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On Sickening Realizations

No Soy Tu Chiste
Mom,

Yesterday was a blessing.  I stand in utter gratitude for what you showed me without any doubts or ambiguities to cloud my judgement.  I am often in a place where precarious conclusions must be drawn in order to keep balance, keep some semblance of peace, and keep myself in an ability to sustain.  You opened your mouth yesterday and removed all doubt that could have existed in my mind, like a cool breeze on an early fall day- it blew back the clouds to show a dazzling blue sky, let the sun beat down and bathe the landscape in sudden understanding.

There is no misunderstanding in my mind, and hasn't been for some time, about a few things.  Your mental and emotional abilities are hampered, this I have known from forever.  Where you are able to reach out, many times the light is refracted, bent around the edges in order to creep around the side and prick me.

There are a few things that I am beginning to come to some wonderful, albeit unwanted, conclusions about.  I'm not even sure that I can articulate all of them, since they have stricken me in a most intimate place and as often the case, that means there aren't words as yet.  But since I feel it bubbling inside of me with no place to go, I will write down what I can given my capacities right at this moment, and leave the rest for another entry or another conversation.

Yesterday, you pushed.  It was not just that; you removed your mask.  Beautifully, artfully, strongly, like this was always your plan, you invited me in under the pretense of 'hanging out'.  But first, you threw me off by not following through with something I asked of you.  I can't imagine that you did this on purpose or as part of your plan, so I'll chalk that up to serendipity and an attempt from the universe to give me a sort of prelude- a lovely serenade of doubt and disagreement.  This acted to give me the small gift of evidence, a totally innocuous thing on your part but as if it were a chapter in a book, it read to me of glorious understanding of the nature of who you are.  I could not deny it.  I could not brush it off, and the way you handled it afterward was so much more- hallelujah!- so much more and did so much more to give me an intimate, even energetic understanding of how you operate.  Even to me, who I believe you love and trust and are devoted to above anyone else on this earth, maybe even yourself.  You let me down in a confusing and frustrating way, in a way that, if it were any person I consider to be capable as I feel you are not, would have alarmed me and deeply troubled me.  And it did, even to you, whom I know are not capable.  It was such a small thing, bringing me the cart.  It was such a small thing, how you yelled and I didn't hear you, and you left the cart halfway up the sidewalk and went inside.  It was such a small thing, how I didn't see it and so waited for you, and how you did not emerge again to try and find me until after I parked, going in and back out again twice more, to finally take the cart.  It was small, so small, how I then walked up to get it and found it gone, and how half way back to my car I heard you yell, and bring it a little farther out, and hand it off.  But does it speak volumes!

And inside, how you had laughingly, sheepishly, like a child relayed the information to Genie behind the desk so that maybe it would alleviate my irritation.  Genie then trying to make small talk, telling me to 'take the band aid' of chocolate, me refusing, and you saying, "She doesn't want it, she just wants to be mad."  Haha.  And does that not only speak volumes about you, or history of how you've dealt with my pain, and your behavior, but also how I am triggered, how hard, and what I need from those around me when I am?  A beautiful, perfect, prime realization there.

I hesitantly had decided to trust you with a real-world thing, relying on you like any other person, treating you like any other person in that moment.  I had been shown that you are not any other person, that your needs are special.  And it was not because you were physically unable to perform the task, but something in your brain and something in your emotions made you act literally like a child.  Going almost far enough, far enough to say that you tried, far enough to tell me you weren't trying to dick me around.  To give up and say "well what do you want from me, it was cold and you see what I'm wearing".  And you made excuses.  And you performed for Genie.  To make me feel small, although this was not the aim it certainly wasn't enough of a thought to consider how I would feel.  Because you want so BADLY, so DEEPLY, with such UTTER ABANDON, to have SOME SEMBLANCE of normalcy, to feel like these things don't happen because of your issues.  You normalize the situation as much as you can, and you just cannot see how that makes it worse- turns it from an irritating situation into an abuse of my love and understanding.

Finally, back in the apartment, you told me you heard me.  You talked and talked, you chattered, talked over me a little, like you do when you're scared.  Like you do when you're happy.  Like you do when you're excited.  Like you do when you're having a bad day or a good day.  Like you do.

I couldn't let it go, and to me in the moment consciously it was just about the cart.  But really it was all of those things.  And my sense that you didn't understand that it was unacceptable to treat me like that, that you really did not get how seriously I felt about it.  It's not that you didn't care, because you did.  But consideration of my feeilngs isn't your strong suit.  More on that coming up.

The cat litter was overwhelmingly dirty.  I wanted to change it for you.  I had also brought stuff to make lip balm, I wanted to put some in the girls' stockings for Christmas.  But I started to feel tired as I entered and navigated the apartment.  You corralled me into the computer room, ended up sat down, told me you had made lip balm but if I wanted to do it then I could.  You told me I could take some of yours, missing that I wanted to do an activity together.  I really think in that instance, I must take responsibility for putting too much hope on you being able to do something with me because I wanted it.  You had no interest.

