The recent events in Egypt have struck me in a strange way.
I was driving along the road this week listening to NPR and I find I am reacting emotionally to the news of the dictator Mubarak — like I did to my father’s treatment growing up.
The fear and the almost frantic way in which the people of Egypt stayed in Freedom Square — the fear of a vicious dictator. I know that feeling.
This is something I wrote in 2007. I am so, so grateful that most of these emotions are not still with me today.
These eyes, …
What you see there in my eyes is pain. All the things I try to push away in order to do — this — day. Yes, I was yelled at, raged at almost daily growing up when he wasn’t working or traveling for more than eighteen years. Oh, she was so sad — always sinking into the pretext of being sick so that she wouldn’t have to face the fact that he was yelling, rebuking, bullying. Making his children shrink into a ball of tears and fear. Stunted, unable to process the world around. Yes, she drank, and drank, until a week before he died; she was burying herself in a bottle of Vodka. Yes, he died, his brain slowly crumbling around him. Yes, that melancholy that has followed me — sometimes chased me — through my life. It comes in and intends to stay. Until I rise up and scream, NOoooooooo! You are not welcome! These are the demons that come and sometimes I can’t make them go away. I just crawl up into a ball and let the waves of pain wash over me.
I did that. But today these eyes, which have been trying to tell the world what he did and how it feels, today these eyes are saying it hurts, but I am strong.
I am not going to repeat history.
I am going to be someone who can stop the rage, listen to my fears, process my pain, and I will NOT, above all, take it out on my beautiful husband and children.
These eyes are saying, I am strong.