Chapter Four: Beware of Rescue
Audreana had given up reading Mills and Boon novels. It just hurt too much to read of love that was strong and true, that didn’t require one of the two people within it to be diminished. But in the shadow recesses of her mind Audreana still hoped that a knight on a white horse would come to her rescue. Disembowel Dragon with his jousting lance and carry her away to a life of love and sharing. Clive may not have had the knighthood, jousting lance or horse but he did sweep her away from Dragon. She didn’t have the strength to pull away herself but when given a hand to freedom, she grasped it and held on strong.
Audreana was pulled from the orbit of Dragon and fell into a free fall of epic proportions. Clive didn’t demand anything, he didn’t call her to heel and he didn’t expect more than Audreana freely chose to give. She was so unprepared for this that it was like a newly diagnosed diabetic left alone in a container of their favourite sweets. So much choice with limited awareness of the consequences. Audreana had no idea how to respond. She halfheartedly attempted counselling but could not bring herself to speak her reality. Audreana coloured her tales of what she thought the counselor wanted to hear, in the hopes she might learn something, almost accidentally that might help her.
She was rescued in the Mills and Boon sense. Clive was a man of honour, who cared about and for her. When she finally broke down and told him what had happened to her with Dragon, well the small amount of the sordid story that she could force past her lip, he offered her a safe harbour. Making no demands, bar that she heal. She tried but her experience of life to date meant she had an inclination to hide what was her reality. That was the skills that she had at her disposal. The familiar and safe tools worn in over time. What Dragon did to Audreana became the basis of her shadow reality. Eventually she even convinced herself that she was not affected by what had been done to her and that she could just be a ‘normal’ woman in a strong and loving relationship.
Audreana suffered from the rescue. Instead of rebuilding who she was and then seeking love, she rebuild herself in love, as a partner. She worked tirelessly to make that work, leaving abandoned by the side any doubt that she might not be in the right state of mind to share her life with anyone. Despite the novelty of only just having got autonomy of her life back under her own control. Audreana did worry that the other casualty of the rescue would be Clive. Her tangled mind and unraveling reality could spill onto him, to his detriment. Something she never wanted to happen.
Clive thought he rescued a woman, but in reality he rescued an empty shell. Previously filled by Dragon and his sickened torture and control of Audreana. Burning out any existence of the girl before. A shell that walked, talked and breathed but could not tell you why and had no innate sense of self. Audreana was the creation of unbridled trauma, bound tight in a sheaf of denial and false normality, with the risk one day that she might simply implore taking everyone near her with her.