Passing the torch - Part One (Oh yes, there has been a lot happening)

It's the torch one hopes to never have to light. It's the ragged stick scraped from the mud, wound with pieces of your own bloody shirt. It's the shivering hand reaching to flick the ancient Bic, praying the cold will not extinguish the flame.

Then it becomes the blaze of illumination, so sharp that it blinds you. But when your blinking eyes finally adjust, you'll know it to be the single thing you need to carry you through the winding nights. You will falter. Your feet will trip on the roots and weeds clawing at your calves, but you can see what's in front of you, and because of that, you can take the next step. This is the torch I lit 25 years ago when I called Child Protective Services. I opened my eyes and I saw. I hurled a rod into the gears and the entire machine screamed. And my torch joins with another's, newly lit.

Audrey's torch has hissed to life. I recognize the flame in her eyes. I hear the hardness in her voice. I feel the heat radiating off her words and I know that she is becoming illuminated.

Hope is a dangerous creature. Legacies are even more fraught with danger. But it is her that will carry the hope. She will be the next to step out of the cycle, even as I know the road ahead will be felled with traps and scars. She's got this....core inside of her. An incalculable ability to seek help when she is unsafe. When Cassie, out of her mind on drugs, did not come home, she told someone, even as she knew it might mean CPS would take them away again. When my stepfather ripped the head off of a bird to teach Julien a lesson, she told her teachers exactly what had happened. She did so knowing my mother and stepfather would crucify her.

And they did. All of the words they'd smeared me with, they painted over her in wide swaths. Destroyer of the family. Trying to break them up. Bitch. Crazy. Trying to ruin them. "You're just like Teressa," they said.

"When they said that," Audrey told me, "I was proud".

This entry was originally posted at
How old is she now?
Maybe it's that time in one's development where the point of no return had been overstepped - where it's now "if you try to beat the shit out of me, I smack you back!" because it's not anymore adults looking down on a child smaller and weaker than them, it's them looking in the eyes of someone equal to them.

It's strange how these things are...
Some kids, abused and grown up in broken homes, still they know or have some kind of image in them how it's actually supposed to be. They recognize what's going on around them is wrong.
And some others, they don't seem to have that - they continue the broken structures they've been taught or they're afraid as fuck to fight back.
I don't know how it happens that one decides for either option of these... You know, as sometimes there aren't that many factors around someone which would encourage the "fight back!"-option.
If someone asks you "How did you make it to pick up a reason to resist?", you really can't nail it down where you knew it from how things actually had to be, in your opinion. All you can reduce it to is: "This is not how it's supposed to be." Who- and whatever taught you.
Yeah, I've always thought I'd have liked that kid.

I hope to hell she didn't get too broken when she was younger.
"When they said that," Audrey told me, "I was proud".

I can think of few things that would give you more hope, satisfaction, and comfort.