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Safe as houses, they say.

I have never heard anything more ridiculous. Houses have never been safe. They are just doorways to deceit.

Do you know that you can gaslight yourself?

I often wonder, did it really happen? Was I actually that afraid? Because if it did, how did I survive it? How am I still alive?

Feeling this fear for the five minutes I’m allowing is too much. It is too much to bear.

I feel as if I’m dying.

A body remembers even if the mind forgets.

My body remembers; I want to forget.

I am cold.

How can I not be a monster?

I am what my father has made me. I am marked though the bruises have faded. I see my words churning beneath the surface of my skin like mer-people.


Mouths full of sharp teeth.

I try to force my words into meter and form. To make them behave. To subjugate my thoughts
and make them orderly and safe.

They will not be contained.

I cannot be contained; I contain multitudes.

What is the meaning of what happened to me? The what and the why? What is the meaning and why of me? Will I always be thus defined?

What does it mean to go on living? And what is the point in finding meaning?

For what are we but dust destined to return to dust? And if we are more than that, on whose authority do we say so? And why should we believe it?

Is this why I am so hard? Why I am so hard to love?

Will I ever be soft? Will I ever see softness as strength instead of weakness? Will I ever see it as anything other than an invitation to crush?

Is this why I do not sit with my children? Why it is unbearable for me to be fully present with them? Why I run away every night? Why I cannot help but weep when I think of them?

When I think of my children and love, thoughts of death always immediately follow.

In my mind, love and loss are deeply intertwined. For what is love but betrayal and failure to protect?

To love is to lose.
To love is to lose.
To love is to lose.

Best not love too hard. Too fully. Too completely.

I tell myself to breathe.

Just breathe, goddammit. Breathe.

In the back of my mind, I hear myself saying, “Be brave, Little One. Be brave.”

And I cannot bear it. I cannot bear it.

Why is it so terrible to be weak? To feel the fear? To work through the pain?

Why is it so terrible to admit that I need help? That I am broken and hurt? That I yearn for a soft place to land?

Why is love so truly terrifying?

I scrabble.

I scream to myself, “Love is a lie. Forever is a lie. Do not trust it. It will only bring you pain.”

But I must not believe it.

Because I do not believe my love for my children is a lie. I refuse to believe it.

I love my children so fiercely that I am terrified.

The only way I can stand it is to pretend that they’re assholes. That they’re a horrible burden upon me. That I love them, but only under duress.

I lie because to face how much I want them, how much I willed them into existence, how much I desperately love them, is to invite the capriciousness of the gods.

I love my children with a wildness I never expected.

And the act of acknowledging it, of naming it – I am undone.

All I can think of is why was it so easy for my father to leave us? Did my father not love me enough? Was I defective somehow? Was I not enough? And if my own father did not love me, how can I ever be enough?

How can I ever be trusted to love my children?

How can I be anything other than a monster?

Is it any wonder that fear is such a recurring factor in my life? How can it not? I was steeped in it from the beginning.

How could my life be marked by anything other than fear? How can it not sink ever deeper? How can I ever escape it?

Will I ever be free?

And still, I hear my voice, however muted, “Be brave, Little One. Be brave.”

Sometimes, to choose to live is the bravest thing we can ever do.