She awoke eyes swollen; head aching, having slept little to none. When she did fall off it was fitful and filled with visions that frightened her awake to the darkened shadows of her room. She called out but no answer came and she crawled back under the covers and tried again to disappear into some place where she did not feel this.
Finally after the sun rose, she got up and moved from the room that for the first time in a long time did not give her peace. She went downstairs where it was too bright for eyes that just could not see.
She made coffee and got her guitar. She sang to herself in the quiet morning, all of her favorite lullabies. The ones she sings when she is afraid, the ones she sings when she is alone. The ones she needs when she cries. She sang them all yet her voice shook, her fingers could not properly hold the strings and her rhythm was off. She was trying to tell herself a story. To listen hard enough so that she could understand what she felt. She always found her way in these songs. Today though, they sound flat and she is wildly off key.
Again, she moved from the room and slowly climbed the stairs. Back to her place of refuge and the soft, warmth of her bed. She sat staring for a long time at images flashing by her on the screen. They looked cloudy to her, almost as if covered by a curtain or a veil. She blinked over and over, but could not clear her vision.
Suddenly as if on cue, tears began to roll down her face. Slowly at first as if they were afraid to show themselves and then heavy and fast they began to flow. Sobs shook her body from its very core to the tips of her fingers. Her hands trembled, the pain leveled itself upon her and her head began to spin. She stayed this way for some time.
As the ache sat upon her, she soon needed to move again. She rose, took off her clothes and got into the shower. Kneeling on the floor, weeping, she has found herself here before. This time the invisible pain was becoming too much. Her head ran through image after image. Bottle turned upward, glint of light on a blade, blood as the first cut severs the skin. She began to breathe heavily, the panic overtaking her. Shaking she stood up and moved under the flowing water. It was soothing her but not enough. She reached for the faucet and turned it slowly to the left making the water hotter. Something began to tingle. She moved the faucet again and the heat stung her skin. The tingle increased. She pushed the faucet all the way over and the water began to scald her. Turning her skin a raw bright red and making her nearly scream. Suddenly the spinning began to slow, the tears changed shape and her breath caught a different rhythm. She stood against the burning stream pulsing over her skin and closed her eyes. The pain was suddenly tangible, something she could understand. She focused all of her attention to her skin as it began to become nearly unbearable but still she could not move away. Somehow it was soothing her, calming her. She realized her breathing had become almost normal and the tears were no longer rolling down her face. She also realized as the muscles inside of her convulsed, that her body had felt release. She wobbled a bit and was suddenly aware how hot the water was. She turned it back to a medium heat and sat on the floor letting it wash over her.
After a few moments she rose and turned off the shower, wrapped herself in a towel and crawled into her bed. Her pain was quiet now, she was exhausted and she needed to sleep. There would be time to think about this later. Right now, she was free.