“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
It’s taken me a long time to begin to share my story…
For the longest while I never even thought I would.
But then I remembered what it was like. To be a small girl whom no-one believed. To be the girl who never fitted in, although she so desperately wanted to be like everyone else.
I remember how lonely I felt at school.
I remember how it felt as I tried to deny this great big part of me that seemed to only exist in fairytales and fantasies for other people.
I mean, really, who can you tell? Who will believe you?
Who do you tell when ladies in old-fashioned dresses appear in your bedroom in the dark of night, comforting your ill baby sister and speaking with her in French?
Who do you tell, when at any minute you expect someone will come for you and you’ll return back to the house you’re supposed to be living in – a big old house made of smartly cut stone, with fireplaces and a round driveway for the carriages?
Who do you tell when you find that you know things about people, but you can’t say how you know?
Who do you tell when you feel like someone watches you as you sleep?
Who do you tell when your dreams are filled with places and people you are sure are from your ‘other life’?
What happens when these things don’t fade away as you get older, and that sense of ‘strangeness’ lingers?
Who do you tell?
Who do you tell when you ‘dream’ you see a college friend suicide, and you know the thoughts in his head before, during and after he has died? And then you get the phone call from hundreds of miles away later that week, and find your dream was real?
Who do you tell when an old Aboriginal woman you’ve never met takes you flying in your dreams and then turns up in person the next afternoon?
What does it mean when owls follow you as you go for moonlit walks?
What happens when you see one owl sitting in the tree behind the lights of the campfire on a remote Outback property?
What happens when there are five owls?
What happens when there are seven?
Who do you tell when the trees whisper to you?
Who do you tell when you see strange lights in the sky at night?
Who do you tell when your life is turning upside down, and everything you thought you understood about the world, and about yourself, is suddenly not quite right anymore?
Who do you tell? Who will believe you?
What happens when you scarcely can believe it yourself?
That’s been my battle. And it’s why I’m finally writing now.
Because what if you are like me, and you thought you were the only person going through this? I’ve been in that place where you question your sanity, and you feel that there is no-one you can confide in. It’s the loneliest, most isolating feeling in the world….
I couldn’t do that to you. And anyway, it’s the strangeness and the difficult lonely road that has made my life worthwhile – that has made me who I am.
And now I understand – writing what is real for me also makes it real for you.
Bless ♥ Nicole xx