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Inhibition to Habitation

Rivky Winter

As I write, the sun shines through the slats in the blinds, striping my desk with light; a gentle breeze strokes my cheek. I take a deep breath, present in the moment, grateful for the tranquility that steals into my heart and whispers of healing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

For many years — from childhood, really — I was unable to be present, to be within the moment and the situation. I come from a broken home and my mother was preoccupied with tending to her own scars. I wasn’t part of her picture. I always knew that I was different from the people around me — neighbors, kids in school, families. And it wasn’t just because of my clothing, which was salvaged from Salvation Army trash bags, while my classmates spent each weekend at the mall to escape the indignity of ever being seen twice in same outfit. My isolation stemmed from more than our differences in wardrobe. I seemed to think about things differently, I didn’t always pick up on the elementary school social cues, and I wasn’t interested in the petty games. I knew I didn’t belong. At times I wondered if I would ever belong anywhere in the entire world. Most frightening of all was that I wasn’t allowed to ask. Anytime I allowed myself to feel that I wanted something — and summoned up the courage to ask for it — I was ridiculed and my request shot down. Ah, I realized, I deserve nothing. Soon, my subconscious took this a step further. Not only did I not deserve anything, I didn’t want anything. I hid any tiny wishes even from myself; I stifled and buried them deep under the ruins of my sense of self.

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