“Never make the mistake of thinking you are alone—or inconsequential.” ~Rebecca McKinsey
I can still remember it as vividly as if it happened yesterday.
Our kitchen was small. Only enough room for a few people, and there were four of us kids scrounging to get our hands on the rest of the leftovers. It wasn’t a fight, but I can say with certainty that there was an underlying assumption that whoever got their hands on it first was able to claim it, so there was competition.
I grabbed my spoon first and then went to the fridge to get my food when my dad grabbed the spoon out of hand.
“Dad! Give it back!” I said in my most rude teenage voice.
Not a second passed and his hand met my cheek with a blow that knocked me to the floor. There must have been a loud noise as I flopped to the floor, hitting the dishwasher, because my mom, who was doing laundry, came running inside to see what was going on.
I lay there helpless on the floor, not struggling but also not fighting.
I looked up at my mom, who looked back at me, then at my dad. She gave a sigh of disapproval, turned the corner, and walked away.
Still on the floor, I looked up at my brother who was eating at the bar that faced where I was lying. He looked at me chewing his food, continued to eat, and said nothing.
This was the first time I remember feeling alone. It was a reminder that hit me like a ton of bricks that nobody was coming to save me… nobody.
Of course, this reality check didn’t come without consequences. It most certainly left a hole in my heart and closed off parts of me that later became nearly impossible to break. But I survived. I just learned to survive without the parts of me that were open to love and compassion.
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