Holding Pattern

My wrists are swollen from transcribing abuse narratives. Hello IcyHot, and, appropriately, hello Traumeel. I want to believe in arnica and the healing properties of the full moon. I’m Mulder but with alternative medicine, sans a Scully to keep me in check, my basement mania full blown.

There’s obvious danger in listening, witnessing. One has to set firm boundaries so as not to lose oneself in the subjectivities of others. Otherwise, collapse. Here I am, the girl being sent to kindergarten on the bus, bleeding, missing approximately half a face. Here I am, the beyond-exhausted mother who saw said daughter stumbling around devoid of skin, shrugged, and went to work. Here I am, the school hallway during the morning disco parade of tiny light-up shoes and, today, a trail of blood. Here I am, the shocked school nurse. Here I am, answering the phone. Thanks for holding, as in waiting, containment, and resilience–holding on. All we can do.


Street scene in Athens, Greece


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