I’m struggling to write these words. My emotions are too raw and my heart is too hurt to form sentences correctly.
I am a child again.
I didn’t have a happy childhood. I had a nice house to live in and food to eat and…I guess you would say “things,” but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t beaten physically, but I was abused. Verbally. Emotionally.
My parents divorced when I was very young. An infant. I grew up in what they call a blended family. Only ours was a mixture of oil and water and I was the oil. Shake it all you want, you can break down the oil into tiny beads, but it will never be accepted as part of the water.
“This is our son,” my stepfather would say. “And this is Julie’s daughter.” The words still echo in my head all these years later. Of course he wouldn’t want to lay claim to me. I’m nothing.
I was fat. Am fat. I would play outside and he would tell me the neighbors called and reporting sightings of a beached whale. And I retreated. My mother served up boneless, skinless chicken breast next to their burgers and slapped my hand with her eyes, her voice, if I dared ask for more. “Do you really need that?”
No.Thirty years later, I’m still causing problems. She tells me it’s not my fault, but it is. How could it not be? My words. My actions. The knowledge that so many lives would be easier if I had never been born blindsides me. This fight, this incident comes at a bad time. The onslaught of postpartum depression, surprising only because it hit me so early this time—this last time, isn’t helping.
I am a child again. Eating to fill a void that keeps expanding. Trying to ease the physical pain that feels unreal. Why does sadness hurt so much?