Excerpt from The Nothingness I Feel

 Prologue

'Love anchors us to the world. It validates our existence and gives us a sense of belonging and place, within ourselves and with other people. Love is given, or withheld. Sometimes, it is given in a way that we cannot understand, that is difficult to recognise, or that it is simply lost in translation. If there is no love at the beginning, no amount will stick thereafter. No tenderness can be recognised, relished or reciprocated. Without love, we die in a thousand ways; we starve physically and emotionally, we drown and wither away from the person we had the right to be and from the place that was ours. We stand on the outside of ourselves and our lives, as a spectacle with no sense of belonging. We feel different. Nowhere is comfortable. The lack of validation makes it impossible to know ourselves, be ourselves and live in an integral way. There is an emptiness that can't be shaken or distracted and an overwhelming sense of nothingness that swallows us whole, creating a feeling of rejection that can never be spat out.'

 

Excerpt: Chapter Four

 

The light starts to flicker in the kitchen, drawing Grace across the room. Darrell's camping stove is out and ALH's sweater is draped across the side chair. Following the trail of magazines, newspapers and leaflets strewn across the table and the sink, it's as though they've all just departed the scene. The cupboard, permanently half open from its load, showcases a catalogue of personal crockery items, each piece mirroring the personality of the owner. Darrell's, Poppy's and ALH's mugs nudge out in front with four more of ALH's visible from behind the defending row; two birthday mugs, a bespoke art-deco style one and a colourful tourist mug from Spain with the usual stereotypical markings and symbols. Grace sighs inwardly, there is no box of personal items that she will take home, not even that one mug - that was the problem of keeping out of the everyone's way, nowhere was ever home.

 

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