My father died when I was just shy of 5 and my mom struggled with bipolar disorder and drug addiction. My extended family vacillated between heroic and toxic. To feel safe, I made wishes in the form of books, writing stories from age 5 about intact families and kids who went to Disney World instead of the child shrink’s office. And I played God, too. At age 7, I remember telling myself that if I could make it home on my bike in four minutes or less, I would be safe for 24 hours.
Years later, as an adult who had carved out a life for herself and largely rid herself of the toxicity associated with family (I don’t have the secret but boy, moving to a new continent helped!), I was happy, feeling distant from the incessant fear and anxiety of my childhood.
And then I saw the two pink lines on my pregnancy test. Read the rest of this entry →