We talked about your troubles.  We talked about your triumphs.  You told me you wanted me to watch a video you had asked if I wanted to watch with you before, me telling you I would give it a try.  I was already feeling exhausted, and dreaded the thought of having to navigate another Jesus moment with you, and I should have said no.  I should have had the wherewithall to understand my own boundaries.  But I didn't, I wanted to give you what you wanted.  I asked if you wanted me to change the cat litter first and you said no.  So we sat back and started to watch.

The movie was about the apocolypse.  You told me it was not, that it was about prophecy and how a skeptic picked the Bible apart and came to understand it as truth.  We stopped and started a few times, me telling you it was apocolyptic and you saying no it wasn't, and then telling me a bunch of apocolyptic things that you believed.  Here, I was hoping you would honor the boundary instead of me always having to enforce it.  I was hoping you would stop, and say you were sorry, and tell me I was right, and we could do something else.  But you didn't.  It was more important to you, no matter what I said about not being able to handle it, that you share something that you care about so much with me.  It was more important than not hurting me.  It was more important to you than loving me.  It was more important to you than earning my trust.  And with that, my trust was perfectly, dazzlingly, explosively shattered.  I saw the shards of it glittering as it crescendoed on the floor, singing pain all the way down.  It poured like a waterfall, it hit the surface of my base, it tinkled on the slick expanse, sharp, and cut me there.  And I wept.  I was so tired.  You had made a comment because I looked like I was going to fall asleep, that you weren't going to play the movie if I wasn't even going to stay awake.  That wasn't me sleeping, mom.  It was me shutting down.  Shame on you for not knowing, even though how could you know, and even still, I had plead with you, I had articulated, I had expressed that this was not something I could handle.  Please don't make me watch it if it is end times stuff.  And you told me it wasn't, and I trusted you, and you betrayed that.

After, I gathered myself and told you what I knew about how upset I was.  At first it was because it's not true.  And that's true, but that's not all, that's just the most immediate.  Then it was that it was end times information, and that was true.  But then I came to the cherry on top of the realizations, even the big one that followed: I didn't care about the movie.  I don't care about your religion.  I don't care if it's true or not true.  It's not that.  It's that it was hurting me and you didn't stop.

Your response?  "Are you sure it's me?  Maybe the Holy Spirit is making you feel bad because you're rejecting Holy Scripture."

I sat stunned in silence.  All of my hard work on trust and excavating this relationship had lead up to this moment in time, this suspended, shining moment.  And I claimed my prize proudly.

"Oh my God,"  I said, "I am so....grateful.  Now I know why it has been so hard to trust myself.  I've had this my whole life."  A silence.  "And I love you, and I have to leave."

I gathered up my growing, fledgeling dignity like a small baby, and my other things, and I hugged you and told you I loved you again, and I left.

I was conflicted all evening.  And this morning too.  Was I right to watch it in the first place?  The things I was saying about it, was that fair (I told you many times during the hour or two I was at your apartment that I was irritated, that I did not care about your views and was watching it to hear you out, that it was awful)?  Was I treating you fairly?  All of my doubt, my vascillation, my weighing, was about you and how you felt.  And it wasn't because, for ONCE, for ONE TIME IN MY LIFE, it wasn't because I doubted how I felt.  I didn't know how to say what I felt, but I didn't doubt it.  I just want to do right by you, I want to do this right.  And I don't want to be mad at you because I know you're trying so hard, and I know you have always tried so hard, and you didn't have the benefit of the support I had growing up.

But you made choices.  Just like you made choices yesterday.  You chose yesterday to alienate me, to slap me right in the face.  To watch me cry in front of you, sob, break down, and then tell me I was doing something bad and I should feel bad.  And then you had the audacity to remove responsibility from yourself and give it to God.  The very nerve.

And you know, if I didn't have the experience I have with you, I would most likely have bought that.  I let you in so much (and this is my fault) that I allow what you say to let me doubt myself.  I have, my whole life, taken things like "you don't love me, or if you do you have a funny way of showing it" when I had done nothing wrong, and let them eat me right up.  Things that you twisted into words of love, things that really asked me to put myself on a cross and rip my insides out, things that burned, things that planted seeds of ugliness in me.  Details about my father that could or could not be true.  You made me feel responsible for the things you said and did, because of the way you twisted words.  You've done this my whole, entire life.

