“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”

I haven’t been sleeping well the last few nights. Lying awake at 1:12am, I’ve been trying to figure out why. It occurred to me that my mind keeps wandering back to Sunday, when my ex-boyfriend came over to pick up T for a movie and dinner. I haven’t seen him for about a month and it must have shaken me more than I thought. I must be still mourning the loss of what used to be.

While waiting for T to get ready, he mentioned that he had tried to watch an old movie, but couldn’t because of the memories of us watching it together. I told him my own story of when T had wanted to watch Lilo & Stitch, a family favourite, but I wouldn’t let her because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold myself together for it. Mark shook his head and agreed, “Yeah, not that one. Not yet.”

We saw ourselves in the movie, of course. A woman and a girl struggling through life on their own. While a spaceship crashes to Earth in the background, the little girl prays to God to bring her an angel. “It’s me again. I need someone to be my friend. Someone who won’t run away. Maybe send me an angel! The nicest angel you have.”

Cut to the crash scene, and a twisted little alien climbs free of the wreckage and laughs manically.

Stitch needed a lot of spit and polish before he was even somewhat presentable. And even then, he caused a lot of trouble. But Lilo and Nani, both feeling like freaks themselves, eventually accepted the third freak into their family. In the end, Stitch’s reckless past catches up with him, and he’s about to be hauled off by authorities. He takes responsibility for his actions, and defends the others. “This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”

That just kills me. Little, broken, and good. Yep, that’s my family.

It’s unlikely that a Disney movie could trigger renewed pain and loss of our –now even more broken- family. But that’s the way it goes with triggers: you never know when it’s gonna hit you or where it will come from.

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