Not Enough

The music distracted her, but not enough. Not enough. Those two words kept playing in the background like the strings of her violent symphony. As long as the music kept playing, it was enough. They were songs of love, or something like it. She was happy to have the distraction from where she had just been and where she was heading.

It was nice that the white man would drive her to the courthouse, but it was not enough. His presence was both calming and uncomfortable. The pain and anger she felt were so familiar, but he did not share that same pain. Even if he understood it, that would not be enough. No one understood it, not even her.

With the courthouse in view, her music stopped. It was time to be an adult, or something like it. She believed that she was doing what was best, at least that’s what she told herself. How could she know? An adopted daughter of a white woman, an abused child when she should have been protected, and now a mother herself, who could convince her that surrendering the care of her daughter was best?

It was enough to make her wish she could drown her doubt in pills. She had tried that once, or something like it. The last attempt was only ten days ago. She wanted it to work and yet she hoped to hang on. One ambulance ride, three bags of fluid, and six days in an institution helped bring to her this point. She was here. Still here. It was a break, but not enough. A cry for help, but who was listening?

Halfway through the invasive and confusing paperwork, her mother arrived. The baby was not with her. The walls of the courthouse helped restrain her anger, but not enough. She cursed freely and boldly, much to the frustration of her mother. It helped relieve the slightest bit of pain while also keeping others from coming too close. Close was the source of her pain in the first place.

Touch and distance. Distance and touch. Her life kept repeating the pattern of a violin string – capable of beautiful music, full of tension, and the occasional break. Yet each time the string would break, a new one was placed back on the instrument of her story. Maybe one day the right notes would all fall in place, but not today. She needed more time, more distance, more guidance, and more love. Today there was not enough.

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