It’s a toxic night.
I don’t know what brought it on. I was putting baby down and thinking about this house, how we need to tear down the walls and rebuild the frames, like dad (Willie) did with that place. I guess that is what started it, thinking of that ragtag family. How we were thrown together and no one made it out in one piece. Everywhere I go, there are soulless bodies strewn about. Between my birth family and my adopted family, no one made it out of either in one piece; for different reasons.
I lay here getting more full in the head, heavy in the heart and feeling the toxicity taking over me and knowing I have no other place to dump it, save my husband who has heard thousands of chapters from the same book. Other people know some chapters of the story, not the whole book. No one can stomach it. I can’t blame them. If it weren’t my own story, I’d probably turn away too.
My truth is so poisonous that it drives me to scramble to get words down on a page, to make art, to literally and artistically vomit so it doesn’t consume me. Because it would if I let it; my unspoken truth would be the death of me.
Everyone who knows my story wants to know what made me different. HOW did I, make it out okay, normal, healthy? I never really knew, I never really thought about it, I just saw an out, took it, and rarely looked back. I was out of prison, freed, and enjoying my freedom. But now, as I get older; now, as I raise my daughter without a road map, I see how I got out. I see how I made it out alive, sane and battered, but not broken.
It is through seeing my survival that I can see my siblings’ slow deaths clearer, with understanding and empathy. Actually, as an artist, it makes me want to interview them…have them tell me what they were thinking/feeling/dealing. I now understand why my one sister turned to drugs. She alone, is a miracle, getting hooked on, then off, of meth. Not an easy thing to do. So, as I look at my siblings, who are beaten down, battered, torn, and semi soulless, I look at myself and say, okay, what DID make you so different?
What saved me was my words, my animals, my art. None of my siblings, from either family had any of those, but I did, and I used them.
That was/is the difference.
Now, when I feel insanity knocking, I pick up my tools, no matter how rusty, and use them, because the other option would mean a slow, horrible death. Most of my siblings from both of my families are dead, spiritually. (And, unfortunately, literally.) I cannot die a slow miserable, crazy soundless death. I have too much to do, a beautiful daughter to raise and a life to live out with my fabulous husband. We were destined for each other, we are soul mates and we belong together, forever.
We have been blessed with this gorgeous daughter who is the love of our lives — we are her world. She came to us just as much as we called her. As a family and as individuals, we are destined for amazing things. I cannot go and leave her Motherless.
She needs what I didn’t have: stability, consistency, and unconditional love. It is in her that I see my success. I survived a private familial holocaust. I was a child of two worlds of which I was a part of neither: I could never fully touch my feet to the ground until I found and made my own roadmap.
Now, as every day dawns and I look deep into the eyes of my precious Turtle, I see my own success, as a survivor, as a woman, and as a mother. And THAT has made every scar, every abandonment, every beating, every soul wound, worth it. Because I protected my innermost soul, of which I can now fully share and give to the first real family I have had since I was born on this earth.
“The Greatest Sky You’ve Ever Seen” Gabriela Camerotti @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
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