Content warning: Please read with extreme care. Stop reading if you cannot continue. Don’t push yourself. It’s ok.
On the other window, our mother who just as passionately wanted to protect our family’s reputation and my siblings from our society’s pharisaic tongues. For these tongues are adept at casting the victims account, neuter said victim, and share pleasantries with the assaulter.
“Think of your siblings.”
I am thinking of them. Instead of seeing an adult remain silent, they will see their older sister rose above the injustice and will hopefully adjust themselves to the idea that it is alright to call out your assaulters, call out society for preserving them, ask for help.
“Think of the family.”
I am. Our family turned me into this shell of fears and cries, only what all of you hear is the beautiful sound of the waves. Because I am supposed to act like nothing is wrong right? What problems could a high-achieving girl with amazing friends have?
“What will people say.”
That it’s my fault. Not any of yours. Shame you? They ought to. You failed to protect me. Forget the assaulter ever existed? Is that anything new? The police sided with him.
“I am disowning you. You are no longer my daughter or belong to this family.”
I understood. It wasn’t alright but it was also alright. It hurt, a lot. I also never really felt like a daughter, nor a family member.
“You can’t see the kids.”
I have to. Disown me as your child, but never come between my siblings and I. I am still talking to you because of them. I do not want this burden between us to affect them. I remain alive still, haven’t let go of life, because of them. Should the day come they no longer need me, is a respite I look forward to.
Amidst tears I chuckled. So this is what it felt like to be disowned.
Couple weeks later, our mother contacts me again. With that aggravating mother entitlement after I asked her is she no longer upset that she can talk to me now?
She writes back that I should know. That moment when you are angry and you say things you don’t mean? I will understand once I have children. Profound, really.
If I am to be like you with children, then I never want to have children. Everything felt unfair. I thought I have been wronged so much. Yet not once did I ever thought to disown my family members. But perhaps that is my fault too.