so on. Like most kids, middle school and high school were tough for me. They are typically a hard time for most adolescents, and I was not an exception. But my problems, though they started out normal, quickly changed to anything but.

Happiness is relative, and, relative to other people, I thought I was miserable. I was in a lot of pain sometimes, and my story is not the only of its kind. Though, I wanted to tell it in my own way, how I best expressed myself back then.

I've since grown up a lot, and I'm in a much better place now. This is a look back on how things used to be.

I believe one can gain a world of understanding by looking back, not to dwell, but to shed light from a new lens on the things you thought you knew. What you were sure you understood is not always as you remember it, because even the past can change you through the illumination of time and new experiences.

But no matter how time has changed my perceptions or faded my memories, one thing remains strikingly the same: I didn't do it for attention. I never wanted that.

Unfortunately, and inevitably, though attention did follow. Things spiraled out of control, and instead of shrinking out of everyone's sight,
focus was placed on what I was trying to hide. For a while, everything in my life was a confusing mess.

There were always ways to make it go away temporarily. But any quick fix was just as quick to subside. Everything was a fleeting suppression of the feelings eating away at my insides. So much was threatening to burst out. A whirlwind I didn't understand was pulling me downward. My life became one little problem after another, sagging my shoulders from the weight. With time every problem faded, but first I had to get through the chaos.

I quickly realized nothing helped like the listening ear of a friend or the blank slate of a page. As an ear wasn't always adequate, I learned an empty notebook made me feel better when my friends couldn't. It was therapeutic to let it all out and receive zero judgment. Paper couldn't talk back or look down on me for what I'd said and done.

I felt less vulnerable putting pen to paper than putting words through my lips.

I am who I am today because of the experiences I've had, the troubles I've struggled through, the mistakes I've made, and the lessons I've learned. But, as things often do, it got worse before it got better. Yet, through every mistake, I've stayed true to myself.

This is the story of working through my problems, defending against them, and choosing to cope instead of giving up.

Chapter Three

The beginning

Dear Diary,

I'm not sure how to describe these feelings I'm having. There seems to be a dark storm cloud that follows me around, raining down on any happiness that tries to break through. I don't have anyone to talk to. It's almost like I'm drowning. With each breath I take, I still feel stifled. It's like I'm underwater, and when I open my mouth to breathe, I take in some of the blackness surrounding me. No oxygen makes it to my lungs, just thick, dark liquid. As I get pulled down deeper so easily, I feel insignificant. I am totally without power.

Does no one around me feel like I do?

I don't know when everything changed. It certainly wasn't always this way.

I am smart enough to realize there are so many other people in my school, city, state, country, and the world that it's impossible for me to be alone. However, it's what seems to be the truth. And perception is stronger than reality in most cases. What could have changed so drastically from only a few months ago to now? I wish I had the answers. I wish I had a cure for these feelings.

If only I could snap my fingers, make a wish, and have everything go back to how it used to be. But if I could make everything better, and happier, just by wanting it enough, I think I'd already be there. I would sell my soul to pay off any being with the power to fix this. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way. It's too bad I'm stuck in a dank cave inside myself, alone with only my vicious thoughts to accompany me.

They don't seem to treat me well.



And bitter cold

Surrounds me

I shiver

Try to shake off

My pain

But it won't fall away

I'm surrounded

By darkness

And hurt



Can't I

Just be happy

With what I have


Am I

Always searching for



Do I


Look over my shoulder

Hoping to see

What I feel I'm missing


Can't I

Be happy

With what I have

It Won't Be Okay

I know you think

You're helping

I know you think

What you say is true

But everything

Absolutely will not

Be okay

I want you to be right

But it's hard to believe

That anything these days

Will ever be okay

The World Is Ending

I feel like my world is ending

Nothing I used to know

Is that way anymore

Now everything is different

Everything is horrible

I can't see through the pain

I'm always crying

I'm always sad

Nothing seems to help

And when one little thing

Happens to go wrong

Everything is worse

My world is changing

And I don't like the changes

It feels as if all I knew

Is ending

And leaving me behind

BOOK: In the Rearview
9.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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