The next day, I avoid mom all afternoon.  Auntie tells her I should sleep because I don’t feel well…

I can hear mom bitching.  “She is soooo sickly for her age!  I never was.  I don’t know what is wrong with her.”  I listen and hold my breath.  Auntie doesn’t say anything back and doesn’t participate in mom’s insults.  In that instant, I feel tremendous love for this little woman I had only began to know.  She cares about me and won’t let her hurt me, I think, and she won’t be mean to me.

Mom’s words hurt me, take my breath away and send a block of ice through me.  She likes to bitch about me and tear me apart, I begin to realize.  I am feeling younger and younger in my head.  Mom leaves, and I can hear the door click behind her as my body relaxes and I drift to sleep.  A noise outside startles me and I bolt awake.  Auntie comes back and works out of the apartment all afternoon.  Silent tears run down my cheeks, collecting on a pillow I wrap my arms around.

Once mom leaves the apartment, I can breathe easier, yet I dread her return.  I never cry and all I can do is cry and fight my body from crying.   I read Auntie’s poem behind her bed about being a wounded warrior and relate to it.  I finally get up from the bed because I feel panicky, like I could jump out of my skin.

Auntie asks who abused me.  She is sharp because she guesses fairly quickly.  She is gentle and doesn’t push me though, which makes me trust her more.  I am scared after I tell her, yet I can feel the weight come off me and I feel lighter.  I don’t know how I will deal with mom in the evening.

Auntie said it is okay, go out for the evening.   I am scared because mom might come looking for me.  I believe Auntie when she says, “Go ahead.  It will be okay.”   More and more I feel like a scared kid, just wanting to be safe

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