The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 44

they wrapped their arms around me.

“I’m sorry I’m like this.”

Dad held me tighter. “Don’t ever apologize. Not for this.”

I shook my head. “I hate being this way.”

Mom’s chest shook as she to keep from crying again. “We love you,” she said. “Always will.”

“We’re gonna get through this,” Dad said, smiling even though his voice was cracking.

“How?” Even now, I couldn’t see past the collective sadness that had defined our family for so long.

Mom grabbed my hand—the hand that had held a razor to my wrist moments earlier—and gave it a squeeze. “Together,” she said.

Time slowed. My heart rate slowed. The bad thoughts untangled themselves and slithered out of my skull. They’d return, I knew, and with a vengeance. But I know in that moment we were drawing strength from one another, huddled within the eye of a swirling storm. I was—I am—so grateful that my parents’ words were true that night, even if they didn’t fully believe them themselves. Years of therapy and medication followed that night, both of which helped me overcome the turmoil of my unkind, unquiet mind. But in the end, it was the gradual realization that I wasn’t a burden—that I had parents who were crazy enough to adopt me, to put up with me.

To love me.

There were bad thoughts and bad days, but at least I was in good company.