The Aftermath + Travel to the South
Then I got sick again.
The same high fever and burning neck pain lasted a couple days.
This failure of exorcism weighed heavily on me.
While I was recovering physically in a few days, my mental state was only getting worse.
I was living in fear every single second of my life.
I couldn’t eat or sleep. I had quit my job.
I was constantly on the edge and looking over my shoulder all the time.
I jumped at any little movements at the corner of my eye, like a little wind blowing a tree.
I was so scared of when “it” would decide to show up again.
In less than 10 days, my life had changed upside down.
My face didn’t even look like the same person I was 10 days ago.
I couldn’t imagine what my face would look like 14+ days later when I’d get to see Sawada.
With the way I was living, I didn’t even feel like I would survive till then.
One morning, my parents put me in the car.
They didn’t speak much. And I didn’t ask where they were going.
I was too drained to speak, or care about anything at all at that point.
My father was driving the car. My mother sat on the backseat with me.
She put her arm around my shoulder and caressed my head.
It must have been a decade since she had done that to me last time.
I felt safe and I quickly fell asleep. It was the first time that I slept in a long time.
When I woke up, I was feeling a lot better.
The scenery outside the car window quickly brought me back to my childhood.
We were in Nagasaki.
My parents had driven half across the country to take me to see Sawada.
They took turns and drove continuously for almost 2 days with little break.
I had slept through the entire trip.
We soon arrived in the town called Yanagawa, where my grandparents and Sawada lived.
My parents went to pick up my grandparents first.
They parked the car near my grandparents house(their house was in a small alley that cars couldn’t get in).
Since both of my grandparents have bad knees, both of my parents had to go and assist them.
I had a choice to go with them or stay in the car alone.
Both being far away from Tokyo and feeling rested made me feel safe and positive.
I chose to wait in the car.
I said “I’m fine alone, you guys can go together”.
I sat at the backseat alone, hugging my legs, and looking outside the window.
Then the worst pain hit my neck. The pain so severe nothing I had felt before could compare.
I touched my neck and my hand slipped.
There was a lot of blood.
The vivid red brought me back to the reality I hated.
My heart shattered.
I was so sick of this.
So sick of worrying, being scared, and paranoid.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like this,
but when you’re in a shitty situation, and then it gets better, and then it gets shitty again,
and you’re sort of bouncing between hopeful to hopeless endlessly.
This really breaks you inside.
I was starting to feel good, actually.
Then this happened and took it all away.
Hopelessness occupied my mind.
I was so broken. I started crying, muttering things like
What do you want from me?
When do you have enough of me?
My parents returned to the car with my grandparents.
As soon as they saw me bleeding heavily and crying in the car,
they too started to panic. They all started talking at the same time;
“Hold yourself together”
“What should we do?”
“He looks terrible”
“Are you alright?”
“Does it hurt?”
“Can you say something?”
I lost it. I screamed at them.
“Shut up all of you! What do you want me to say? You think I can explain this?!”
“If you can’t stop this, shut up!”
I knew they were trying to help. But my frustration took the best of me.
I was afraid. I was hurt. But more than anything, I was frustrated, angry.
I didn’t want to accept the fact that I just got pushed back into the dark, hopeless reality again.
Despite the fact that I was there and feeling better, it wasn’t over nor was it getting any better.
That’s when my father slapped my face.
(He never laid a finger on me before)
He said in a quiet voice “Apologize to your grandparents”.
This kind of woke me up.
It was more like the fact he slapped me was so shocking that I forgot what I was feeling.
But anyways it helped me out of being in denial and I accepted my situation once again.
And I apologized to everyone.
We got into the car and drove to Sawada’s temple.
My grandparents said things to encourage me during the ride.
I felt so much love and support from everyone throughout this trip, I started crying again.
Maybe this was the only good thing that came out of this.
I never knew I could be this vulnerable before, and just how much my family cared for me.
Continue on Real part 6