For each of us, the symptoms are the same.  The rushing heart, the twitchy little fingers, the swirling stomach full of nausea.  I remember my sister telling me what hereditary means.  “You’ll get it too.”  And I did, I do, and I will until I don’t anymore.  Most of the time it’s only a nuisance, gnawing at the frayed corners of my nature.  When the conditions are right, its hooks sink in deep.  The women in my family have taught me many methods of eradication.  Watching her baby’s chest rise and fall in its sleep calmed my mother.  Gardening gave her a sense of control in a world that wouldn’t love her for the right reasons.  For my sister, exercise and routine quelled the pent up rage that comes from being silenced.  I have yet to create the algorithm perfect for my own body, but I have been working on piecing it together.  Free writing allows me to scratch off the thickened skin of my uncertainty.  Warm water soothes and tames and washes away anything I can’t acknowledge just yet.  Epsom salts and scrap paper come together to create a papier-mâché coat to shield me from myself temporarily.  I can’t say that it’s a cure-all, but I’m so relieved to feel warmth again.


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