Who am I? My name is inconsequential, a tagline known only while I live. I am a daughter, sister unnoticed, wife, survivor, victim, child. I am a woman screaming—a writer, but above all else, I am a mother. Just like everyone else, I want to be remembered, not by my marbleized ideal, but the imprint I leave upon the tapestry of humanity, the legacy born in my children. What mark do I leave in the wake of my daughter’s ruination? How will her life impact the progression of society, the betterment of the world community, and the spiritual existence of others, as I so imagined long ago? Only time will tell the scope of her influence and the breadth of my voice as I send out evolutions of my authentic self through her laugh, her innocence, her corruption, her pain, and her smile.
Had I known my life would end up the way it has, and that motherhood would present me with such trying and difficult circumstances, I do not know if I would make the same decisions as I did. Yes, I question my choice to have children, not because I do not adore my daughters with every fiber of my being and would stop at nothing to provide them whatever they need, but I cannot help but wonder what life had in store for me prior to Kamy’s arrival. Like any other person who contemplates their existence, who wonders what missed opportunities lay scattered on the road not chosen, I ponder an independent life, a life not defined by my dependent child, but one fashioned of my own design. We do not get a choice; fate guides our feet as we traverse life. We have but two choices: fight our realities, forever struggling to survive a life not afforded to us, or accept destiny, submit to our calling, and live a prosperous, happy, and fulfilling existence given what God provides, for better or worse, for good or bad, in sickness and in health, to the most desperate and darkest of times, forever, Amen.
I don't have the answers. I search the world and Heaven for reasons of my survival. Am I here to make others listen, to speak for those who fall silent, to stand for those who crumble? I seek the means to explain the enigma that is my life, and what I have learned is this: there are no secrets that require revealing, no master key that unlocks the centuries old questions that plague humanity regarding the purpose of life, no cryptogram that deciphers the puzzle. The answer lies within, a simple and quiet solution burrowed deep inside the soul, a roar cloaked in a whisper, waiting for its unleashing into the still and stagnant air: the will and determination to persevere.
I dream of the exodus of the meek, the uprising of the forgotten. I want to arm legions with the most powerful weapon ever: their voice. I talk to Kamy about her illnesses; I educate and inform her so she remains enlightened to that which makes her special. I teach her to be an advocate for herself, to stand up for her rights and for the rights of all those who face the daunting task of living in our society with crippling mental illness; she has no choice. If she wants to lead any kind of satisfying life, she must not only accept her fate, but celebrate it. She is broken, flawed, but she is mine, my darling little girl who dreams of being an artist, who worships superheroes and Peyton Manning, who fights the monsters set on consuming her, who faces each day in the prison of her tortured mind with bravery and wit, who wants so desperately just to be included—my daughter. I do not know what the future holds for Kamy, or me, or any of us. Life is uncertain, an undefined amalgam ever shifting and changing. I do know, however, that whatever obstacles we encounter, no matter how mighty the storm, my daughter will not lose her grip. She came from me—a survivor.