I have an imaginary friend


I have an imaginary friend. She’s three foot tall and has pretty brown eyes. But she’s not very well.

When you look at her you see a bright smile and perfect make-up. You see her long eyelashes flutter and her beautiful hair blow in the breeze. But you can’t see beneath the surface.

When she walks down the street she stares at the ground and wishes, prays she could be someone else. She avoids eye contact. She won’t make conversation.

You can’t see the pain in her eyes, or the scars she hides. Nobody can. She doesn’t want you to. She doesn’t want to hurt you. She doesn’t want you to suffer because of her.

But she’s scared. She fears what will happen when the mask she wears slips. And it is slipping. She knows it is. She can see it in her mother’s eyes and her father’s concerned glances. The worry. About her.

She doesn’t want them to worry. She doesn’t want anyone to worry. Not about her.

She tries everything she can to be what they want her to be. She tries to be smart, happy, brave and confident. She would try anything to make them happy. And they never are; because she is never good enough. She’s not good enough for their expectations. She can never match up to what they want for her, who they want her to be.

And she would do anything to make them happy. She would be anything, if she could. But she can’t. There’s only one thing that would make them happy now; if she didn’t exist.

She knows this is true and it eats her up inside. They would be happy, they wouldn’t feel like they were walking on egg shells, having to check what they say in-case it upsets her. They wouldn’t worry. They would be so much better off without her.

I try to convince her she’s wrong. I try to tell her they love her, that they need her to be there, but she says I’m lying. She shouts at me, she says that I’m only saying that because I would feel guilty and I’m only trying to stop her ding something stupid. I am trying to stop her, but I’m scared too. I’m afraid that one day my words won’t be enough.

She doesn’t talk to me much any more. She just cries a lot. She doesn’t know what to do either.

She’s had these thoughts before, but they always go away eventually. And she said she would never act on them because it would hurt her family too much but I don;t know if she believes that now.

I think she might because she tries so very hard to hide her feelings. She smiles and laughs along and does everything she’s supposed to do but it’s all an act she puts on to reassure everyone, to make them think she’s okay. But she’s not.

She’s not been sleeping. She sits awake all night and stares out of her window at the stars. She’s thinking bad things. Things that she shouldn’t think but she can’t stop. They build up and up. She can’t stop them now, no matter how hard she tries.

It’s been like this before. These bad thoughts have dragged her down further and further until she can’t take it any more.

The guilt she harbours for causing others so much pain; the hatred she feels when she looks in the mirror and cringes at the monster she sees staring back; the ache in her chest that just won’t leave; it all spirals upwards, out of control.

She feels desperate. She wants it to stop. So she did the only thing she could do, the only thing she felt would stop the turmoil bubbling up inside of her. She reached for relief. An outlet.

I tell her it’s wrong, there are better ways to deal with it than this but she never listens. Another night another pain, another scar.

This is the only way she can cope but she feels so ashamed. Every time she sees a cut that same guilt and hatreds come pouring back. And she tries to be brave but she can’t fight it. She tries to ignore it but it’s always there. Always.

So she reaches for relief. And she starts the cycle again. And every time she ends up back where she started. Only every cut, every scratch, every burn, every bite gets that little bit deeper. It has to. She can’t feel that relief without it.

But she says it’s stopped working. She says she’s too numb now for it to work. And she cries silent tears of blood and pain but it doesn’t help.

She feels so lost, I try to hold her hand, to guide her and show her the way out of the darkness that is smothering her but she just turns her back.

I don’t know how to help her. I don’t know what to do because she’s stopped talking to me. I want to help her but she needs to help herself before I can do anything.

She’s not a bad person even though she seems to think she is. I think she hates herself but I know she wants to be back to the person she used to be.

I miss her smile. So does she.


7 Responses to “I have an imaginary friend”

  1. willowdot21 November 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Self harm is such a painful thing, driven so low that the only way to feel relief or self worth is to cut or burn , help is there but as you say help needs to be asked for and wanted another brilliant piece of writing!

    • Jennifer Hay November 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

      Wow, again, thank you!! I’m really glad you like my stories! Comments like this make me wish I could kick writers’ block and write some more short stories!! 😀

  2. adollyciousirony February 8, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Write some more… this piece is very touching and also builds a lot of curiousness from the readers… I enjoyed reading it. It’s awesome writing, keep it up 🙂

  3. Brook March 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    You are *brave* to keep going and keep writing. Your writing is very moving and touching. I read yesterday that “writing is a struggle against silence.” You have kept writing against so many obstacles…as I said, you are *very brave*.

    Has the writer’s block happened before? what helps you feel unfrozen? Maybe we can all come up with something:) We are here with you.

    Can you tell us two words about your favorite color?

    If you can’t write it right now, that’s okay too. You are you and worthwhile even if you don’t write. *Yes, even if you don’t write, you are worthwhile and valuable.*

    But the writing will not leave you. It’s taking a little rest:)

  4. Doobiledoo February 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Wow. This feels as though it is written about me, though I know it’s not. It explains how I felt in words could never say. I find thinking about just one more day helps me survive and grow. I still can’t talk about this, but the piece moved me. Thank you for writing something beautiful and important. I’m sure others will identify with this, and maybe it will help them. Either way it is a great piece.


  1. ABC Award, Versatile Blogger Award, and 7X7 Link Award! « Jenchay - January 30, 2012

    […] I have an imaginary friend […]

  2. ABC Award – allaboutlemon - February 9, 2012

    […] to thank Jen for this ABC Award.  Jen is very talented.  You can visit her blog and meet her Imaginary Friend… I’m sure when you do, you will follow her thru just like I did 2.  There is no […]

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