She lived with fear
and every night
fear of the known. There was an ogre that was out to get her
who watched her every move. She never knew just when it might appear, but she had to stay ready.
The fight or flight syndrome never left her.
and before she even opened her eyes
she could feel its presence. As she readied herself for the day
each movement required her undivided focus. Was she walking too heavily across the floor? If the family living downstairs complained about her noise
there would be consequences.
Eyes cast downward; she silently ate the oatmeal and burnt toast placed in front of her. More silence as she gathered her school books and moved cautiously toward the door. So far
so good. But the day stretched out before her
long and tiring. There would be no rest this day
or any day
for her exhausted spirit. The ogre was everywhere
even at school.
She observed the other kids
laughing and shoving
talking and playing games. Apparently they didnt care they were being watched. What would that feel like
to be unafraid of punishment? As that thought flitted through her mind, she frantically glanced around. Where was it?
Was it waiting until school was over to show itself?
Her steps were slow and methodical as she headed home. Would it be tonight
or would she be safe one more day? The relentless tension in her body became even more severe the closer she got
her stomach in painful spasms. Evenings were the very hardest.
Constantly trying to be perfect was utterly exhausting.
Carefully she placed her school books on the table
their one and only table
where she would have to do her homework. But she hadnt been cautious enough.
Its a sin to be upset and bang your books on the table like that. Youll have to go to the altar on Sunday and confess that sin. The words or else hung in the air.
When would the ogre strike?
and she eased herself onto her side of the bed. The other side was reserved for her mother as they shared their one and only bed. But sleep was elusive and restless. The ever-present ogre waited for her to slip up even now.
Was there no way to banish the ogre?
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