Cocoon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   After one initially finds themselves in uncomfortable surroundings, they gradually become accustomed to it, however difficult it may be to digest in the beginning. As a little girl growing up with my parents and sister, we seemed like a fairly content family. How wonderfully deceptive those masks were!

I found that my parents' relationship started going downhill a year after I was born, when my sister was two years old. And most likely, my mother's depression began then. My sister and I always sensed something was wrong, but never knew quite what it was, not even when the police came several times because of "domestic affairs." Sure, they had their problems, but didn't everyone? And wasn't everyone supposed to experience depression, eating disorders, violence, anxiety, and nervous breakdowns? Wasn't that just part of life?

Things became almost unbearable after our move. I was twelve, and I was just beginning to break out of my shell into a beautiful butterfly, only to be shoved into the cocoon once again. Life was not easy, to say the least. Mom left all her friends. Dad enjoyed his new job and new home, but couldn't say the same for his depressed wife and children. I started cutting class on a regular basis; I lost all motivation. The cocoon was nice and cozy; the outside scary and cold. My sister became bulimic; Mother had always praised a beautiful body more than a strong heart.

Finally, it was my sister's turn to fly away from this nest of negativity: she went off to college in another state. I thought her wings wouldn't fail her. I remember watching her walking away from the car, not once looking back. All my life I thought of her as so strong and unstoppable, so certainly her wish to leave her source of pain would be granted. But the family curse would not be broken so easily. Less than a month later, she returned, forever giving up her hopes of education and a better life.

She'll be moving in two weeks, as will my mother, eventually. But first, Mom needs to strengthen her mind, she says, for it has been weak for so long. Isn't this funny? Another person I thought so strong (which of course, made her strong enough to be cruel), who really was weaker than I could ever be. She still loves my dad, so what should I do? If my heart were made of stone, I could tell her to leave, tell her I can't stand her verbal abuse any longer, which keeps me in the nest, unable to fly free. But it isn't so easy when you can feel, and when you can't see the one you love (even if she is the cause of your downfall) suffer so much pain. I always thought she hated us, especially me. Now I see her love is the very reason that she cannot leave. She has made us her life. Dealing with my life is almost impossible; even realizing its sadness brings tears to my eyes. I'm caught in a trap; if only I could break free. I cannot pray nor hope for a miracle, I'm taking this into my own hands, molding the clay of my life into the best it can become, considering it's hardened over the years, and the water is almost gone from so many tears. But I will mold the clay, just as I will burn the masks that hide our suffering, and just as I will break free from my cocoon and, a butterfly, will be able to fly. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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