What Happened

What Happened in my family would take a lot of words to describe, and someday I will. I have to. I don’t know any other way to make it stop haunting me. Right now it’s just always there, in my peripheral vision. It’s not scary, but when I try to look at it straight-on, I feel lost in my anger and sadness. Shadow-boxing in the darkness.

I looked at it last night, in the form of…well, forms. I was trying to organize my papers. If you ever want to see ADHD at its best, come watch me organize my papers.

Filing for divorce forms. Temporary child support hearing forms (where I learned how to present my case and label my exhibits). Financial statements and agreement forms; final decree forms. Motion to amend forms; 18 months of waiting, then that horrible hearing. Psych hospital forms. Forms from two cases of the state vs. my ex-husband for child abuse. Pictures of my toddler’s bruised face. “Acceptance” of responsibility for having terrorized a different child, and later, complete reversal and denial of wrongdoing… all there in my basement, filling multiple filing totes, gathering dust and holding pain.

What Happened drew close to me during the Kavanaugh hearing, as I’ve written about before. It nudges me when I listen to stories of powerful men using the system to exert control over others—Epstein, Weinstein, but not just them. Fucking Tr^#p and his brutal victimhood, every single day.

At events that involve the kids, What Happened is there, right in the middle, and we all pretend it isn’t. I want so much to live in a world where What Happened, didn’t. I don’t want to hurt my kids by talking about it. But someday, I’m going to have to exorcise it.

Tonight I’m going to gather up those forms and bring them into work tomorrow. I’ll scan them after work and put them on a couple thumb drives (one for backup). I can’t keep you from taking up room in my head, but you sure as hell don’t get room in my house anymore.

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