The year Jonah and I were adopted we had three different Christmases.
The first one was fake. I remember my tights sagging at the ankles and twisting a plastic bubble watch around my wrist staring at the star sat ridiculously on top of a fake tree, just daring to take down the whole contraption.
The trapped feeling was palpable.
I swear I could taste it.
The second was when we were finally put back together.
I remember riding in the car on the way to his home, listening to Jonah sob uncontrollably. He wanted to stay with his family, the family that wanted him.
Sometimes I wished he stayed there. I wish he stayed there and grew up feeling secure and significant.
I wish he knew how significant he was to me. I wish that me being there was enough to stop his tears.
Presents were presented like hands over our mouths muffling our screams.
Forget the past two years, forget the crying and the fear and the rage.
Forget sleeping in a basement in the cold and gathering Apple Jacks crumbs from under the door.
Forget that I was fucking four years old.
You are so lucky that you were so young, so you don't remember...Jonah he was too old, it affected him differently.
When we arrived home more presents were given. So many gifts from random people. Bears and baby strollers, babies, clothes.
So much shit.
There is a video of me standing on a step stool in the bathroom washing my hands. Just washing my hands obsessively. Everyone else is in the living room opening gifts and I am in the bathroom washing my hands.
Pay no mind to the four-year-old washing her hands for hours on end cause she's trying to control her tiny life.
You are so lucky people wanted you.
I've been told this my entire life.
I watch my daughters playing and realize that they will never have to think that. They will always just understand and never question their worth.
I think of my close friend who lost her fourteen-year-old son in September.
This is her first Christmas mutilated.
I think we have all had Christmases like that.
When nothing is what we really want.
What we want is our old lives back. Our old attachments, our boring mundane cookie cutter fucking lives back.
Back to the days when people weren't dead and everything was fine.
Those of us that have had longer to process the pain hold on like hell to the small great things that make us smile and feel alive.
Others will learn that super gluing posters over gaping holes never fixed anything.