TRIGGER WARNINGS: rape; lethal violence; murder.
I have just dreamed again of being Anene Booysen at the moment of her rape and immediately after it, my pooled blood congealing as my insides lie unseamed in the dust outside me, hacked apart from me, the jagged outside slammed inside me, in my last flickers of awareness the spasms of their hate ripping through me, thudding waves of blows, my head a heavy, dull explosion… the swirling, pulsing aftershocks of pain… going cold, knowing I can never be back together again, that I am smeared asunder into the ground like a fly or a cockroach or an ant, irreversibly crushed. It’s that final. I am no longer me, just a slowly drying patch of gore, beyond being gathered up and revived, soothed, cradled, stitched, kissed better, healed. No one can fix this, not my ma, not the hospital, not God. There is no “if” or “but”. I am aware that this is how I have ended.
I have no words strong enough to express the horror of this experience every time it happens to me, this dream. Yet I need to try to write it out of me in the hope that I never dream it again. Shhh, I tell myself, shivering uncontrollably, curled rigid and foetal, it was only a dream.
But it isn’t. This really happened. Really happens. Continues to happen. And that is what is most horrifying of all.