AN: I am so so excited to say that my first novel is now available for public purchase.
For now, here’s a sneak peek of the first chapter. If you like what you see, feel free to find the payment button below and support my work!
I used to write songs. I don’t know when exactly I stopped doing that; it’s not like I woke up one day and decided to never write a song again, but one day was the last. I have a feeling it was somewhere between person eight and twelve, that’s when I noticed the numbness. You would think it would have come sooner than that, but I guess I held on to my one person too tightly, and for far too long. I suppose that’s a side effect of infatuation, especially the degree of infatuation with which I was poisoned.
* * *
We met at school – she was a friend of a friend and we had classes together, pretty soon we were good friends, best friends, even. Before I knew it, I’d fallen for her, while she was in a relationship with Rose, one of the other girls in our inner circle. Crap.
I thought I could just push past it, move on, act like it never happened but then Helena noticed. Of course she did: she was endlessly intelligent and my closest friend, and she could read us all like books.
One night, during a residential school trip to France, Helena and I were killing time in my room after dinner and she sprung it on me.
“You’re not straight, are you?”
“Yes, I am.” I spoke too quickly for credibility, damn it.
“But you fancy Amy!” She teased,
“No, I don’t!”
“Then why are you smiling and going bright red?” Helena grinned,
“Shut up!” I laughed, actively trying to bring the corners of my mouth back down.
The day after that conversation, during the end of trip dance (I didn’t go because I hated dancing and my awkward gangly body), Amy’s relationship with Rose came to a very sudden end, and all eyes were on me. The last thing anybody wants at an all-girls’ school is the attention of the entire student body. The scrutiny of teenage girls can be crueler than some torture methods.
Izzy Mehmet tells the tale of her first teenage romance, which takes a turn unlike most first love stories.
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This blog used to be a personal one where I would lay all my thoughts out bare just like this, before I turned to fiction and poetry instead. I’ve done a poor job of keeping it updated as my mental health has deteriorated. I haven’t written in months (I’ve relentlessly edited, but I’m sure you can tell I’m pretty rusty), so if you’re new and you’re not used to these kinds of posts, I guess I’m sorry?
The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me.
I’m on the verge of publishing my novel, my master’s course is picking up steam and I’ve found myself in a consistently high-pressure job.
All of that has taken a backseat, though, to my romantic relationship. I won’t go into specifics out of respect for my partner and their privacy, but what I can tell you is that I have really struggled to trust them, and I couldn’t even tell you if it’s more the result of patriarchal indoctrination telling me that other women must always be seen as a threat (I’m not a naturally jealous person, I consider myself a feminist and a self-aware one at that who can call out her own internalised misogyny when she sees it), or the result of my past experiences with the subject of my book – I promise this isn’t just a plug – but either way I have spiraled into depression and paranoia. I’ve blown up over the tiniest things and jumped to conclusions when I didn’t have all the facts. I’ve been negative and argumentative and immature, I’ve played the victim and I have begun to feel like a different person. I haven’t felt like myself in a very long time.
A good friend of mine once told me that I’m a victim as a noun (because of the contents of the book) but don’t have to be a victim as an adjective, which was mind-blowing to me at the time. In the last few months I have let the noun affect my perception of myself and became the adjective, too. It’s easy to convince yourself that your paranoia isn’t unfounded when you’ve been hurt in the past, and it’s easy to think that ‘gut feelings’ are always right, but they’re not.
I’m not sure what my purpose is with this – I think maybe if I admit my wrongs publicly, in that I have failed to communicate openly with my partner, that I have ignored all the signs of trustworthiness in favour of signs of disloyalty, let my anxieties and need for control overrun our relationship and I have simultaneously smothered and pushed them away, I can start to heal and start to repair the cracks I forced open and have this post serve as a reminder, to myself and to you, to simply take a breath and think things through, however briefly, whenever you have a negative thought about your loved ones and their behaviour. You are not always the smartest person in the room, and you don’t need to know everything. All you need to know is that you are loved, and if you truly are loved, loyalty is a given, not a favour. That’s where faith comes in.
Here’s the thing about emotional abuse: the scars are invisible, but they run deep. Real deep. And somehow, despite how long it’s been, they remain fresh, always.
On New Year’s Eve, it will be six years since the end of my romantic attachment to the person who abused and manipulated me. Unfortunately, that date doesn’t mark the end of my suffering at their hands and words, but it’s all I have to hold onto as a milestone.
Six years, and yet, I am sitting in my room this morning, six days from turning 21, sobbing silently, as I recall nothing but the good and happy memories of that relationship.
I am furious with myself for remembering the good times so fondly. I am full of anger and bitterness but none of it is towards them. It’s all for me, for allowing myself to fall so low.
I had avoided Kesha’s latest album for a long time, knowing that a lot of the songs were about overcoming similar experiences to the ones I’ve had. I didn’t want to have to confront these feelings yet again, as I am wont to do at least once every few months when something in my brain makes me have a dream or a nightmare or a memory of some kind, and reminds me that I am still not over it. But I decided to listen to ‘Praying’ this morning. I’d heard it on the radio but only ever absentmindedly, not really paying any attention, but today I really listened to it, and something in me snapped.
Aside from a single vengeful line, this song perfectly encapsulates my feelings towards that person and about halfway through the song, it felt as though a jolt of electricity had erupted from my heart, ran through my spine and was spreading out like spider-leg tendrils, into my gut and up into my head and it felt cold. I lay in my bed shivering from this internal coldness, letting my mind flick through snapshots I didn’t even know I had, and sobbed until the shaking made me warm again.
I live in constant fear of other people because it was so easy for me to give all of myself to someone who I shouldn’t have trusted. I have major control issues because I can’t stand the idea of ever letting myself be controlled again. But I’m alive and breathing, and I am loved, and I am looking forward.
The old oak tree,
In all its infinite wisdom,
Of the ground,
Just like everything else.
It began a seed,
Hopeful and full
Of energy, of future,
It grew and it grew,
Happy little shoot,
Its path clear as day.
Soon enough, it stopped
Growing on its own,
And began to branch out.
Little did it know,
That young oak tree,
That it was diseased
To every branch, twig and leaf.
The old oak tree,
In all its infinite wisdom,
Stands tall and alone.
Its branches are twisted
And its bark is gnarled.
What an ugly, awful, old tree.