Life is so complicated. There are so many things to understand and make sense of and I have so many feelings about so many things.
I don’t even know where to start. But I think I should try, because life doesn’t seem to stop. Things just compound. Then I have a whole noodle-y mess to untangle.
I liked the way the process of talking to C’s mom came about. It felt natural—the whole exchange with IT Ma’am and Games Miss and the neighbour aunties—as if that is how things are meant to be done, and I think maybe it echoes something of my childhood, although there is nothing specific I can remember.
I also have this sense of a future: I think this has something to do with children. Children palpably make you aware of how life continues forward. I have one particular child I have made a commitment to—somewhat publically now. I mean, in front of her mother and the neighbours, I have made this commitment to supporting her and looking after her, and it makes me realize that I don’t plan to die in the very near future. I intend to live.
Then also, I realize that I have so much power. Not so noticeably in my life—although I do have it—but to protect the people I care about. I don’t have the power to do just whatever I want, but there is this combination of being aware of what is possible and of what tools are there with which to accomplish it that translates as power.
In other words, knowing that C’s stepdad is not that interested in her future, that Country X-ers don’t really keep terribly close tabs on their kids in certain ways—I mean, that having a child live with an aunt or uncle for a while is not uncommon—and then also having a lot of hook-ups made it possible.
The thing is I know her stepdad tears down C’s self-esteem. Other details, I am not that aware of, but I know that he treats her as “less than” because she is not his child. I hear her mother treats C differently too, but I don’t know if this is really true. But part of what I wanted was to get away from an environment where her worth is always under attack.
And I could.
As a child, I could not protect anyone I loved. From anything. I had absolutely no power. I could perhaps take the edge off their pain, but that was really all.
Now things really are different.