I pluck the squawling bundle of wrinkled flesh from my brother’s rigid arms and immediately the screams cease.
Walking quietly to the rocking chair in the corner nearest the door of the hospital room, I hold the tiny life to me and soothe him until his squinty little face relaxes into sleep.
I look at my brother. Rage is etched into his every feature. I can see he’s struggling to hold it together. He hates hospitals as much as I do, but for different reasons. The last time he was in this hospital, he was a patient. In the Psych Ward.
I glance toward my brother’s girlfriend and inwardly shudder. She claims she’s back on her meds, but it’s clear she made a visit to the street pharmacist before her labor started this morning. I don’t know what she’s on, and I don’t want to know. What I *do* know is, nobody in her state of insobriety should be able to conjure such a calculating look in their eye.
And nobody in her state of insobriety should be given charge over someone else’s life.
Especially not the life I am holding.
I press my forehead against my nephew’s and breathe slowly.
I don’t want to think about the multiple diagnoses, the implications, the propagation…
But I can’t not.
Dissociative Identity Disorder.
This is just the beginning of the list of ingredients in the chromosomal cocktail.
I close my eyes and, heart tumbling over the truth, send my love silently to the babe in my arms.
I cannot save you from the monsters, little one. Not the ones you will reside with… And not the ones that will reside in you.
Now, thirteen years later, the truth of that sentiment reverberates in the echoes of a teenager’s fists pounding themselves bloody against the wall of a treatment facility. And as the future unfolds, the past repeats itself.
Genetics are a loaded gun. Last week, the trigger was pulled.