Learning to Roll With What Comes

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“The people and circumstances around me do not make me what I am, they reveal who I am” Laura Schlessinger

I am sitting on a suitcase wearing the hand-knit burgundy poncho my grandmother made for me. At the best of my 2nd grade ability I packed by myself, for myself, anticipating a weekend with the one man in my life, who was becoming more a stranger as the days went on. First the move from our home, then the change of schools, then the weekend visits- which were dwindling from occasional to once in a while. I can’t recall exactly what I packed inside the suitcase, but my Mrs. Beasley doll was by my side. I know I’ve repressed a lot of the pain wrapped in these memories, of the step-father who promised to pick me up each Friday only, to face the reality that he wasn’t showing up again. My mother shuffled me back in the house and into the world of my Barbies I’d go. I remember the tension in the air. The unspoken hostility. Children sense the anger of adults, but perceive all as somehow their own fault.

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