in 2015, the two of us met online on a forum for survivors of sexual abuse. we were completely anonymous, knowing each other at first only by screen names, communicating only through the forum. our connection, however, was instant, beautiful, and strong.
gradually, we disclosed more about ourselves: our names. email addresses. where we lived. our ages. our birthdays. our pets. the colour of our eyes. and before long, we were communicating daily, multiple times, about so much more than what originally brought us together. but always, with the knowledge of what we share…the exquisite pain of it, the fucking mess of it, and how our experience of trauma has shaped us, and continues to do so.
‘at the sea’ is named after the place in our minds we go to meet. sometimes we meet in the midst of the dunes, in a small weather-beaten grey cottage where there is always a fire blazing, where the tall windows look out to a roiling sea, where there are soft blankets and shawls and pillows tossed upon worn couches. sometimes, it’s on wooden chairs in the sand, in front of a firepit surrounded by round stones, as the wind whips our hair. sometimes we talk, and sometimes there is no need. regardless, it is at the sea where we meet, when we have trouble sleeping, when we need the sound of the waves, when we need each other.
and one day soon, one or the other of us will hop on a plane, and we will actually be able to see, in-person, the face of a soul we have come to love, one that has brought hope and comfort and so many more things than words can describe.
what we have come to know, however, is that whether or not we meet at the sea in real life, we will always carry it, and each other, within us.
about our names
note: our names here, pocketcanadian and pocketbrit, are nods to our nationalities and to the notion of ‘pocket-riding.’ for some time now, especially since speaking on the phone, the regional differences (of accent, terminology, phrasing) in the english language provide seemingly endless sources of amusement to us. ‘pocket-riding’ is the comforting idea (rife on survivor support forums, and other places) that you can tuck the love and care from your virtual supporters into your pocket to carry you through difficult moments or days.