They say time heals all wounds, but I assure you that, much as I appreciate their good intentions, they know nothing, mistaking theory for experience. You see, experience taught me that the only thing that heals wounds is actually dealing with the problem that causes the pain, not trying to forget about it, not burying your head in the sand. Without spoiling the plot of Big Little Lies, let me just say that one of its main themes — violence toward women and the impact of nature versus nurture on their kids — struck a chord in me.
You see, I'd been struggling all my life with this demon inside of me. The demon's name was DNA, short for Do Not Attack. It was unfortunately bestowed on me by said sob, and all through elementary school, high school and college I tried to find new ways to suppress this innate tendency of mine to overreact, control and explode. I would look in the mirror and tell myself, "I'm different. I'm not like him." And I am different. I made myself different. It took decades to become who I am today. I reprogrammed myself through never-ending introspection, basically reinventing myself, but I wouldn't have been able to do any of that without my mother's brave decision to escape the nightmare.
She got away and took me with her. But little did I know back then that my physical removal from this toxic environment called home wasn't enough to start anew. Some of it was a part of me. I carried the damn stuff inside of me. DNA. Who needs it anyway? To cut a long story short, I got away through learning from my mistakes (hard work, a battle called Nurture versus Nature that no one ever knew about because it all took place inside my head, this need to be a good person) and a caring mother who provided me with a new, safe haven and tried her darnest to make her hardship invisible — if only because she believed, and still does to this day, that grown-up problems should never become a kid's burden.
So thank you, Momma, for saving my life, for taking that one decision that meant the difference between hope or no hope. I just can't thank you enough.
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