By Petrine Severin HOLY FIRE

Confessions of A Runaway: Anarchy, Anxiety, Mohawks & Love

By Petrine Severin

“There she goes,
my beautiful world.”

~Nick Cave

My first time running away from love,
was the first time I kissed.
I’m thirteen.
It’s wet, too soft and I’m not in love.
I’m glad to see him go.

My very first Diazepam prescription.

I returned from a family vacation with a cheap souvenir: a jar of honey, “as sweet as your kiss.” I escape into my own weird world — a teenage love prison. My summertime love found a fairy-haired, love-inspiring girl in a floral print summer dress. So I cut and dye my hair, transforming it into a platinum blonde mohawk with black lightning on one side.

I yell “anarchy or chaos”, and dive into a series of anxiety attacks and gracefully receive my very first Diazepam prescription.

Five years later. Hair: green. Depression: for real.

I’m on the run again. And I’m in a band called More Sad Clowns. At night, I write angry no-future “cause-society-prevents-me-from-having-one” poetry, while listening to Millions of Dead Cops.

I fall in love with a guy. He is gay. He falls in love with me – at least for a while. Nevertheless, not all our time spent in Men’s Sauna Club was wasted. He left me with a shattered love life, a non-existing self-esteem and scabies.

I decide to run away, and with my dark, torn up wardrobe, I pack up my blackened heart and get a train to Amsterdam. I meet two American girls, Evelyn and Sue. They’ve got a borrowed a flat in the Red Light District. We share mushy sandwiches, warm beer and, later, their flat.

I flush my anti-depressants.

I drag my broken wings through the sinister streets of Amsterdam, challenging my destiny. With my for-real-depression, I go to concerts with Scraping Foetus off the Wheel, and spoken word with Nick Cave and Lydia Lunch.  

”Do you hear what I hear, babe?
Does it make you feel afraid? – oh, f*ck it,
I’m a monster,
I admit it”.

Beneath the dark autumn skies, I fall apart. I want that roses and marshmallows feel, I wanna feel safe. I wanna feel good in my own flawed, scrawny skin — which at that point, felt beyond repair. 

I continue to run. Hair: blue.

I run away from a nice, loving man, with whom I live in a “politically correct” housing community.

My anarchy tendencies and my blue hair do not fit in. I realise I’m bored and that I love my dog more than I love him. So I run. I hand out all my worldly stuff and take off for Spain with my dog, that I love.

I set fire to what’s not me.

Years later, my boyfriend at the time comes home from a vacation with a souvenir, not the cheap kind.

It’s an engagement ring and: IT’S NOT FOR ME.

I literally collect all of his things and carry them downstairs to the yard. I set the whole damn thing on fire.

To the psychiatric ward, I go.

I’ve run out of places to run, so I call a taxi and ask the driver to take me to the psychiatric ward, hoping that someone there would pick up my pieces.

He looks scared.

No worries, my friend, I’m just burnt. I’m broken, I’m bleeding, and starting to go numb.

I look at the pieces, bewildered. There is no enchanted forest.

I’m thinking that this love thing is not my kind of game. I just can’t seem to figure out the rules.

I’m back to emptying bottles.

My blurred mind desperately tries to fend off the last whispers of hope.

From now on there are not going to be any expectations, or any demands. I am letting go. Screw the whole human race.

How can anyone be so stupid as to think that love is the key to happiness?” I’m yelling like the crazy drunk I am. Because I can only talk about love when I am drunk. And these were the days when I talked a lot about love.

I was a modern Medusa with bloodshot eyes, hissing venomous words, and turning you into stone with her gaze. Be. Forever. Miserable.

And then it’s there: love.

I am not ready for it, and I put it to the test in every possible, twisted way. He stays. He holds my hand, when it’s hard, and it’s hard almost all the time. He calms me down, when I am scared, and I am scared most of the time. He holds me tight and he stays.

I have underestimated love, and I am starting to believe just a little. I encourage myself to start dreaming again. Love is now my fuel. And as I roll around, laughing helplessly in a pile of roses and marshmallows, I feel less horrible and a little more lovable. And when I’m being difficult and unreasonable, which I am most of the time, he stays.

I give him crazy passionate loving, I serve him with despair. I bleed for him as he bleeds for me. And after 14 years together, I still wanna call him the minute he walks out the door.

Love heals. Love insists on setting you on fire. Love complicates everything and still, I surrender to love.

Love keeps pushing me to push myself to explore this awesome life. And not just his love, but my I’m-working-on-unconditional self-loving.

I’m Medusa. I’m Pegasus. I’m a unicorn. I’m unpredictable. I’m flawed. I’m roses and marshmallows. I’m all of these things, and simply: I am me.

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It


Petrine Severin

Petrine practically grew up in a forest, playing with mythical creatures, unfolding her own black wings among the whispering trees. At eight, she tried to run away with a circus. She is a storyteller, part of the storytelling community in Copenhagen, and cultivates anything dark, strange, awkward, weird, but with a streak of light, sprinkled with humour and wrapped up in words. Dressed in her blood red heart armour and built for resistance, she has devoted her life to supporting those who struggle. In her spare time, she sings and dances under the moonlight.

  1. Tanya Markul

    Loving your words and adoring you here! Love to you, wild sister! xoxoxo

  2. Christina Færch

    Oh – my LoveSoul Sister in crime – this is beyond beautiful, this is you. Thank you. Love, always ❤️🦄

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