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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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1:45 p.m. - 2010-09-23
Oh. My. God.

'Happiness hit her like a bullet in the brain.'

I never expected this. I mean I always knew I'd get by okay. Despite my gushy middle I knew my hard and calloused outside would see to the practicalities. A survivor, you know? Not a triumphant one, no Carnegie-esque success story, but I'd muddle through. It's what survivors do. If it didn't kill you for real then you keep going. I'd be okay.

It's what I told myself when I lived in my car. It's what I said when I lifted that tire iron against the next predator my mother hooked up with, the one who wanted my little sister and I would not allow it. It's what I said when I sat in the marriage counselor's office and finally admitted it was over.

I never expected better than okay.

I'd always parked some arbitrary goal in front of me and head for that. Making it through was just a matter of getting there, nevermind it wasn't any better or that I wasn't any safer or happier when I got there, it was the journey that mattered. The journey. And once I made it and saw nothing had changed, then the next place to get to after that.

Oh, sometimes I'd talk big. I'd boast about successes to come the way kids boast about their dad's strength in the schoolyard. Nobody's dad could really lift a dump truck with his bare hands, but at the time you need to say it you believe it. Your dad could lift up a dump truck. You needed so badly for it to be true that it was. Even if in actuality your dad was a pot-bellied accountant or even if he had been gone so long his face had gone blurry in your mind. Especially if he'd gotten into to the wind and had never come back. Not showing up even when you turned 10 or won the 6th grade spelling bee.

Belief, belief in myths and kind lies, is what gets you through.

And so it goes. Long after you've stopped waiting for that dump truck lifting dad to come back, long and even longer than your secret hope that one day you'll be feted and wanted and hugged goes dry and crumbles, the habit of keep on keeping on lingers.

You live on dust and crumbs and dreams already dead before they even bud. And it's okay. You're still here, aren't you?

So what do you do? How do you deal when those bravado boasts really and truly come true?

What do you do when you are safe?

And loved?

And cared for?

When a chance mention in passing of a pizza jones becomes the reality the very next day?

How do you stop the top of your skull from blowing off when your machts nichts mention of a whim about pepperoni is fulfilled the next day with a stack of cardboard boxes and steaming hot pizzas within?

How do you deal when the best you ever hoped for was a night off from the secret shaming sodomy and you find out you're not only safe, but loved?

How do you cope?

What do you do when the starved belly and even hungrier soul you've sustained on crumbs and dust and dead dreams is finally, unbelievably, impossibly given all the pepperoni you can eat?


I can't answer that for every survivor, but this one is having pizza for dinner tonight. ~LA

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