Home can be a steady ground when your life is shifting sands. It is to me at least. Cutting lineages from your skin has consequences. It takes effort. It takes more bleeding than you think possible. Takes ritualistic return to truths that sometimes feel like a lie. It sometimes means walking around with no ground beneath you. Consequences. 

In the beginning, when I left that cursed lineage, it felt like thinning blood—dizzy, trying to find something to hold me still, something to hold me. I never knew leaving would do this to me. Leaving people that never believed my screams were screams. I never knew that bleeding them out would do this: drop my body into a black hole, necessary and relentless in its purge. I knew I would never go back. But I didn’t know of the families of grief that would come. To survive, I existed in the in-betweens. Not too here and not too far gone. Because being too here would make my body wreck with grief and overwhelm. Being present came with a pungent aftertaste of pains I had lived through for this reality to be here, with me. 

When I left, I learned a lot about how this society, Kenyan society, is. The way we know children and women and queer people are harmed. The ways we know. I always thought that if all this harm was happening it was because no one knew about it. But we do. I’ve seen the ways mothers hate their children, the ways women are beaten and people still ask them what they did wrong. 

I’ve heard all the voices, heard all the stories about how we are so caring as Africans. We are community-people. But children are being abused and everyone will do everything they can to not call it abuse. And if these children ever decide to leave, there is a cacophony of voices telling them to go back. To go back where there is a perpetual insistent killing. It’s worse if you’re queer, because they think we deserve it. This thing, this queerness, should be burned out of us, even and especially, if it means we die, publicly and humiliated. There is more fear in something and someone being called abusive than being abusive. 

But I am me. I see, I name. This community doesn’t care if you see its black hungry murderous skins, just don’t name it. This is how children of abusive parents will be conditioned and beaten into silence. The parents would rather this child die and perform an elaborate funeral than this child be alive and well and truth-telling. Just never name. And the community continues to stand, stubborn and proud, on the bones of children, wives and fags. Have you seen the ways they will destroy everything in the way, wreck the ‘disposable’ just to keep a man honoured? 

I used to try to never be the ‘angry one’. Like that was the worst thing something like me could be. But this godly anger reconfigures lives. This godly anger upends people from themselves. This anger remembers. This anger that destroys the necessary. This anger says the urgent things: you deserve a mother that cares; no one should touch you like that; no one should talk to you like that; you deserve a lovely life with lovely things and lovely loves. Words stolen from the lining of your mother’s womb. 

I never wanted to be thorny. I wanted to be liked and easy going. But I am the angry blades skinning illusions from cornea. Our safety shouldn’t be contingent on whether you want to look at something or not. Name your husbands, brothers, mothers what they are. Killers. Standing proud on bones still breaking from their weight because they can’t help but be monstrous. I want us to care. I want us to care about victims of abuse, loudly. Fostering tenderness, softness, rage. I want us to care enough to look even if it makes our eyes bleed. Care can be a practice. A ritual. A devotion. You can fall but the return is relentless.

When I left my first parent’s home, I wanted to be a home. A place I could return and be in, and be safe. I have slowly become one. I returned to my body, over and over. I heard my voice, slept in my arms and moving in this world pained a little less because I had a constant love dedicated to me. Devoted. Sometimes that is what you need. A constant love. Sometimes, you will teach yourself this love. Sometimes, you will be the first place that loves you like this. 

You, moment by moment, will show you a love you’ve never seen. You teach yourself the love that can exist by loving yourself delicately, moment by moment. Impossibility loses its weight by the sheer steadfast presence of yourself in your own life. You may have lived a life thinking you were the worst thing to ever happen and because of that, you were punished. But you will realise, in time, as you build a life of loves and comforts, that you were not the curse in your life. That husband, brother, father was the curse. And you do not have to stay and cure that lineage of the curse in it. Let the lineage burn. It is not your job to sacrificially hang yourself to save people who have stood proud and relentlessly themselves as they watched your blood drain from your body. It’s okay if these truths take time to feel true. Sometimes you know, before it feels true. Some truths take time. There is fear my body knew that I could not explain. I remind myself that this body often doesn’t lie to me. It will remember. And sometimes, that is all I need. For someone to remember. 

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