There was a 1,000-word post here yesterday, but it’s lost to the chasm of unsaved posts. It’s alright. After I wrote it I was thinking about this war-like thing going on between the egos or souls of feh and I. It doesn’t seem fair that I continue to describe him as this way or that, and he is allowed no say. Not that he deserves one, on my blog, but also it isn’t necessarily leading to closure. And it may be that I have as much closure as I’m going to get because our children exist and tie us to one another, for better and for worse.
Horrible things were done. I endured horrible things. I reacted, at times, in horrible ways. And while my aim is to process it thoughtfully and lay it to rest, sometimes trauma doesn’t go away; it becomes scar tissue and stays with you. It becomes a story you hold and retell; learning from anew, whenever needed.
If we had stayed together, and not been a volatile, toxic, wrong-headed mess, feh would have been the laid-back dad probably and I would have been the wound-up mom. I hope I would have been laid-back and fun too. I can’t actually imagine it, because it means restructuring him into someone he essentially is not. I think that being the only parent through troubled times helped me become more who I prayed to be, when I was contemplating Salamander’s arrival earth-side. My mother, who observes and participates in parenting with me more days than not, reassures me often that I am much more patient and soft-spoken than she ever was.
We’re doing it, the whole family tree, those branches that are grafted and hang awkwardly-angled too: we’re giving our kids better lives than we had, one day at a time. My kids won’t have memories that are trauma coated. They probably won’t endure family diaspora, at least not in their generation. They will be listened to and encouraged passionately to follow their hearts’ songs. They will be discouraged from taking on debt and careless consumerism.
They will be raised by a poetic, office working, joy-hearted mother; a clever and pragmatic grandma; a gentle and teasing grandpa, and a father who, for today at least, can decide what adjectives he’d ascribe to himself on his own.