If I thought only strangers would see the words, I’d share what I’m afraid those who know me may see.
I could be the oldest of five girls and the daughter of a dead man who’s phone number I still have. I could be the daughter of a widow I’m hoping to talk out of a nose stud at 54 not because she’s my mother, but because it seems the three ear cartilage piercings were just a gateway drug to to reliving the adolescence she lost as a teenaged mother and the nose stud would really just be too much.
Maybe I’m the black sheep of the family who moved out at 21 and ran straight into the arms of a married man who didn’t bother admitting he was separated and not divorced until after my father told me never to come back and maybe I became the other woman for the next six months because I wasn’t strong en0ugh to admit I’d made a horrible mistake. Or I could be the woman who woke up one morning in the apartment shared with that married man after a party and too much alcohol, stumbling into the bathroom to find him passed out on the floor and just as confused as to why we both blacked out. And maybe, even though I knew something had happened that I didn’t remember and didn’t want to think about, maybe I was the woman who never brought that night up again because life was just easier that way.
What if I’m the woman whom, at age 20, tried overdosing on Tylenol and then got so scared that I called that guy I was seeing to take me to the emergency room and was released only because I knew to lie when asked by the attending nurse if I still had thoughts of hurting myself. I could also be the woman who sat before her parents on a weekend visit from college and shared the news of my suicide attempt only because I figured they’d see the insurance bill. Then again, maybe I’m just the woman who was both relieved and slightly hurt that the conversation only consisted of “You’re not going to do it again, are you?” and “of course not.”
Or I’m the woman who, as a teen, hated myself and my body so much that I lost myself in bulimia and found solace in the horribly soothing cycle of binging and purging. Maybe I’m the now recovered bulimic who secretly felt like an anorexic failure who still occasionally wonders how to flip the switch in my brain from crazy to normal.
What if I am all of these things? And what if my daughter is as strong and confident now at five years old as I hope to be one day? And what if I would do anything in my power to make sure she grows whole and strong and confident and never knows what it feels like to be broken?
So much material and an equal amount of self-doubt mixed with a healthy dash of concern over what The Familia will think if you share THAT makes for a big fucking headache, my friends. But it isn’t about just me anymore, is it? And I can’t make that difference I dreamed about as a kid if I’m going to let my worry about being blacklisted by my family get in the way, now can I?
There’s more to share. Just give me some time.
It’s time to go hug my daughter now.