What If?

What If?

Still thinking this through, so I tried on a different pair of shoes. What if someone—for years—co-opted my experience of growing up rural, relatively poor, white, child of an abused, traumatized, mentally ill former sharecropping mother and an orphaned father who struggled to act the man model he missed, economically insecure, convinced “the man” with the personalized license plate and new car would always come out with me owing him at the end of the “settlin’ up” time, weighted down with class shame in spite of a PhD and professional accomplishment, at 53 still working through the generational hopelessness of leaky roofs that leak your whole life because that’s what roofs do, traumatized myself by inherited, aggravated, and so-long untreated mental illness, still feeling in my bones all of this experience which will probably still be in my bones long after I am only bones? What if? Even if they tried to “help” me, “live” like me, “be” me and mine? Could they, really, be? How would I—I (“I” in the BOLD that Facebook lacks)—feel? What if? That’s the best I got at the moment.


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