The picture above was shot in the study of my last house. It was the first home I’d ever created of my own. This room was my ‘safe space’ in the house. My favorite space in my favorite place. It was peaceful and overlooked an overgrown, untended garden with no disruptive city sights or sounds. At exactly 4pm, a pair of parrots from the house (yes house, not flat) down the road would start chirping. That was my cue that the sun had ceased to attack and the curtains could now be opened. And each evening as I’d open the window, the herb plant I’d kept on each window sill would send up a whiff of its own special scent.

Occasionally, when a close friend would stay over, they’d sleep in there. It was the warmest, most welcoming haven I could offer someone I cared for. I felt like I’d taken the softest, loveliest part of my heart and built a room out of it.

A month and a half ago, I was made to leave by someone I trusted innately. I miss it a lot. I feel like something valuable has been stolen from me. I feel like a huge gaping part of me has been ripped away and I’m finding it really hard to forgive the person responsible for it. Maybe I never will.

But there’s another feeling, a new one and that’s something for an intense, feeling person like me. Every time rage builds or pain, I find it catching in my throat. Instead of letting it rip out, I stop in my tracks. I find myself gasping, my chest racking for breath that seems a few clawing steps away. I let it wash over me. Then sometimes and it’s only sometimes, I feel it ebb. And all there is, is silence, the kind I’ve never experienced before.

I’m still looking for that safe space, that spot of serenity inside me. But since I’ve seen it a few times, it has to be in there somewhere. Serenity has to be something no one can take away from you.

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