FanStory.com - All Alone in a Crowdby S. Pumpkin
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Valerie's bizarre psycholgical behavior returns.
A Leaf on the Wind
: All Alone in a Crowd by S. Pumpkin

Background
Sexually abused as a child and forced to live with a family that chose denial over acknowledging the truth, Valerie develops into an adult with a series of psychological problems. She is a child livi

"There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there."

Albert Einstein

 

The throbbing pain in my head signaled the beginning of another migraine.  I immediately called Richard and asked him to come get the girls.  As soon as they left, I took the usual ten aspirins, turned out the lights, and lay down on the bed. The pain was excruciating. The sound of children laughing in the yard next door crashed like thunder against my head.  If I failed to stop the migraine in the first few hours, it was assured to last several days. I knew immediately, this one was not going away any time soon. 

My migraines were becoming more frequent, causing me to miss up to five days of work each month.  However, migraines were not all that plagued me.  I had begun to lose small periods of time again.  A ten-minute break often turned into forty-five minutes, and on more than one occasion, a one-hour lunch became two, and always with no recollection of what I did during the missing time.  Occasionally, I found myself shopping in a store miles from my house with no memory of why or how I had gotten there.  When a co-worker commented on something I had said or done during a gap, I became quite adept at covering my lapse in memory by pretending I knew what they were talking about.  Fortunately, it seemed I never said or did anything that drew unwanted attention to me. 

Because it was often difficult for me to concentrate and it wasn't unusual for me to be forgetful, I attributed these strange episodes to the stress of my job.

*** 

"Valerie, wake up. I want to talk to you." 

I recognized the voice.  It was Teresa.  I opened my eyes, sat up, and looked around the room but there was no one there.  The voice spoke again. 

"Can we talk?" 

Instead of frightening me, Teresa's voice sent a soothing sense of calm through me.  Although I couldn't see her, I could definitely feel her presence in the room.  I sat on the edge of the bed anxiously waiting for her to speak again. 

"I am sorry for not being there for you,” Teresa said. “I don't blame you if you hate me." 

The sadness in Teresa's voice conveyed a sincere remorse for her years of denial.  More than thirty years of resentment and anger I felt toward Teresa disappeared immediately. 

I smiled and said, "Its okay. I know it was hard for you too." 

It was amazing how easy it was to forgive my sister. Three small words, I am sorry, were all I needed to hear, to erase a lifetime of animosity. 

Suddenly, the room felt very still. Teresa was gone. I felt a wave of sadness come over me. There was so much more I wanted to say to her but it was too late. 

I lay down on the bed and with my knees pressed against my chest, I felt tears well up in my eyes. I hadn't thought about my sisters in a long, long time. I had forgotten how much I missed them. 

*** 

My life had become a series of nightmares, gaps in time, crazy conversations with people who were not there, excruciating migraines, passing out in public, a job that demanded more of me than I could give, and a home life filled with constant bickering and heated arguments.  Although surrounded by people every day, I had no real friends; there was no one I could talk to.

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Author Notes
The reader may find talking to people who are not there, losing small pieces of time difficult to comprehend, I had actulaly begun to think of them as just my strange way of dealing with stress.

     

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