jpeter: (can you still feel the butterflies)
[personal profile] jpeter
growing up, my parents told me day in and day out that i would never amount to anything, that i shouldn't have been born, that should have died in the womb. my mother was a sadistic schizophrenic cunt who took pleasure in dragging me through our house by my ankles, locking me in closets and cellars. my father was a gentle, solitary man who lacked the moral wherewithal to consider his children human. their violence was compounded by a more pervasive cultural isolation typical for immigrants on the move, vying for a bid at the American Dream: a house in the suburbs, fulfillment, independence.

for many years i questioned the value of every breath i took (this was before i became semi-political.) it was hard for me to let myself succeed at anything, because i knew nothing i ever did could absolve me of the crime of simply existing. every hint of even the most minor success confronted me with a veiled abyss of failure.

but in 2002, after my friend aaron smashed his cellphone, downed a bottle of valium and checked out early, something inside me snapped. i suddenly realized i did not want to end things that way. so i did what anyone else in my predicament might do; i moved to the nearest city, sobered up, applied to grad school (harhar.)

3 years later after running away again, and breaking away from my family for the last time, i returned to the first real claim to life that i'd ever made. i submitted my long overdue M.A. thesis in June 2008. i received my diploma in the mail today, and not without a painful amalgam of grief and elation.

this is the kind of ending i'd had in mind; the kind that open up to new beginnings.

september 8th, 2008. mom, dad: i am ready to finally bury you.
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