Dear Dr Censura,
Following is from the notebook of patient number 213. It appears she likes to write, (although we must be vigilant with the pencils). I am sure you will find as I have that Miss Sarah-Jane is a rather devious woman with a shambolic memory. My experience is far lacking in comparison to yours and I look to you as a mentor. I am most interested in your findings. She is certainly a puzzlement.
Yours in sincerity, Dr Diabolus
Chapter 1: The Sarah-Jane Records
We kept most things in boxes. While waiting for our new house to be built, my parents, and I lived next door, storing the things that make a home in the garage.
I used to think everything was black and white, wrong, or right. Now I know there are many shades of grey.
I stared blankly at the TV screen, watching but not really engaging. When the show was over, Iíd go to bed. A knock came from the front patio interrupting my feigned interest. No one we knew ever came to the front door. It must have been about nine at night, Mum and Dad were in bed. I got up and opened the doorÖ
At our old house, we had a screen door and then the wooden door. One Motherís day my Dad decided we needed an electronic doorbell. I think this was mostly because he liked that add on TV were the kid uses a screwdriver to fiddle with the doorbell, and makes it play a silly tune. When the mum comes out cross the dad pretends as if he didnít think it was funny.
So my brother, me and Dad went down to the shop but all the electronic door bellís had lots of wiring. None of them were something simple that Dad could hook up with the help of us kids before Mum came home. Instead, we decided on a gold coloured doorknocker. We get home, drill a hole in the wooden door, and get it up there. Standing back it didnít look centred or straight but it was done. Mum gets home and we proudly show off what we did. She smiled at us meekly. She was always doing that. Then as sheís standing looking at it, we realise that you canít even knock on the thing because itís on the wooden door and we always lock the safety screen in front of it. The whole thing was a waste of time; but this didnít surprise anyone.
Two men in black slacks, dress shirts, and shiny black shoes stood on the front patio. One was carrying a neat black notebook and pen. I was curious. I did not know these men.
I had a dream last night. My body went tense as a spider crawled up my arm. It bit me and my arm just went to jelly, less solid than jelly, like water. But then it got some of its solidness back. My mouth felt swollen. It was as if dry, hot air bubbles were forming under my skin like when air is trapped in pastry. I was on my own. I knew I had to call out to someone, but I couldnít, sleepiness overcame me. The spiderís venom was messing with my head.
It was his secret, not mine but I had to keep it. Tell and who knows what he might do. Yes, I was frightened of him. He was my father.
Now Iím just as bad as he, a cheater, a liar, and worst of all a coward.
I wanted to hurt him so much so he could feel some of my pain, but I couldnít hurt him. Instead, I turned to myself. I wanted to have something to show. I wanted to see my pain; it was the only way for the pain to be real. It felt like I wasnít allowed to be angry, to feel pain, and hurt because I had to pretend this lie didnít exist to begin with. I was scared his secret would come bursting out at the worst possible moment, so I stopped talking. I absorbed myself in my schoolwork as a distraction. I wrote how I felt in a note pad. I needed to get those feelings, all the hate, and guilt out of me to be able just to have a conversation with him without smacking him in the face, or have a conversation with her without telling her that her husband was a dirty rotten liar. To rub it in would break her; she couldnít handle that, what with everything else falling to shit around her.
Repetition is unfaithful. Like Chinese whispers. Everything morphs over time. Circumstance is everything. Meaning is changed, added, and taken away with each repeat.
A bunch of advice: Consider the possibilitiesÖ This world has so much to offerÖ Life is what you make of itÖ Something doesnít come from nothing. You canít wait around for what you want, you have to go out and get it.
The men in black wanted to talk to Dad, so I went into my parentsí bedroom and told him someone was there to see him. He put on some clothes and came out. He stepped out on to the patio, and talked to the men while I sat in the lounge room pretending to watch the show.
I still think about it, I think about it a lot.
What I thought had happened hadnít really happened at all. Iíd put together this lie using the little information I had. I was still innocent; I still thought my parents were saints.
Itís funny because later, and for a long time I thought he was the only one who was evil, and then I learnt that she was evil too. Now I know there is no such thing as an evil person.
Sienna had been raped. No she hadnít. Her husband had died and she was grieving. She had been sober, but then she had drunk. That night she had drunk. Nobody told me this, I had absolutely no way of knowing this, but in my mind, she had always been drunk.
Dad was a saviour. He helped people. He was helping people fight the same things he had fought, and he helped them fight even worse. He was helping Sienna now, even though she had lied to the cops, even though she had done the unforgivable, he had forgiven her, and he wanted to help her. My Dad was a saint.
Mum told me once that I could tell my friends about it if I wanted. I could have laughed right then and there. I could have laughed right in her face. She was giving me permission to speak. After all these years, I now had permission. But only to my friends. Ha, like I was going to keep something this big to my self all this time. Ha, it would have killed me. Now she was giving me permission to live? Now? What did she think I had done all those years? What did she think I had done? She thought I had played dead. Ha ha ha. Fuck that makes me mad. That is exactly the problem. Now, she gives me permission to feel, now? Fuck that makes me mad.
He went down to the cop shop and gave his statement. I only realised later that he must have stayed the night there. I donít know what happened in that interview room. I donít care. Itís not important anymore. What is important is all the lies.
She forgave him, after everything.
