Ok, ready? Here we go. Baby is born to a really messed up mother. Mother doesn’t want said baby and reminds her nearly every day of her life. Baby somehow survives, growing from baby to child, locked away like a dirty little secret. Said child is abused and neglected yet continues to exist. Said child’s mother attempts suicide multiple times before being institutionalized and then running away. Said child’s father can’t deal and doesn’t come home very often, if at all. Said child is now 14 and spending many days tending to two younger brothers alone. Eventually said child is bounced from "home" to "home," always in the "care" of someone else. Said child has somehow morphed into an 18 year old with crazy wicked street skills and absolutely no knowledge of the real workings of the world. Said 18 year old meets 26 year old guy who takes her in, convinces her that she doesn’t know what unconditional love is (truth) and that he will show her (lie), and said 18 year old grows into a 21 year old naive adult that jumps head first into a horror that most couldn’t imagine.
Now I’d love to end my story with, “and I got divorced, the community took care of us and got us back on our feet, and we lived happily ever after,” but while that is partly true, there have been some major setbacks. A day didn’t go by when I didn’t have at least one person tell me how amazing I was. Strong. “An inspiration.” That’s a lot to live up too! Somehow through all of this, I was happy. I have surprisingly always been a happy person. I can find the good in any situation, and it is rare to catch me without a smile. I believe that everything, even the bad, has a purpose, and I try to find a way to turn that into a positive. But my friends, they didn’t know the truth. I didn’t even know the truth. A year went by and I felt stronger than ever. I got my groove back so to speak. Or maybe, for the first time, I got my groove.
I threw myself into everything I did. I lost 60 pounds of post baby weight and worked out until my tiny 5’3 #105 body was stronger than ever. I became the parent I had always wanted to be, mixing goji berries and chia seeds into the kids organically pureed homemade yogurt and kale smoothies and washed their hair with expensive organic shampoo. We worked on flashcards at dinner and talked about life value lessons while snuggled up in bed. Because of our early wake up time, my kids went to bed at 6pm. By 6:30 the sitter would be there and I’d be off, whether it be to a comedy club with a friend or a concert with a date, for the first time in a while I had a raging social life, and I loved every minute of it. But deep down, I wondered, would anyone like me if they knew the truth? Did I even know the truth? Late nights were spent with friends sprawled out on my floor, wine in hand, long talks into the mornings, so deeply connected we all were, but never, NEVER, could I share THOSE secrets.
I chose die. I chose die, and then I saw the sweet little face of my precious five year old daughter. I was crying on the couch and she threw her arms around my neck and whispered into my ear the very same thing that I have whispered in her ear every night of her life since the day she was born. “You are amazing. You are precious. You are smart. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, and don’t ever forget it, because YOU. ARE. LOVED.”
And that little neighbor friend of mine who isn’t speaking to me because I didn’t go to the hospital? Fuck you.
I’m sorry that I didn’t handle it in the way that you would have. I’m sorry that I am not as smart and brave as you. I’m sorry that I have spent my time cleaning your house and watching your daughter for free so that maybe on the fourth try, you can actually pass the “care and compassion” part of your nursing exam boards. That irony is not lost on me. And yet, because you are not only a woman, but a human, I pray that you never have to find out how you would react in that situation.
YOU. ARE. LOVED.
Photo Credit Whiskey Bottle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/add1sun/
Photo Credit Haunted House: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandcastlematt/
Photo Credit Girl Lying On Arm: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkcotton/
Photo Credit Control Your Boner Sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schuminweb/
Photo Credit Ride the slut Sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparklemotion0/
Photo Credit Police Tape: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gbyrnes/
Photo Credit Guy Giving Finger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jone_samsa/
Photo Credit I am Woman Sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schuminweb/