I am breaking apart. I made the choice to break apart. To demolish these walls, this fortress of illusory safety that exiled me from my own heart.
I am breaking apart. Breaking down. Breaking the ties that bound me to fear, throwing off the dark coat of control pressing down, down, down.
I am breaking apart. Rending both my heart and that dark garment, demanding light where only shadows lurked - theirs and mine, mine and yours.
I asked to see the monsters. The tormentors. The liars and cowards. Asked to enter into their pain, to suffer with them. And so I suffered with them for many years - a lifetime. A relationship. Push to pull. Fear to control. Victimhood to power. Passed back and forth, generation after generation before I even came on the scene.
All those years I learned to survive, yes. But it was a survival dance that cost me my dignity, my compassion, my hope. And what was it that I was trying to survive anyway? I was told it was for my own good. That muting my voice and transfiguring my spirit would protect me from evil, would guide me in righteousness, would lead me to salvation at the end of days.
A slight of hand, a scam, a conspiracy in which I was complicit. The poor will always be with us. The settlers were people of God. Slavery was built on the good intentions of our manifest destiny. Human flesh ground in the gears of industry, exhausted in rows of monoculture, spent on battlefields in defense of an imaginary thing called “nation”.
What is the narcissism of my parents but an inherited pretext, a subconscious entitlement program consciously downloaded from cable news and patriotic myths. Mixed with some spicy memories from their own childhoods that they cannot bear to face, but which they gleefully pass along at the end of a leather belt and words of encouragement: “Get. Over. It.”
No, this thing won’t get fixed in the therapist office. Better call the exorcist.
I betrayed my family when I demanded dignity for myself. I betrayed my new world homogenized white ancestors when I unshackled myself from their fear. I showed loyalty to my heart when I demanded dignity for myself. I aligned myself with the universal spirit spinning fractals and moving mountains when I cast out my fear.
And here I thought I was just healing my childhood trauma.
I am breaking apart.
I am surrendering my fear.
I am revealing my heart.
I can’t make excuses anymore.
Madelyn Mae is a writer, artist, cook, and friend on her own healing journey. She is the author of Hard Bones, Co-Editor of Permanently Embarrassed Billionaires, and a prolific sender of postcards. Madelyn is a gospel commie who loves coaching writers who don't think they are writers and imagining a post-capitalist world.