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  • Writer's pictureShannon Makujina

Midnight Musings

“You are so strong.”

I probably hear those words every day. I smile and laugh, or if you are on social media, I’ll respond with a heart emoji. “Thank you so much!”

So exuberant. So full of life. Inspirational.

For my fellow survivors: do you ever get sick of being strong? I know I do.

Right now, I’m thoroughly sick of it—staring into the dark, clutching an old teddy bear, and crying.

I’m ok. Promise. I’m really ok. Most of the time, I’m very happy. But sometimes, in the dark, I have nagging doubts, things I miss. Longings. Fears.

I don’t have a home. I’m only in the United States for a month more and then I’m off to a foreign country for who knows how long, and when I come back…I don’t know where I’ll stay. I don’t know where I’ll come home to. I don’t have a home.

I wish I had a home.

But not an empty home.

I want a family.

I want to find love and security with someone and have children and laughter to fill up a house that won’t hold us all in.

But I feel so traumatized, I wonder if I’ll ever trust anyone enough for that. I wonder if I could ever really belong to anyone as their family.

I know I’m enough in myself, that I’m an entire, complete person. But I still want a family so bad.

I get tired of being loving to everyone else. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry and have someone love on me.

All my fears say that is impossible.

I yell at my fears. I scream at them. I tell them they are lying.

But they still scare me.



Tomorrow I will be brave again—high hearted and courageous—and I will smile. Cheerful and daring, telling everyone about my upcoming “adventure”, laughing with my friends, arguing with my haters, and praying for all of them.

But there is something inside of me that wants to find my inner child and give her a big hug. I want to give my younger self a childhood—a real childhood—one free from fear of suicide and homelessness. I want to give my 15-year-old-self crushes and prom dresses and sleepovers, not frantic business plans for how to be self-supporting the moment she turns 18.

And I want to hug the real Shannon, the one who didn’t have a childhood, and tell her how proud I am of her for leaving when she did. “I still can’t believe you did it!” I want to tell her, grabbing her hand and dancing. “You survived! You got out!”

I am brave. It is who I am. But it’s who I have to keep on being now. And I’m up to it.

Sometimes, I just wish I could take a little vacation.

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