In the bag.
We all sat around to hear another story. I knew this one well enough… but I still went to hear what would come out and to support my friend. I watched as the other women put down the work of their hands to listen in… and I heard this well worn story with new ears.
I heard the curse of a mother whispered over a newborn’s head still slimy and wet. I could feel the same wet feeling behind my eyes as this woman whispered the curse out loud…she had carried it for years. And every despicable thing which happened to her from her birth forward she would tuck it into the bag of the scary curse. All of the injustice and abandonment would make sense to her in some way…as long as she stuffed it into that bag. Her mother had cursed her as she drew her first breath and those words went deep and became her.
The women looked on and shook their heads, recalling the births of their own babies… the joy and tears and the love…the way babies normally breathe deep when they end up here all shocked and surprised. Babies come with wide eyes searching for their mother and what she will be like.
The woman kept on with her story…. a story of a child who was always “grown” , never a child… always working hard to stuff the storm of life into that bag of the scary curse. She never knew any different … she didn’t know the other little girls weren’t growing up just like her. She kept the secrets of her family… but she never really knew if they were secrets…or shame… or just what was happening to everyone else…so in the bag they would go. In the bag where things made more sense….where she deserved it. Besides plenty of adults knew what was happening… and none seemed to stop it. Adults and relatives would shake their heads… but no one would dare to help her…and besides that, the little girl never knew she needed help….she never knew she was even a “little” girl. She had always been grown.
This was always her normal to carry this through life…to let her mother stand in the light…and for her to pick up her trash. Because maybe one day… her mother would recall the curse… and they could all be free.
I looked around the room as the woman told her story and I took in the faces of the listeners. It seemed too much for them. Hard stories are hard. She cried as she recalled the loves of her life… but she seemed so far away in the memory I don’t think she even noticed her tears. I know I shivered a lot while I listened…. I shivered and I wasn’t cold.
“I would not want to live my life over… but I am here now. I would never want it to change at all. Everything I went through…He brought me through. I want only the best for them and for them to be blessed. He loves them. I could not have done the things in my adult life had I not seen everything I have seen. I could not speak into others lives the way I do… had I not gone through these things. I am thankful for all of it. Everything is for His Glory…and if I haven’t seen it by now… I am excited to see it happen! So don’t feel bad for me… I don’t feel bad for me… I am strong and He was always with me.”