16 - Holy shit. I'm even more fucked up than I thought.

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"That was how I rationalised leaving Ruben a couple days afterwards. He was devastated, as was I. It was the only time, apart from when he first held Madden at the hospital with me, I had ever seen him cry, and that was including when he dislocated his shoulder playing footy and I had to watch as the team physiotherapist yanked it back into place."

"I see," said Karen, dripping in silent disapproval. "Did you tell him the real reason why?"

"No, I didn't, but he found out soon enough. Or at least he knew what it looked like on the surface: that I left him for another guy."

"Well, fundamentally, wasn't that what you did?" she insinuated, which pissed me the hell off. She's supposed to be supportive, not judging my stupidity. I already knew how badly I fucked up. I didn't need her rubbing it in my face like this.

"You know, I really wasn't expecting that from you, Karen. I was hoping more for like, 'that sounds like a really fucked up situation to be in as a teenager, Sadie. I'm surprised you allowed him to manipulate you like that.'" 

Karen chuckled, making me madder still. "Sadie, come on. I know you're bright enough to already know that it was a 'fucked up situation to be in as a teenager', as you worded it. What Camden did that night was a horribly abusive and manipulative thing to do to you, I don't need to reiterate that. I'm more interested in why you so easily gave into him. The woman I see before me now and the person you describe yourself as being back then are both so fiercely independent and strong willed, and it seems a little odd to me that you abandoned all that for him. I want to know why."

Did she fucking want me to lose my shit at her? 

"If I knew the answer to that, Karen, I would never have gone ahead with it, never did what I did, and I wouldn't be sitting here in this fucking miserable room now paying for help from you," I said furiously. I looked around the room in an effort to avoid looking at her, and was grateful she had a number of paintings on the walls that I could pretend to be studying instead of looking her way. I wasn't really seeing them at all. Just refocusing myself away from the annoyance I felt at the woman sitting in front of me.

I shouldn't have said what I said, and really shouldn't have sworn at her like that. I know I need to take that back. It was uncalled for.

I could feel Karen watching me, but she waited a while before she said anything.

"Sadie, that's not good enough. Not after how far you've come already. Think harder, deeper. Why did you just abandon yourself back then?"

Alright, shit is being lost now, Karen.

"Because I was a fucking idiot? I was young and stupid and I wasn't thinking. I fucked up. Is that what you wanted to hear me say?" I was growing more pissed off by the second, but I couldn't figure out at what, or who. I think it was mostly myself.

"Perhaps, but only if it's your truth," she said with unnatural calm.

Truth?  The truth was I had no idea why I left Ruben for Camden. I look back at that time and remember feeling very little except guilt and fear, not necessarily in that order, but always intermingled with despair. Despair for my family, my friends, and for myself — my choices and the childhood I never had.

The truth had never mattered back then. The truth didn't protect my mum from my stepfather. It didn't protect us from him either. It didn't keep Bree from leaving. And the truth that my heart was lost to me the second Ruben's hands first touched me on the day we met didn't stop Camden from occupying a small part of it as well for a time, resulting in me jeopardising the love of the only person I wanted to truly share my life with. The truth—whatever that was— could never change anything that happened now, and I can't take any of it back, no matter how many hours, days, months, years I have spent wishing I could.

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