at her bedside


I knew this time would come sooner or later.  I knew I would be face with my enemy that is my birth mother, my abuser would be facing her last moments. I knew the time would come when the choice to go to her final bedside would need to be made.


I spent many nights by her bedside throughout my childhood.  I remember sneaking into her room late at night to see if she was breathing, and I remember sneaking my pillow and blanket to the floor next to her bed at night.  I am not sure why I did these things. I cannot remember ever finding safety in my mother's present. I remember fear. I do not remember safety.


Knowing what I know now about the depths of my trauma experiences, I wonder if my younger self made those moves in the middle of the night to be in her present so that she might see what was happening in the darkness of our home.  He came to my bedside at night, threatening me to not say a word, and now wondering if those late night sneaking around adventures were attempts to bring eyes and light to the evil acts in the darkness.


I remember why I was by her bedside often as during my adolescence: I was holding her, rubbing her back, wiping her tears, comforting her truth and putting her to sleep.  She would come home, after days of no contact, no memory, no tracks to trace. She would show up in her own ambivalence. My sister would yell, rightfully so, her hero was destroying herself and taking us kids down too.  My brother would be high, the other one drunk: both passed out, gone, or in a mix of their own chaos they called "party."


I picked her up once, after she decided that the front stair case of our apartment building was an acceptable place to sleep. Walked, with her dead weight leaning on my 15 year old body up the stairs, through the apartment and into her bed. It was this night, and so many other that I attended to her shame of a breaking life.  


She would say she knew she was fucking up and she didn't mean any of this disaster.

I would say “I know mom,” wipe her eyes and hold her in my arms.

She would say, “I'll do better.”


And I would respond, “rest now mom, we will figure everything out tomorrow.”


I would come home from school the next day and she'd be gone - or worse - she'd be home snorting crack at our kitchen table with her “friends” while the small children played a little too close to the residue.


I walked away from this chaos, this pain, this life.  It's taken me years to realize, years to understand, years to accept, and years still to overcome the pain of these fires.

This time is here.  The choice has been made: I am going to stand by her bedside one final time.


I am going for myself, and for her - to let her know that I didn't stay away out of spite or hate, that I stayed away for my own health and safety.  I never meant to hurt her, or anyone in the process of putting myself first.


We want to go, and think we need to go in order to be true to myself and my own character.  I'm not vengeful or hateful. I don't purposely cause harm and I do try to make amends when and where I can.  I sat back and reflected with my headmates - several of them need this moment for healing.


Our little, Elley, needs to see that her big and scary mom is not so big and no longer Scary.


And our newer friend, who is mute with fear because of mom saying “what happens in this home stays in this home, or else” needs to see that the threat is over, that she is free to share her pain and heal. We named her Aasira today, meaning “powerful warrior who can overcome and imprison enemies.”  She's suited up with the rest of us as her armor.


Our heart is calm, has been throughout this time.  That's God. He's with us. He's got us. And he has a lot of his warriors all around us and have prepared us for this moment.  I won't be alone, physically or spiritually.


We are trusting our needs, having faith of what all will come of this, and asking for support.


Thank you,


Tee and her head peeps :)







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