Thursday, October 28, 2010

Magpie 38


“Hi, I’m back!” she said looking at Annie’s face with relief. The lack of answer didn’t bother her at all, and without an invitation, she sat at the edge of the stone and then resumes the conversation.
“She kicked me out of the house again, this is the third time she’s done that” - she pauses and after taking a deep breath continues saying - “I don’t know what to do, I’m tired of fighting! I don’t know how long I will be able to stay strong…” the tone of her voice reveals the emotional distress she is going through.

A warm and tender breeze kisses her cheek and hair as if trying to ease her sorrows. The silence is only broken by the birds singing from a nearby cypress tree. Looking directly into Annie’s eyes, she asks - “Why does she hate me so much? Why can’t she love me the same way she loves my brothers? What did I do wrong?” - with anger she fights the tears trying to show up on her face, as crying is not permitted on a strong girl like her.
“Yesterday, despite the rain and the cold she locked me out of the house and probably got soundly asleep in a few minutes, with no concern for my well-being. I heard one of my brothers trying to plead with her, but then gave up as he was almost shown the way out too. After an hour of crying out and kicking the door with no results I headed to Tory’s house, she always offers me shelter. But you have to see her face, she can’t hide the compassion she feels for me….” - Her brown eyes can’t disguise the sadness apprehending her, which contradicts the hard expression of her face. Her eyes are the window to her soul while her face is a well learned masquerade to conceal her real feelings.

She is only fourteen but looks older than she really is, years of suffering and emotional abuses have made a dent in her. She is being considered a wild and aggressive child by her schoolmates and teachers, making it so difficult for her to have any friends. Loneliness is her only companion, but sometimes the aloneness becomes too heavy to abide, so she comes to see Annie and the others for companionship and conversation. They always listen and never charge or criticize her, but she misses some kind of advice or guidance from them, after all, they have lived longer and had more experience. She knows there is nothing she can do to halt their unbreakable silence, but she is consoled but the inner knowledge that they listen and care.
“Today, Tory told me that my mother can’t continue doing this to me, that she is breaking the law and that the authorities can take me away from her. She wants to report her, so my mother can start taking better care of me. I begged her not to do it, because I’m afraid I may be sent to an orphanage… You know, my mom keeps telling me she will do it and I believe her.” She pauses and takes a deep breath in, as if trying to grow bigger and stronger. She doesn’t want to start crying, if she does, then she may never be able to stop, so she keeps breathing deep until the urge to cry is fully controlled.

After a while she speaks again, “Tory felt sorry for me so she promised not to do it this time, but she will if my mother does it again. The problem is that I know I will be kicked out again; any mistake will be used by my mother as a pretext to fight me, she will not stop until I’m gone… She did the same to my older brother, she kicked him out of the house when he was just thirteen, and never allowed him to come back.
I have nowhere to go, if she kicks me out again I will have to sleep by the door, despite the weather conditions and the time I have to spend outside. That will be the only way to fight her back, she will have to take me in sooner or later, as she will not want the neighbors to tell my stepfather what she is doing to me…” she looks around and after a short silence she asks: “Annie, did your mother love you or was she like mine? Aren’t mothers supposed to care and tender for their children? Why doesn’t she love me? I really want to know…” – as expected she doesn’t get any answer, but that doesn’t bother her as she is feeling better. Being able to talk about her troubles really eases her sorrow.
She keeps looking at Annie’s face, as if searching for answers, then she says - “Ok, is getting late, I must start heading back to hell. Today my stepfather is getting back home, so my mother will pretend this never happened, instead she will complain about how much she had to do and how unhelpful and disobedient I am. After all, this is part of her master plan to get rid of me one day!” - Saying that, she slowly began to rise up from the stone that she was sitting on, she then bends so as to be able to reach Annie’s picture and kiss her goodbye. “Annie, do you think she will ever love me or care for me?”
She doesn’t wait for an answer, once again she breaths in deeply and slowly, filling herself with strength and willpower, the one she will need to face her mother’s rage. Then with determination she starts walking away from Annie’s grave and the ones around her, until she gets out of the cemetery.
………

Over twenty years have passed, and I still remember my afternoons at the local graveyard, the only place I used to feel at home. During that time I seriously contemplated the idea of joining my dead friends as an easy way to escape, but I guess my warrior spirit keep me from doing it.
I was told so many times and even read in many books that the people that harm us the most are the ones that teach us the most too. I believe that is true but sometimes it is still hard to digest, especially if the people who hurt you are your closest relatives.
From a physical level, I still feel the pain and the emotional abandonment, while the same question still bothers me sometimes: “Why doesn’t she love me?”
From a spiritual level I do appreciate the teachings that help me to become who I’m today, the challenge was rough but I had managed. Today I’m free and full of love, I have learnt to love myself just the way I am and to love the rest of the world the same way, just the way they are… including her!


