Being in this forest where I’m lost in a way of life that feels barely survivable, with the help of a few people, I’ve managed to stay fed on an ideal image of home in my head that reflects wherever it is I most want to be. This I think is because I was trapped in my bedroom by my mother, who wouldn’t let me see anybody for fear I’d report her actions to my other relatives. Sure, the tears still fall, but they fall behind a blanket of green I can’t breach, so, sympathizing with myself has been almost as difficult as learning how to become the magic that can open a hole in that wall. I’ve been looking around inside my heart for my inner evil queen for most of my adult life so that I might be able to convince myself to let me out of my own enchanted forest, but each time I find I’m almost there I become a way of ignoring myself that seems too beautiful to be wrong and tells me I don’t have time for me just now. I noticed this the other day when I asked a friend at work if she had three minutes to spare and she said she was on her way to brush her teeth before classes started, and the situation seemed so ironic it was hard not to admit I thought in my usual chaotic but logical way, that maybe I was meant to be a prisoner and that some of us just have to deny one another to ensure we can pull off mint breath. Maybe I’m still trying to find that magic inside that’s cruel enough to leave loved ones behind while I go get ice cream, that, and maybe understand why I’ve changed my tastes as a way of convincing myself I don’t need what I need. To survive emotionally, I must have had to generate a sort of forest inside a forest that at the very least I’ve been able to enchant on my own terms.