You wish you were different, but you can’t be. You never will be. You will just always be a shadow of the past. Watching over your shoulder. Distrustful of everyone. Wondering when the danger will come into your back yard, into your home, into your life.
When it will sneak between your shoulder blades and sink into your stomach.
When we were kids, my dad asked, “Is there anything you need to talk about?” In fact, we’re all grown and he still asks. Over the years, the deep inflection in his voice and the concern covering every feature of his face has changed very little.
We aren’t asking our kids if they need to talk about their typical day at school. Sure, we want to hear that too. What we want to know—what we can’t stand to know AND not know is far deeper and darker. It has the power to change everything.
Has some hurt you? Has someone done something you didn’t like? Has someone crossed the line? Getting those answers is such a delicate matter. Kids are young and impressionable. One wrongly worded question can change an answer drastically. It can open that huge Pandora’s box and ruin innocent lives on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
We don’t know we’re bleeding. We think we’ve escaped. We think everything will be fine. All the while we are holding our chests. We feel the warmth seep between our fingers, the heavy throb of blood bringing gush after gush. And for a minute we’re comforted. We refuse the bandage—maybe we’ve never been offered one. Maybe we have, but the application was stilted by our need to control something that was never really ours to control.
Is there anything you need to talk about?
Rachel is a military wife and the mother of the Extremely Cute Toddler (ECT). When she’s not working in the healthcare field you can find her writing irresistible fiction and having imaginary conversations with the characters she’s created. She’s lived all over the United States and currently calls California home–bring on the sunshine!