Later that evening, in the solitude of her room with no audience, she let go – she sobbed wholeheartedly, her body compulsively shaking with her fear and anxiety, and tears streaming silently down her face while she attempted to stifle her irregular gasps for air, which others were sure to recognize through the paper-thin walls. The conflict in the house she currently lived in had brought her right back to the conflicted house she grew up in. She loved her family dearly and would never trade her childhood for anyone else’s, but as all childhoods are, hers was flawed at times. Despite her parents attempt to break the cycle of abuse that they had once grown up in, her eldest brother had stepped up to fulfill that role of conflict in the house to the best of his ability. Countless times she had been shuffled into her room to avoid being caught in the midst of another screaming match between the people she loved. There she would sit with her other brother, frozen in fear and anxiety. Her brother, who was a couple years older than her and more capable of processing the situation, would attempt to distract her with dolls and games so that she would not be able to make out the violent words echoing down the hallway to their door. More often than not however, she could not be distracted from the war waging in her home with silly games and shiny objects. Time and time again she would be required to disappear to her room, until she just started predicting when it was necessary and would voluntarily disappear before the situation could erupt. Her disappearing act had become an ingrained habit, and it became her way of coping with issues that were out of control of her five-year-old hands. Some of her first memories from childhood are of sitting on her bed, humming and compulsively rubbing the bamboo worry stick her brother had provided her with as a coping method, wishing that the yelling would stop. To this day, she does not know what her parents and eldest brother had been fighting about, for all she knew it could have been typical teenage growing pains, but what she did recognize at the time was that her parents were angry, her brother was angry, there was yelling, there was a reason to hide, and on multiple occasions it all ended with the cops being called and her brother disappearing for a week. This is the memory and feeling that she was transported straight back to in the midst of the clashing of roommates’ personalities.With tears streaming down her face, she started shaking her arms and body, trying to rid herself of the haunting memories of helplessness and anxiety that had uncontrollably washed over her. She felt five years old again, caught in a prison of her own room, where she was safe to feel, yet trapped by overwhelming emotions that she wanted to run away from. She had previously thought that this was a feeling which only her mother could induce at this point in her life, but she had been proven wrong. She felt helpless and weak, and guilty for not being strong enough to do more to help the people she cared about.
As she uncontrollably approached her breaking point, she made the conscious decision to turn it all off – to turn off the voices running through her head, replaying the conversation over and over; to turn off the guilt she felt for not being stronger and reacting in such a pathetic manner; and to turn off the tears and shaking that had overtaken her body. She wiped the tears from her face, rolled a spliff, and retreated into abyss of Led Zepplin and headphones until she had drowned out all of the other voices in her head and around her, and all that existed was the melodies of the band her father had once loved.