That house brings back so many memories and those people, my brother and sisters have no idea what that house meant.
I guess this shit happens to heaps of people but by god, it really affected me and Iím not going to brush it off.
Iím on top of the wooden box, Iím shouting at all the passes by, and no one even notices. Iím yelling at the top of my lungs and itís as if God has turned off my audio. What am I talking about? I donít believe in God.
Okay so Iím sitting there in the lounge room, Dad walks in the back door wearing the same clothes as he did when he left the night before and quickly gets ready for work. I thought he had already gone to work, my parents always left before I was even up. He got dressed and walked out into the lounge room. He stood in front of me and he said, ĎThis thing, what happened last night, everything you heard, this stays between you, and your mother and myself, you hear?í or something to that effect, and I think I nodded. I have a feeling I didnít speak. I remember thinking I hadnít made any promises. I owed nothing to him. I could tell whomever I wanted. I remember thinking that I was powerful. I wouldnít tell, but I could, and that gave me some power in a situation where I couldnít be more out of control.
I could be lying; even I donít know anymore.
Waking up in the morning, we never know of the hell that is in store or the heaven.
Mum asked me to go to her room and get something for her. For some reason I searched her bedside draws. Inside I found words.
RODGER SLEPT WITH SIENNA.
Those words are all burnt up now, but they will live on in my memory and on this page right here. And I love it that they are on this page because they exist, and here is proof that they do.
I didnít say anything but I went back; I went back to find out what those words meant.
I was silent in that house, silent except for the tears. I was too scared to talk. I knew, and he knew I knew, and she knew I knew, and he knew that I knew that he knew I knew, and I was shit scared.
There are cobwebs in my heart; I donít let people into that dark place. When you loose trust in the epiphany of humanity; your parents, you loose faith in everyone, even yourself.
Went back and I donít want to talk about that place. That discovery is too painful, too much. Just too much. I shut up. I shut up, I cried, and a prayed she wouldnít find the words that I had wrote.
YOU COULD TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER.
I was mad and I was scared that sheíd do exactly that.
I want to get it out but it is so hard, because there is so much and it chokes me to keep it in but it is exhausting to get it out.
After all those shed, I have no more tears, only words, so many unspoken words.
There was a time when I searched for some belief; I rifled through other peoples faiths trying to find something to believe in. I now know that you make your belief system over time as you learn from your experiences. There is no god for me.
Yea, this happened to me, yea this is truthful, but only to an extent. I donít know what he was thinking, I donít know what she was thinking, I only know about me, and I donít even know that half the time.
Iíll tell this to my sisterís babies one day, but it will all be imaginary and it will all have happened to someone else.
Just like, how I donít know nothing about my Grandparents, my nieces, and nephews are never gonna know shit about theirs.
Iím gonna be the kind of Mum that swears in front of her kids and tells them about how some man got shot and died because he raped a woman. Thatís what I want my kids to hear, the truth.
And Iím gonna let them feel.
So she came in to my bedroom and we sat on my bed and we cried. She gave me the option of leaving. She put too much on me. Iím glad I didnít walk away from that situation.
One of my teachersí told me once that she thought I was brave, even though she didnít know anything, or maybe she sensed it. I thank her for that cause I never saw myself like that before, and yea I was fucking brave when I was so scared. Now here come the tears, I knew they would.
So he cheated on her, and she forgave him, and now they are together, the happy old couple. This wasnít the first time, I found out that from my siblings. But they donít know about this time. Back then he was a drunk. This time he had been sober for years. This time it was different. Mum was crippled by it, depressed, wanted to kill herself. I felt like I had to protect her. For a long time I didnít speak to Dad. I couldnít trust Mum fully either because I knew she loved him, and anything I said to her got passed on to him. Like when I told her not to tell him I knew, she told him anyway. She was pissed I read her diary but what was I going to do? Read those words by accident and then, ĎOh thatís Mumís diary I wonít look at that anymore.í What it said blew me away; I couldnít get my head around it, like she wouldnít have done the same. But she forgave me for that, so I forgave her for telling Dad I knew. But just because you forgive doesnít mean you forget.
I want to tell my Brother a story. I want to tell him how I slept with someoneís boyfriend and I donít regret it.
Does that make me worse than him?
I know about the colour grey, I know about circumstance. I know about forgiveness and I know about secrets, but I donít know anything about love, and I donít know anything about trust. I donít know what it means to be married, and I donít know what it means to have a relationship. I donít know if Iíll ever go there, Iím just playing it by ear. I donít know anything about commitment. I donít know how she did it. She never bit the apple.
I was Sienna, and I was drunk.
But is it different when the person is married? I donít know. He didnít lie to Mum, he told her. He didnít tell me. No one told me, but I found out. I was never supposed to know. What would have happened if I didnít? Would I of been closer to my Dad? Maybe? Would I still have a Mum? Do I tell my siblings? How long do I wait? What difference will it make then?
I have dropped hints that I know something.
There is a time bomb inside of me waiting to go off. The count down began when I sat in that lounge room when it stops I donít know, but Iím waiting to find out.
Dear Dr Diabolus,
I hasten to inform you that I do not discuss patients on paper, and a personal log alone is not enough to diagnose a patient. A full diagnosis will be made pending further investigation. I will be seeing you and patient 213 very soon.
Yours Dr Censura