My mother raised a brick house

Mail & Guardian - - Mental Health -

When my mother raised me, it was as if she was build­ing a replica of her brick house.

Those look­ing on saw a large, sta­ble and firm struc­ture, adorned with per­haps too many flow­ers and trees for shade. In­side was a warm space where ev­ery­thing was brown or gold, and smelled of rooi­bos and cin­na­mon. It was the per­fect home for ev­ery­one — but me.

Look­ing at it now, it re­minds me of the re­stric­tions and re­warded si­lences I was brought up on. Like the space be­tween bricks, ce­ment fills the con­nec­tions be­tween my hips and feet. I can’t re­mem­ber the last time I danced, the last time those parts of me felt like wa­ter and air.

But I try now. I put on my favourite song, at­tempt­ing to wind my waist and tw­erk to the bass, but my ef­forts are use­less. My body, the house I was brought up in, does not feel like a home.

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