The Smallest Victory
Just because they’re your family doesn’t mean you’re tied to them. She learned that the hard way. Birds, cats, squirrels. Sometimes it’s time for the young to leave the nest. For good. It’s something she doesn’t talk about because in many cultures people assume your mother loves you and that family is a warm place. At even the slightest mention she’s shunned and judged. “But it’s your mother.” “Oh, she loves you.” These are the dismissive words she grew up hearing. In the beginning, she didn’t understand the gravity of the situation, not until therapy. Thank goodness for therapy.
By law she was homeless, though she wouldn’t acknowledge that. “In danger of being homeless” was her preference. Even still, she stuck to her guns and pressed on. The risk was entirely worth not going back and having no control over her own happiness. Last year, she attended school as an emancipated student and she never looked back. As an emotionally taxing Spring semester was coming to an end she secured a job and found a place to live which doubled as a dog business. All in the knick of time. From there, sleepless nights with separation anxiety crazed dogs. It served its purpose for the time being.
A few months later she was able to land a better job, pay back her emergency dorming balance, and move to where she lives now thanks to a Christmas bonus. The victory was here, though heavy it weighed. Independent status at last. There were times when she was barely scraping by and starving. But it was better than being in a toxic and violently homophobic household. And she’d do it again.