Hot, hotter. You watch the water trickle over your already reddened skin from the high temperature, but feel like it’s still not hot enough to wash away everything you’ve just been through. You can’t seem to clear your head, and yet getting into the shower works quite well normally.
This time, it is not a situation like the others: you cannot manage the anxiety attack that you are going through. No matter how hard you put your head under the boiling jet of the shower head, the water cannot suffocate the voices that scream in your head. The shampoo that you put in your hair did not overcome the horrors that are inside your skull, and this, even if it is written on the bottle that it acts and rebuilds in depth. The conditioner you carefully applied from root to end doesn’t even soften them.
The soap that you passed on your skin also failed to remove the label that was just put on you. You decide to take your makeup off, but you cried so much that you have as much mascara residue on your face as you have pride in every ounce of your body.
You sit in the back of the shower because the weight of the humiliation is too much to bear. Without even realizing it, your butt is blocking the drain. Yes, that same butt that has generated so many comments in the last few hours is preventing water from draining. It begins to rise and you bathe in the soiled water of your misfortunes. You begin to think that you should have taken a bath instead of a shower, just to relax more, your head resting on the edge of the tub. You think submerging your head entirely under water might have succeeded in silencing all these little people, but if it had turned out to be true, you wouldn’t have wanted to come to the surface. You dream of emptiness, of silence: to no longer hear the suicidal thoughts hitting the walls you have erected around you by refusing help. You would have let yourself sink like an empty seashell to the bottom of the ocean. Ocean, cold and immense. The vastness would be perfect for you, for your lonely soul in search of anonymity.
Your face is a mixture of salt water and fresh water. Your hands are starting to shrivel, but it’s the first time in hours that you’ve finally been able to calm the storm that rages between the panic you try not to give in and your rational side that tries to tell you that disturbances caused by suicidal ideation are only fleeting.
You move to the other end of the bath and stretch your legs. Those same big canes that made your dress look shorter than it actually is. Tears drown your eyes again in a surge of sorrow and you try as best you can to contain this new wave of sadness. You soap them one after the other and grab the razor: you place it near your ankle and bring it up to the knee. You do this gesture mechanically when you know very well that your legs were carefully shaved before all this degradation. Wanting to put it back on the edge of the tub, you cut your finger on the freshly changed blade.
You run your slashed finger over your scarred hips. For you, they are the marks of time to signify that you have survived the trials of life, but you know full well that self-harm is destructive behavior. You worked on this aspect of yourself for many hours with your psychotherapist. You don’t want to risk a repeat offense, but God knows that tonight that physical pain could probably help you endure the psychological punishment that has been imposed on you.
The water is getting colder and colder. You think about what could warm you up. His arms, yes. The only thing you want is to be able to take refuge there, but you haven’t had the opportunity to do so for a long time. Nothing in the world can replace this feeling, this physical feeling of protection. When he wrapped them around you, you knew you could cry all the tears in your body in privacy, without judgment. You found yourself in a bubble of comforting heat. He would often ask you to look him in the eye to explain the reason for your grief, but never, at least as far as you can remember, he judged the cause. He stayed there with you to console you. Sometimes without even saying a treacherous word for hours.
You realize how much you miss him. Life is difficult without him by your side to face the feats of strength that she sends you relentlessly. In truth, it is mostly painful because you are fighting on your own, with no one to lean on when your strength is exhausted. A hug would do you the most good, give you the courage you desperately need. In a sob, you place your left hand on your right shoulder and your right hand on your left ribs. You try to hold yourself tight, but in addition to not providing any feeling of fullness, you feel inexplicably ridiculous for having thought that this action was going to be able to make you feel a little human warmth.
The water is freezing cold, no hot water at all. You realize you’ve been in the shower for a while, it’s time to get out. You rinse your tears one last time before turning off the water. You pull the curtain down and grab a towel. With your head tilted forward, you wrap it around your wet hair to contain it. You run your hands around your neck to tame a stubborn strand. Your neck: you instantly realize how small and delicate it is. Brittle. The idea of having tripped down the stairs in pumps and an evening dress would be plausible as an explanation for a deliberate accident. The broken neck after a violent collision between two objects following a fall is something common in detective novels or in action movies. You could leave this world looking pretty at least. Covered with bruises, but pretty all the same. You tell yourself that there would be less trauma if it seemed like an accident, that what you have left of family and friends would not need to be somewhere in a dark corner and then have the heavy task of unhooking you.
You have experienced suicide too. Several have crossed your path in reality. Apparently, it’s famous: artists don’t just have an artistic streak, they also have a deranged streak. Doctors often blame it on undiagnosed depression . Masked by art and in art perhaps, but is it not a reflection of the artist himself? Mirror, mirror, tell me who has the most suicidal thoughts. You. Yes you.
You are lost between the notions that make up the term rape culture. You understand that a long pair of legs can make a dress appear a few inches too short, but you just can’t seem to get it into your head that there are no more serious consequences other than losing your confidence. in you, your feeling of humiliation as well as the growing shame which pushes you towards suicidal thoughts. Suicidal ideation, suicide planning, depression. You understand that all this is linked, you are already afraid for your mental health of tomorrow because it has been considerably weakened by all the comments of which you have been the object. Object, woman, woman-object. This is how you felt or at least how they made you feel. Standing naked, you stare at the reflection that the mirror sends back to you. You see a weak woman there,
The phone is ringing. You need a little time to get out of your thoughts. You walk painfully towards the ringing of your cell phone: one step in front of the other and especially one step at a time. You answer in a dry voice, but you don’t listen. You’ve had enough of your problems, of dealing with your own suicidal thoughts. You don’t want to listen to those of others.
You realize that the ringing still hasn’t stopped. You realize it’s an alarm, a shrill sound that you didn’t activate. It’s him, you’re sure: he’s sending you a sign. You speak in a vacuum, but you, you know it is to him that you speak. By consulting the alarm clock, you see that it is even later than you thought. You have lost track of time. The crisis is over. You thank him out loud, doubting that he can hear you. The most important thing is that you believe it because this time it was really a matter of life and death …