We Wanted Selves

 

“When your lost, and you low, and you can’t get back again, 

I will show you you’re so much better than you know….

you think I’d leave you down when you’re down on your knees? I couldn’t do that…

…when you’re cold, I’ll be there to hold you tight to me 

when you’re on the outside and cant get in

i will show you you’re so much better than you know

when you’re lost and alone and cant get back again

I’ll find you and bring you home

If you want to cry I’ll be there to dry your eyes

in no time you’ll be fine

…If only you could see into me

when you’re cold I’ll be there to hold you tight to me

when you’re low, I’ll be there by your side…”

Sean Rowe, “By Your Side”

After second grade, I can almost draw the picture of myself falling apart and inward–in my bedroom staring into the closet in Green Bay, lining up dolls, the rituals beginning. But that’s another story. My sisters though, we never made a pact, we didn’t have each others backs out in the open–that was dangerous, and I am not even sure why. Maybe it was a matter of self-preservation. But we didn’t need to make one, a pact. We swore ourselves to each other from the beginning. Like my father driving drunk in the car on the back roads, my door flew open, I was maybe three or four, and I remember Nikki grabbing me so fast and holding me in as best as her little body could hang on. And that’s how she’s always been with us. Our sanctuaries, we knew, were not impenetrable to the one person I feared and hated and loved all at the same time; but they were strong enough to maybe remind us that we had each other, and I remember kind of feeling like the world would only get meaner. And maybe strong enough to have the hindsight that we weren’t going to be entirely OK, maybe not ever, but if we were OK together, then that small sanctuary would have to be enough. And it was.

But in the corners of the sanctuaries we were able to create together late at night when everyone else thought we were sleeping, a sanctuary, a home; we respected how each of us was designed (though we hardly understood ourselves) safety, and sort of a reference to each other like-

“–did you think he should have hit her? OK, I didn’t either, maybe it’s wrong? What do we do?–“ Read More