It’s been a journey, deciding how and when to publish this essay, When the Situation Arises, if at all. I don’t think I’ve written anything quite so vulnerable. But I wouldn’t be sharing it here and now if I hadn’t come to feel, deeply, that I really did want to share it, with my name and all.
Two years ago, well after I had written this, I came across a beautiful essay, The Birds: Heron by Anne Liu Kellor in Entropy Magazine. I’d never read the magazine before, but her essay haunted and charmed me, and I’ve returned to the magazine many times since, finding more and more essays and poems I love.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered Entropy’s Woven series, which features stories about domestic violence or abuse. By nature, the essays are heavy, and I’ve rarely read more than one or two on a given day. Reading them, though, has been more therapeutic than I could have guessed. Sometimes, seeing another’s pain, I feel vicariously seen. Sometimes, reading about the dark hours someone passed through reminds me, paradoxically, of just how secure and loved and safe I feel now. Mostly, I feel hopeful that with each essay, we can learn a little more about the nuances of private pain, as well as the situations that are often kept in secrecy or portrayed in broad and oversimplified strokes.
I don’t expect anyone to read this essay, and this might not be the essay for you. I kind of regret asking so many of my writing friends to read it along the way, though I can’t say how much that feedback has helped me weigh out this story as it needed to be told.
If you do read it, know that it means a lot. I hope, if you read it, this situation makes a little more sense, and, just maybe, seems a little more preventable.
Either way, thank you. I have an abundance of friends and family in my corner, and I am forever grateful for that.