Once upon a time, a baby was born. She was born as perfect as any baby is born, her hope and humanity and purpose still untouched by jealousy, by undue pain, by disappointment or despair. And so, despite some hardship, she was a happy child. She loved telling stories, and acting them out for her friends. She loved animals, and kept many near her. She loved her mother and her father. She loved sunlight, and singing, and a great many things, as children do.
But this child was born with a disease, latent deep within her. It was a disease capable of robbing her senses, her sense of self, even her great many loves. But it was also a disease that could be treated. It was a bad disease, but with the love of her friends, family, and countrymen, she could be lifted from the worst of it, and continue to live in that happy way. So you understand, then, that it was a terrible tragedy that many years before this girl was born, before she was even a spark of lust in her parents’ eyes, before they were even spark of lust in their parents’ eyes, the society into which the girl was born deemed it illegal to show symptoms of her disease.
Right off the bat: will you take a moment to click vote 10 times for my poem and essay in a contest?
Now, here’s the story…
Earlier this year I asked for your help. I asked you to donate so that my family could pay off our last month of rent in Seattle, and get to Florida in order to stay with my husband’s parents. If you follow my blog, you probably know my relationship with my in-laws has a…history. One that, looking back through the lens of the past few months, very much resembles the abuse cycle typically associated with intimate partner violence. There would be periods of unexpected, unwarranted gifts, intense generosity, and inclusion in family dinners and outings. Always followed by the inevitable gutpunch. Demands that I leave their home. Below-the-belt insults that prey on the vulnerabilities I was naive enough to express during times of peace. Shouting fits that ignored my children crying in the same room. Cruel gossip tearing me down to every other member of the family, ensuring that if my in-laws don’t like me, no one else will either. It was because of this that I wrote shortly after arriving, “I don’t know what the future will hold, but for now I’m going swimming.” Continue reading →