I’ve been watching the trials of Gabriel Fernandez. I must be numbed to the horrors of the abuses he and others have lived through and died from because one of the first things that ran through my mind was, “I’m so grateful my mother didn’t kill me.” I sobbed in gratitude for myself and grief for Gabriel and so many others like him that don’t survive the damage wrought by those who we think are supposed to love them, or us.
The pain of watching the story of Gabriel and those whose lives he touched brought forth my own pain and the reconnection to the pain of others in similar situations. It has compounded the frustrations I’ve felt for decades at systems’ dismissal of children in trouble that are now mirrored in the same systems’ failures surrounding the Fuckery. The reminder that bureaucracies are designed to preserve institutions, not protect the people their mission statements claim to do; that these institutions we rely on for safety and services are more afraid of hemorrhaging money and power and control than helping those most vulnerable and valuable.
The Gabriel story brings back–fully–the loneliness of me as a child and amplifies that of the fifty year-old me as well as the need to ‘be good’. The need to please in order to feel connected to something non-violent, soft, and gentle, loved and touched by love.
It also reminds me that if I allow the threats to stifle me, I’m as evil as those who procure, enslave, murder, and bury the Indigenous children and women disappeared for sex across this continent.