Self-Negotiation

  1. The thought of physical contact has begun to scare you again.
  2. One morning, in the middle of breakfast making, your mother’s relative reaches out and grabs at your breast like you and her somehow shared this hollow space you call your body. Your mind trips into your memory and you are seven years old and another woman is playing x and o’s with your privates.
  3. Maybe it is because, when for the second time in your life, you attempted to tell your mother, that someone had attempted to break into your body, that it made you uncomfortable, that it left an open box, an untidy mess, a drowning sound, awoke a hurtful space in your head, all she had to say was, “just ignore it”.
  4. Maybe the little girl that lives under your skin is finally tired of the wait. Maybe she has stopped dreaming of homes that can be found in women that birth you. Maybe she finally stretches out of the cowering position she has become accustomed to and assumes the position of a rabid dog protecting the things it still remembers it owns.
  5. The other day you meet with the man that you are falling for, and every time he attempts to touch you, you have to remind the little girl under your skin that it’s ok, that he is a safe place, that he knows about her, that he wants to protect her.
  6. There are two versions of you in this body. The first learns to survive intimate relationships by not being sober. The second constantly negotiates with the first, reminding her of all the reasons she should continue giving life a second chance.  

 

Photo Credit: Women of Abstract Expressionism at the Denver Art Museum (credit: CBS)

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