It seems different to be me. My head is on kind of differently. I had some Deep Thoughts yesterday. They had to do with cutting off the futures of the girls and also attenuating my future. The attitude of various people—my dad, Yuri, the johns—that people are just disposable, there to be used as desired, then tossed away, it cut off our futures. Theirs in actual fact. Mine in terms of what became possible for me. What might I have done if I didn’t spend hours trying to cope with the terror of gum-chewing? Not just what I might have accomplished, but how might my experience of life have been different? My dad destroyed a lot of my future.

It is as though I finally get this. It has certainly crossed my mind before. I’ve spent some time thinking about it and feeling things about it. Now, I have a sense of groundedness in it as if the real thought behind it is just, “Okay, that happened.” I think it spells the end of a grief process. I have arrived, perhaps, at acceptance. Beyond anger, denial, various kinds of bargaining (maybe I can pretend it has had less of an effect than it did). Just acceptance. My life is what it is. It is what it is because of what happened.

I have a sense of how this has affected me as a person. I mean, I think I know how this has shaped me. I don’t take life for granted—my life or anyone else’s. I have a profound sense of the uniqueness of our individual existences that maybe most people only catch a glimpse of on certain occasions, like the birth of a child or tracing names at the Vietnam War Memorial.

But that seems to have done something to me. It’s a precarious something. I keep losing it. I am not even sure what it is.

Maybe it is just I feel free to take life in. The very loud part of this is that it is wonderful. Sometimes the loudness of the wonder drowns out what is really happening in the moment. I can’t process life as it happens most of the time because there is too much negative emotion. Now there is too much positive emotion.

Funny.

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