© 2010 Gabriela Abalo


I'm re-posting this story from the archives for: Magpie Tales - click on the link for more amazing writing,  

27 comments:

senderupwords said...

This is an interesting and touching post Gabriela. Nice Mag. Love and Light, Sender

Kay L. Davies said...

A beautiful and touching story. Thank you.

Luis Gomez said...

Touching. Beautiful. Thank you.

Wine and Words said...

"the people that harm us the most are the ones that teach us the most too". I like this Gabi, and also believe it true. Difficult in the moment though. You are out the other side and shining very brightly indeed :)

Bloggin'withAmanda said...

it is sad to think any child suffers like this there is truth in this story then we are blessed you did not join your friends.

Jingle said...

your opening immediately drew me in, all is past, speaking to the dead is the safest and freest way to unwind and rediscover oneself.

beautiful magpie.

Arts Web Show said...

Wow, this is an excellent story

Diane T said...

Yiur warrior spirit kept you alive. A prolific story indeed!

JeffScape said...

Did she know Annie in life? Or just attribute a friendship to her?

Nice piece. Sad, and very real.

christine said...

Nice story and so poignant.

Brian Miller said...

i spent time among the graves growing up...this is nicely written...sad but strikes a nerve...nice mag

willow said...

I connected with this piece on more than one level. Thank you.

Stafford Ray said...

Just read through the last five or six posts and couldn't help feeling there is a theme of suffering running through them all and abuse of some kind comes through. Seems you are mining a bad time in your own life for material and I just hope it is really in the past!

Francisca said...

Gabi, I don't know whether you are writing fiction or autobiography, but either way your story resonates. I can't say my mother abused me like this, but I do think she was incapable of really loving. Period. When I was a child, I thought it was only me. Later I learned it wasn't. I long long ago forgave her and accepted her for herself, a woman with her own journey. When she died this year, I had no unfinished business with her. Thank you for sharing.

kathew said...

MY mother suffered abandonment in her childhood- but never like yours (I think ) Like the Phoenix you rose from the ashes and more than survived. I was lucky as my mother knew how to be a mother.
Thanks for your nice comments.

Lena said...

What a poignant tale, and one I can relate to.

My mother was selfish and even a bit jealous of my twin and I. It hurt that she never took an interest in our future. Wasn't interested in our high school years at all, just more interested in us funding her nights out. She had a difficult time accepting the aging process. And boy could she shout!

But you're right, Gabi, I did learn from her, too. I couldn't understand why at times either!

Thank you for this post.....

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

so very touching,sad and well written.
thank goodness for your warrior spirit.

Myrna R. said...

I'm glad you transcended the pain of your childhood. These things do make us stronger, still we wish we didn't have those lessons.

Carrie Burtt said...

Gabriela your painful past has give you a tender yet strong heart....and an amazing talent for capturing it on the page.

Kristen Haskell said...

I too connected with this on so many levels. All questions I too have asked and feelings I have felt.

It does make us stronger. I think mental illness is to blame for so much of the dysfunction. I often wonder if the true illness could have been treated and corrected, how would we have turned out. My childhood has certainly made me grateful for all of my healthy loving relationships now. Warm wishes, Kristen

Tumblewords: said...

A powerful piece - tender, touching and so real. Great writing!

e@thejoyofbeingamonkeywrench said...

great visuals

Abhilasha-The Desire said...

Such a sad story when a child has to sufffer abuse from a parent..Very touching story indeed..
brilliant

Kirk Jusko said...

"Her eyes are the window to her soul while her face is a well learned masquerade to conceal her real feelings."

Great sentence!

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

lovely Gabi...I can relate and understand the frustration of being treated unfairly; but as you said, you had the choice to learn from it, and here you are! sharing your wonderful heart with us thru your poems, pictures and stories. Un abrazo!

Helen said...

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger ... truer words were never spoken ~ you told the story courageously.

ninotaziz said...

A burden of a lifetime must be shed. Shrugged off. Cared for. Learned from

and yOu shall learn from light....

Ayong Wang, jempotlah......