Nephilim and their abandonment issues (how do they react to the rejection of their aunts and uncles and grandfather).
first. among your earliest memories is of sitting with a twisted rag clenched between your teeth, as your grandmother ripped newly-sprouted feathers from your shoulders, scraped down from your belly. Her hands, worn rough and unlovely, applying salve to your ravened skin.
she stroked your hair afterwards, the only part of you not aching. (you hid the unnatural paleness of your braids beneath katam dye and the mitpahat that was your mother’s, careful, so careful.)
there, your grandmother always said, her hand warm and heavy on the crown of you head. There, now you are my daughter’s daughter.
you thought that was love, grateful enough to be anyone’s.
second. they call you murderer for being born, for taking their daughter-sister-cousin-kin and leaving your monstrosity in her place. (no woman was made to bear a thing like you and live; your mother tore herself in two, trying.) The claws and teeth, these they might forgive—but you were given two names at your birth, and the bloodier came first.
third. you are nearly a woman when you stop scratching messages onto shards of pottery and leaving them at the top of the ridge. It seems your father is not inclined to answer, abandoning you to a numb, emptied sky.
you wonder if he despises you for the soft skin of your wrists, the vulnerable curve of your back, the accidental humanities of you. You’ve never known any to love the whole of what you are, why should the thing who sired you be any different?
fourth. there are days when you work in the garden, the sun warm on your nascent wings and your cousin beside you, singing as she drives the spade into the earth. You sing with her. Your voice makes the air shiver, and she laughs.
(never again, your grandmother will say to you that night, the mark of her unlovely hand still stinging at your cheek. Your singing causes men to stand still in the fields, sets women to weeping. This will not be, never again.
Your mother’s mother is grave, her mouth set in an unyielding line, and you learn then how not to sing.)
fifth. your mother’s eldest brother will not touch you, nor come near you—he flinches away from your hand like you are a diseased thing, turns his head away when you speak. Once, before he knows how sharp your hearing has grown, he calls you abomination, misbegotten. We should have given her to the moabites, to slaughter for their gods, he says bitterly.
you whisper in his donkey’s ears as he is leaving, words you know but do not remember learning. (They burn your tongue.) It comes back to you later, your cousin’s son saying, did you hear? our uncle was thrown from his donkey on the road to ebla, and it kicked him in the head. They say it blinded him.
you lay awake in your bed that night, palm to your lips, and shaking.
sixth. what’s wrong with you wings? your cousin’s youngest asks. You are bathing her in the river, the water making your sadin cling to the curve of your hips, the pale and stunted wings at your back, which you keep trussed and flat against your shoulders with a length of linen.
do they hurt? you cousin’s youngest asks.
they do not hurt.
then why are they so twisted and small?
you open your mouth say something, of trying to fit into spaces not made for you, you who are a head taller than the tallest of your uncles–how you had panicked, when the length of your wings brushed the floor, too large to open in any room of your grandmother’s house, impossible to hide. But you had tried, you had tried, and they reached the floor no longer, pale and crippled as plants grown in the dark.
why do you ask so many questions? you say instead, but she is already distracted by the sunlight on the water, and does not hear.
last. you will leave, you will, on a morning when the sky is pale grey, and the world is not yet awake to see the rough stubble of feathers growing in on your arms.
you will go up, and over the windswept ridge, and out, singing.
Being around my family triggers so much in me. My sister and mother’s constant input on how I exist makes it so hard for me to eat. I’m so uncomfortable with any food in this house. I’m so uncomfortable in this kitchen. In this bathroom. In this bed. I constantly sneak around to weigh myself and body check. I’m overwhelmed thinking about my weight and my appearance and how I’m dressing and how I’m expressing myself. I feel the only way to protect myself is to restrict. I’m so guarded in this place. I just want to exist .
*finally gets the courage and confidence to finally call parents out on their bullshit*
Wow you're so disrespectful and unappreciative I didn't raise you this way I can't believe that you'd talk to me that way after all I've done for you and treated you like fucking royalty you ungrateful prick
*doesn't talk hardly ever at home anymore*
why don't you talk to us anymore what's your problem
I honestly kinda hate being home because my mom makes me eat so. much. I know she’s just worried but this feeling of heaviness keeps me up at night. She asked me the other day if I’m not eating on purpose. I hate how much I’ve been consuming it makes my thoughts even worse. I hate this I hate how angry this makes me and how angry I get at her for caring fuck this stupid disease
things I wish people had told me: shitty family edition
-you are under no obligation to love your family ok. they treat you like crap??? they don’t deserve you
-HOWEVER getting into it with them can be incREDIBLY DANGEROUS okay stay safe most important thing
-you are amazing ok
-you don’t have to be anyone’s definition of perfect. even your own. no one is perfect but you are perfect and beautiful/handsome and YOU ARE WORTH IT
-whatever you weigh is OKAY
-as long as you’re healthy you’re wonderful
-I’m serious don’t let people compromise how you view yourself
-your interest and values are important do not let them be insulted
-people will and do love you
-you aren’t broken
-you have every right to your problems
-age is literally just a number it’s not something that can be used to diminish your problems
-you are wonderful
-it DOES get better
-you ARE NOT your family