Saturday, March 27, 2010
I pulled off my mittens, crusty and frozen solid from all my tears. I settled in tentatively. I thought of all of the years of the nuns telling us not to get in a car with strangers. Of my parents repeating this to make sure it hit home. And here I was. In a car with a man I knew nothing about who was driving us supposivley to Chicago, The Big City, a city I have been only a few times. There was nothing to do but try and relax and enjoy the warmth that now enveloped me. My decision had already been made and now this was the consequence. Jim and the man talked easily. About the weather, serving in the army, the state of the country. Their chattering helped me to settle in as the fear I had subsided. This was it...I was on my way to California and there was really no turning back now. I shut my eyes and thought of my parents...of the state I left them in..no, no..I couldn't think of them now. I had to block that from my mind and not allow myself to think of that...I was leaving a home of much sorrow and sadness...a home that didn't always nurture a young girl. A home that had its share of fighting and anger and grief and pain..A home that more times than not had left me with a burning, empty, hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach as I tried to shove down what was going on in it... The truth was I couldn't handle it anymore. I had done my best. But now I finally realized that the problems in my home were not my problems but my parents problem...I couldn't save them anymore..I couldn't be the little clown that made them laugh and distracted them from the truth of what was going on in that home. I could have spent the rest of my life trying to save them, but now it was my turn to try and save myself, whatever part of myself that was left worth saving..because truth be told I didn't have a single, solitary idea of who I was, what I was worth or if I was even worth saving. Because all I ever learned was how to pretend..how to lie...how to cheat...and how to act as if everything was ok when it was not. You see, this wasn't leaving home. It was an escape.