Daily Prompt asked us today: As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?
As a victim of child abuse (mentally, physically and sexually), I don’t remember having a vision of a potential adult life. I was too busy being scared, too busy hovering in fear of what I would do wrong next time. Was my desk in perfect order? My elbows of the table when I was eating?Did I shuffle my feet when I walked, or cut the onions the perfect size? Was he drunk, and if he was, how drunk was he – hopefully enough to be passed out, because that meant peace, at least for a little while.
I found my salvation and solitude in books, and he even managed to take that away, allowing me to have one book per month. So I rewrote them, I turned them into scripts, I imagined them differently. They where my only place for comfort.
This and the fact that few years later (at mere 17) I met a young man, stationed in my home town, who taught me for the first time how to express kindness, gentleness and love, in a language which, until then I only had spoken during school lessons: English. He taught me, in English how to feel, how to get mad, how to express myself, how to be anything but that scared little girl.
Then he had to leave, his time of being stationed in Germany over. It was time for him to go back home. And I was lost.
A week later he called me, proposed, and told me to jump on a plane. I did.
The last words my Father spoke to me that morning, as I stood in the hallway, a suitcase in my hand were harsh, but nothing new, calling me stupid and a whore.
24 years later, two kids, and after many years of marriage, some turbulent, others quiet, I found my place. With him, still, always with him. A man who taught me so much, supporting me, believing in me, waiting for me to heal some, if not all of the scars I am burdened with. He taught me how to feel, how to be pissed off, how to fight, how to love, how to laugh, and all that in a language I learned to love. So when people ask me why I chose to become a writer, but not in my mother tongue, it is because of that.
English is my language of love.
Fast forward 24 years later.