World History

Stephenie’s Father’s Coat-of-arms – part 5 of 5

All this talk of family leaves me feeling nostalgic, at least until I think of my mother. And unfortunately, I cannot leave her out. She has shaped so much of my life and that shaping has not been pleasant. They say a mother who commits a sin against the gods will have a daughter born a witch; a daughter who bares the curse the mother should suffer. I don’t feel evil, but the rest of the world would burn me if they knew.

For my father to adopt the castle of Duman on his coat-of-arms to honor my mother is hard for me to accept. It is supposed to be a symbol of the protector, but my mother has not been a protector. I know he told me it was to remind him of how not to treat people and perhaps my mother’s father is at least in part to blame.

My mother came from Kynto and that country has always been aggressive. My grandfather wrestled control of the throne with his armies and continued to threaten the people until his son killed him for the throne. It is possible to rule with either compassion or hate, but while you can go from compassion to hate, you cannot go the other way.

Since I want to end this series on a positive note, I will say that while my mother’s disdain and repulsion hurt, I found love and compassion from my father and older brother. They gave me attention I would likely never of had. The isolation from typical feminine expectations also gave me courage to be what I want and the fortitude to stand on my own. Some days it was hard to muster the hope, but I managed to pull through.

What drives you to carry on when things become hard?

– Stephenie