How do you define a secondhand child? Is it like smoke: your childhood home a blazing sight and gushing fumes that obscure the pale moonlight? Or maybe a liquid: overflowing cups, reversed and downed to drown Passion’s organ in an ocean of irreversible regrets? Can it be taken in a pill or a needle: a gratuitous rush to the head that leaves the mind and body in a state of gluttonous bliss? I’ve heard it’s generational: and like a trauma response it’s triggered by a subconscious action, a kind of curse from Life.
All my life, I’ve lived in fear of the Secondhand Child Curse. I’m the second child of two second children who, by whatever circumstance, developed addictions to Life’s Vices. My mother, neurological, my father emotional, and with this combination my family assumed I would be this amalgamation of addictions. My Mother’s Monster, or my Father’s Frankenstein; sometimes I feel like a Chimera waiting for my irony end.
“Stay away from parties. Don’t drink that. Say no to drugs” my family should’ve been on the payroll for DARE. Pity and Sympathy were constant reflections when I stared into their eyes. My heart was always full of Hope and Empathy to compensate for their lack thereof.
If Hope is naïveté, then I am childlike.
With this Hope, I fantasized of a world where my parents’ vices could dissipate from their DNA. I prayed I could change it; that if Little Sofia, as powerful as she is, could reach into our parents chest and pull these black hearts from their cage, like a sword in a stone, and transmute the lead to gold, then maybe there was hope for me: adult me. Little Sofia knew of Alchemy long before Paulo Coelho. She knew of the Heroine too, but not the one our mother fell victim to.
Maybe a Secondhand Child is a Heroine: a hybrid of hand-me-down genes that alone in a human is as consuming as it is consumed, but once cross-bred becomes something extraordinarily different. Something you can’t inject, drink or smoke away. The real Heroine is a girl on her journey to become a woman, and I find the journey far more addictive than anything the vices my parents have succumb to.
Maybe that’s my addiction: Life. The love of the journey to a destiny that shines like the everlasting Sun. And as I follow the Stars, run the wheel and learn how to harness the magic, maybe I can find the cure my parents desperately sought after.
The Heroine’s Journey is the trip I’ve been high on for awhile, but never knew.