In the midst of all this rise of fascism and overt racism in the world, I have been waging my own personal battle of love with my mom, who is the last blood family member that I keep in touch with–before this summer the last time I had seen my half brother was at least 5 years previous.
 
Both of my parents struggled with mental illness throughout my childhood, and I have inherited that legacy from my mom as well as intergenerational trauma. Recently she stopped responding to my text messages and suggested it might be better if SHE were the parent I was estranged from, rather than my father, whose danger to my life and limb was cause for my departure over 13 years ago. I feel so scared of losing my mom as well, but I feel like in order for our love and respect for one another to thrive I also need to assert some boundaries, and especially limit her ability to use my father as a reminder of how deeply she can wound me.
 
On Tuesday I started attending a 10-week Generative Somatics group oriented towards QTPOC survivorship. I am feeling really good and also really challenged by it. I feel like in being estranged from my blood family I am also cut off from parts of myself, including my body and allowing myself to own my feelings about being a mixed race kid whose family is divided by racism and trauma.
Each day my homework is to spend time centering myself, feeling my connection to the ground, the connections between each part of my body and the others, to feel myself in the world, eyes wide open, a part of the past, present, and future. I do not know what this holds for me, but I am willing to find out.
-RD

Heading deeper into my season of grief, and yet feeling permeated with light, beaming from every pore.

January the year I turned 18 I “ran away” for the last time. That time I made it to safety, after so many tries, so many threats, so many terrors.

It was not very safe, but it was safer there than I ever had been, even walking late nights with my sharpest key between my knuckles, meth addicts in place of zombies, because Snohomish County is a place that I came from.

I still have running away dreams, so many of my dreams involve being chased, having to go into hiding. Waypoints on the two highways that segmented the town we lived in, bus stops and routes that ought to overlaps but don’t, the precarious nature of navigating between them. Bike paths that end in train stations with seven stacked labyrinths and no elevator. Waiting behind a door to fool those who might open it into believing the room is empty.

But I open a new door this year, and I want to stand in the middle of the room, under the brightest light. It is terrifying, and I am alive. It is dangerous, and I am living.

I did not kill myself by the time I turned 25. I am 30 years old now, and that is a fucking miracle. He didn’t kill me, either.

Sometimes safe is just the place where he isn’t, and sometimes I make it myself, thumb prints in clay. And I did. I got me here, fists and boots and traveling spoon, spoked wheels and determination, a hard no and a hard yes. Heart in red marker on my sleeve, because I am not afraid of caring (anymore).

It is in winter that we dig up the old roots, and plant new bulbs.