I don't know what I mean to write.
Sometimes the need to write overwhelms me even (and especially) when it seems I haven't much to say.
My childhood years of abuse and trauma come to me sometimes like a dream, a dream wrapped up carelessly in an old, priceless shawl whose radiant colors have faded with time. Sometimes the thought of my childhood so wrapped up nearly leaves me breathless with dread mingled with excitement.
I dread the retelling of what never should have been. Excitement grabs me when I consider all that my story can mean to someone else who has known and endured the shame of covert acts of sexual terrorism, of those moments in time equivalent to the endless minutes I spent hunched atop my mother's washing machine, naked, alone and waiting to be abused.
I'm excited because I have something to give away, something that cost me every bit of my soul. In the act of giving lies the dread that it may be misunderstood, scoffed at or heartlessly tossed aside.
But I am used to mocking; I grew up being the subject of much mockings. Surely I can bear more of the same for the sake of those few who may read my story and weep in that good and pure way which cleanses and uplifts, readying one to go on to take more steps and fight more battles.
Oh, it's not over yet.
I live a dual life, at any moment here in the present in all my nana-ness, while the past is a slow steady stream of vignettes playing upon my mind's eye from some decrepit movie projector.
I am me, a sixty year old woman who is just learning to cry out my sorrow.
I am her, the laughingstock little girl carrying heavy burdens and hiding them within the pages of fiction I can't quite get enough of.
When I was little my Dad was everything to me. He loved God so much that I did too, and this made of us a sort of trinity which suited me well and leant to my days and nights a sweet stability and comfort.
There isn't any bemoaning my childhood so much as simply wondering at its twists and turns.
Sorrow has expressed itself and no doubt will continue to do so infrequently now that I am becoming familiar with its intonations. I'm grateful for a respite, but I don't fear her reappearance anymore. She is part of me, a part of me I haven't wanted to acknowledge, let alone explore.
Today I'm neither happy nor longing for death. I'm not particularly joyful, which is not to say that some little ray of joy couldn't zap me out of nowhere, for instance as I'm reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or when I get a whiff of an especially pleasing scented candle.
The way I see it, I'm about one step above simply existing. I don't long for anything else, not now. Maybe some other day. Today is all about being, just being.
And so I sit and wait for whatever it is will grab me next, be it an old, old memory or a new thought that takes me in a whole new direction.
My life is mine, is what I mean to say. Others nearly robbed me of its possession but it's still all mine. Even and especially the dark, unmentionable acts which crushed me, those moments in time when I hardly knew my name and despaired of ever laughing again.
I might laugh today. Today I might laugh. It's hard to say what I'll do today with this crazy life of mine.