Korinna McRobert

Safe in the desert


There is a safe

with lots of draws

with codes only I know

in a desert far away

where I can teleport myself

but where my memories are exiled to

The intrusive ones

The ugly ones

The ones of my father

sleeping with me

touching me

The ones of my mother

telling me what I did in my past lives

how I killed my sister

how I escaped from my father’s basement

and so he killed himself

My methods of survival

My splitting

My twin brother who protected me

My happy place is my flying

So much flying when I was young

With my unicorn friends

White, pink, yellow, blue unicorns

I now am learning to deal with my memories when I want to. I do not have to deal with every thought as it comes, if it disturbs me. I need to know that what will save me is my stability and my sanity. The wound needs to be looked at. The screaming child needs to be comforted. The sad little girl needs to be nurtured. She needs to know I believe her, even though her mother didn’t. She needs to know she is right, she does remember correctly, even if it is dark and pre-verbal.

We watch disney movies. They relax her. They make me laugh. They make her happy. They make me cry. I find them layered and interesting. I am aware of their shortcomings and appreciate their genius. I am so glad they exist.

I am tired. I am focusing on being stable. I feel like I am sliding down a slippery slope and I have to just trust the landing will be soft on my knees. I am breathless and frightened. I am grateful for the great life I have now and am just working on keeping the past under control, my control. I need to have stay-in-bed days. I need to have exploring days. I need to eat lovely food, have relaxing baths, enjoy my sexuality and separate my original sexual experiences from my current ones. This is all happening.

What is also happening is that my priorities have become apparent. Making art is not one of them now I am not escaping my secrets. Throwing myself in my work is not attractive now I am not lonely. Writing still makes me feel good, despite the change in my source of inspiration. Writing is becoming the work. It is touching the outside more directly. It is getting me fast feedback and connecting me with others and showing me what my society is capable of.

Feeling surveyed

I haven’t spoken to my mother in about two years. I haven’t spoken to my father in over a year. My father has harassed me and my therapist via emails. I have enforced a filter to put his emails somewhere I can access if I want to. They do not catch me unawares. His random pleas for reconnection made me feel like I have no control over my life. Memories flood in. I feel shit. He won’t take no for an answer. Of course. Rapists don’t.

I have cut myself off from everyone as I don’t trust anybody is on my side. I have told my sister. She was shocked and in a kind of denial which is understandable but still not supportive. Just a heads up for anyone who gets news like this from a sister, NEVER ask “Are you sure?”. In fact refrain from asking prying questions. You won’t do any good. No family member ever took my side in the past. They are not going to change now. It had to be a clean cut.

I had my therapist remind me of the time my sister and cousin made sure I could not stay with them in London, making me homeless. It was when I was fucking the guy who was giving me shelter that my memories with my father started coming through. This was 2011. It was unclear what was happening to me. My body felt aroused and nauseous, while also scared and young, so little. I was surprised I had breasts. I saw colours and light. It was 2012 by the time I loosely put it together, when I was in Cyprus making my film ReFraming. I cut off soon after that and only in 2013 did I start having some memories that tied into domestic ‘normalcy’. Things are still coming back to me. I still have stay-in-bed days.

At the moment I can’t deal with any of the past. My aunt followed a blog of mine recently. It really made me feel unstable. It made it feel real somehow. I know this blog is public. I know anyone can access it. The feeling of being responsible for their sordid secret is still hovering over me. The fear that I will have family members desperately asking me questions so they can understand because they are distressed comes over me. I was NEVER a human being to these people. Only some representation of a person. Someone unseen. The more people I meet the more I realise I had no relationship other than a superficial co-existence with these people.




There is a dread

a sickness I get

before bedtime

Colours dim

I disconnect a bit

Everything slows down

I get nervous

I feel like I am being lured into a dark hole

One that has no way out

Except where he comes from

I can’t challenge the authority

He will stop feeding me

My poo won’t be the right

shape, size or consistency

This person loves me

I am convinced

Surely attention is good

It doesn’t feel too good

But maybe feelings are deceptive

Going back to yourself

is actually hard

You know

to go against your nature

Just to survive

For others

When you’re a grown-up

You can revert

to the pure child

Because you can protect it now