I have always followed my heart, and it has always gotten me into trouble. So many times in life I knew better then to give someone yet another chance, whether it be a parent, a boss, a sibling, a friend…when people do not have my best interest at heart and they do nothing but hurt me, I need to listen to my head and walk away. Sounds simple right? I grew up in an environment of non-stop violence. I never knew from day to day if there was just going to be a lot of screaming and things being thrown around or if someone was going to get hurt… I went away to college and started dating a guy who seemed genuinely horrified by what I had endured and swore that he would never hurt me… Yet in both of these situations I suffered things that no human being should ever have to suffer at the hands of their own family or someone who is supposed to love them. Why didn't I walk away you ask? Enduring that kind of horrendous abuse was easier than being all alone in the world, and if they happened to kill me, I figured they would be doing me a huge favor by ending my suffering once and for all. Now, my mother is very ill and I have an order of protection against my only brother. So many people are telling me it's time to walk away. I look at my mother, such a beautiful person that got sucked into such ugly circumstances, and realize that we were both poisoned and confused by our situation to such an extent that she stopped being a mother and I started being one. Do I punish her by walking away from her not knowing how much time she has left, or do I keep what's left of my heart alive and tap into the shred of innocence that remains to show her the compassion she's been robbed of for most of her life? By staying, I face homelessness and losing everything I own when the bank takes her home, I face the agony of watching her give up the fight when she realizes she can never go home again and I risk being killed by a brother who battles the demons that swirl inside of him from a lifetime of alcoholism, drug abuse and violence. Despite everything that they've done to me, it has been done to them too, and although I have every right to walk away, I am all they have left. Heart or head people…you tell me…

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