Shout-out to everyone whose childhood was hell.
Shout out to everyone who can’t remember back to an idyllic childhood, because that time never existed for abused children.
Shout out to everyone for whom childhood was a never-ending hell with no refuge, anywhere, in sight.
Shout out to everyone who never experienced freedom until adulthood, or until becoming an emancipated minor.
Shout out to everyone whose ‘freedom’ in adulthood may have involved starving, living in filth, living under a bridge, but was still beautiful and still freedom and still ours because by all the gods, it was not the hell that is childhood.
Shout out to everyone who don’t have the option of moving back in with their families, no matter how bad it gets, because that would be worse.
Shout out to everyone who is making their own idyllic time of their life now, in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. Even if it’s really hard, and far from what everyone else would call idyllic, it’s idyllic to us, because it’s not like being an abused child with nowhere to turn.
Shout out to everyone who had to turn down at least some family support because it came with so many toxic strings attached that it would’ve eventually, literally, killed us.
Shout out to everyone who feels like working three jobs and barely making it is the most amazing feeling in the world, compared to being a child with no refuge in the world. Because at least we’re making our own refuge.
Shout out to everyone who’s on SSI, welfare, or disability, and feels like they’re in paradise because this is our life, not someone else’s, even if we can’t eat at the end of the month and have to endure HUD inspections, social worker visits, and other indignities.
Shout out, in short, to everyone who never had an idyllic childhood and is doing their best to carve out a place for themselves in adulthood. And for whom, no matter how hard it gets, it’s still light years beyond the utter and total hell that was childhood.
This is me. This is my friends. This is so many people I know. I love you. I care about you. I’m proud of everything you’ve done, even if nobody else sees it as an achievement. I wish our child selves could see our adult selves. I wish they could see that even with the struggles, we are in general so much happier just for not being children anymore.
More, I wish I could take my child self and put hir in a situation where sie could grow up without all the problems sie encountered. But I can’t see an easy way to do that. By the time the damage was done, it was self-perpetuating, and I lashed out even in good situations. Perhaps especially, because I didn’t trust them. I’m so lucky Laura took me under her wing, I’d be dead without her. My parents meant well but they didn’t have the skills to parent the teenager I became.
But seriously. Adulthood is the true refuge for so many abused and neglected children. Adulthood with all its responsibilities is downright idyllic compared to never being safe anywhere. You can still be an abused adult, unfortunately. But lots of abused kids manage to make adulthood their place of refuge and I am no exception. I have spent my entire adult life trying to create a life where I can be a happy person, a contributing person, a person who helps more than I hurt. And I think I’m getting there. And I watch my friends trying to do the same things, and getting too little credit for any of it.
So this is for all of us.
We’re doing really damn well. Especially where we came from.
When you don’t know what safety is… creating safety for yourself can be a daunting task.
So everyone trying to create safety, refuge, beauty, everything we didn’t have, or didn’t have enough of as kids: You’re doing an amazing job, no matter what anyone says. You’re doing one of the hardest things you can do, and you’re doing it with less support than you probably need.
Seriously I love you all. I care about you more than I can say. I watch you trying to do the same things I am trying to do. And I hope you succeed. Because if you succeed even a little, even hanging by the skin of your teeth, what you’re doing is amazing and probably much better than your childhood.
I love you all so much.