And I'm done with it.  I'm going to tell you this once, because I just do not have the energy to do more than that: you respect my boundaries, and you do it now.  You have no right to put your excitement, desire for closeness, or your fear of life ahead of my vulnerability or emotions.  How very, completely, utterly dare you.  This is not just about yesterday, this is our whole history.  No, you cannot have changed.  No, you cannot cut yourself from your history with the scissors of Jesus.  I will deal with all I know of you, and I will not excuse it on the grounds of the fact that you so desperately want to be different.  Guess what makes you different?  Acting differently.  You did not act differently yesterday, you hurt me deeply and told me it was my fault.  That's just not something I can be around.

I still, after all this time, after all the proof I've been given, cannot believe I have to tell you this.  And I'm not telling you for you.  I know you don't understand, it's another gift I got yesterday- you will never understand.  You never have.  You just can't.  And that's ok.

But now I know for sure there are people in this world who will get it.  Who can go there with me, who will not betray my trust, and who are not so broken by their own lives that they cannot help but spread that disease like breath.  Like vapor.  People who will blossom under my love, who will expand my love and keep it soft, who will never and would never put their own desires and false safeties ahead of my real safety.  I'm not making commentary on your religion here, I'm talking about the way you treat me.  It's unacceptable.

And I have to apologize, for the past, for the present, for the futre.  I'm trying to navigate where you are capable and where you are not, and sometimes that means I will hold you accountable where it's impossible for you to measure up.  I'm truly sorry for that.  Mental illness is tragic that way.  I'll keep trying.

I'm not going anywhere.  I don't know what else this means for our relationship other than that, but I'm pretty confident in that conclusion so far.  For one, I know you need me.  I turn this over and over in my head, trying to decide if that's a shitty reason for me to stay or if it's a good one.  The fact remains that it simply is, and even though I know you could exist just fine without me, honestly you needing me for things like grocery shopping and doing the dishes is a relief.  It gives me something to do instead of always navigating our strained, exhausting, and often horrible conversations.  It allows for moments of grace- watching you make soap, petting your cats, sharing that I used to use spaghetti jars as glasses too when I lived alone and how much more sense does that make then buying real glasses?!  Those sorts of things, rare jewels, precious pieces of my dream of you and I.  I know I spend a bit of time in castles in the sky when it comes to us, and our relationship may suffer for it.  Forgive me as I come to earth.  I love you so.  I always will.

Dec. 9th, 2014

No Soy Tu Chiste
Ah, but she whistles, she weeps
Ah but she moans she trembles
Ah.
Ah, ah.

She whimpers and chides, she cuddles, she primes.
Ah.
A sigh.  Ah, a sigh.
She huddles in cavernous crevaces befuddled she huddles
Ah she remembers
She with the Old Tongue
She fears the fearlessness
Naked.  Aghast.  Stark.  Unruly.
Wrong.
Bent.
Dead eyed.
She sweats and seethes she blisters.
She harnesses harlots she hangs on to demons she's screamin she seethes
She seethes
She sees.
Stinking of wreak and malice deadly she sings the song of the night a full moon which tinges the landscape with blues and whites she beckons a broomstick she's metaphor
Simile
She's myth and prose.  Harbinger.
Makes herself small to loom.  Laughs.  The joke.  The joke is ever present.
Cradles herself in the crook of her arm, she brushes the baby's cheek, moves a tuft of hair she chortles reflected.
A universe and a universe
She is connected.
Cannot be quiet.
Aches in her thighs and her hips and under her arm pits with fever.  In shambles.

Ah, ah, rocking lullaby.
Ah, rueful smile she begs.
Ah a distant cousin, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
Ohm.
Flexes.
Passes gas.
Filthy.
She holds and passes through, sees and unsees.  Is nameless.  Timeless.  Endless.
Hard.  So hard, ah.

No, she is no.
She is happy to be so.
No Soy Tu Chiste
I met someone recently who divulged that they had found my public posts on this page, and that they were concerned about where I am at in my process. This blew me away a little for a couple of reasons- first, that someone would take the time to read even one or two posts here is surprising to me. I forget that it's public and that the information shared is so intimate and private in nature that I assume people either skim and leave it or ignore it altogether- which works for me, it's just the act of having it out there that is of use to my process. I don't actually need or expect people to read it, and that they read it with care and concern is new to me. Which goes into the second thing- that they followed up with me to see how I was doing was new. Usually, when people I know (or people I don't know- this is the internet) read my private thoughts about my past and my process presently, their response is to distance themselves and/or critique the content of my posts- "well you probably brought all this on yourself" or "no wonder you have it so hard, you put yourself in these situations and are so hard on yourself and others" and while the second one could be construed as concern, that it would be left anonymously or by someone who otherwise has no idea what I'm going through is damaging to me. It's why I disabled comments on this livejournal for a while and why I post most things privately, for my own needs in the moment (the journal is called "sluice", for chrissakes).
I absolutely believe that the universe, divinity, whatever you want to call it, gives you signs. When you're on a track you should be on, close to the issue you need to be focused on, or on the right track as people say, you get cues. Sometimes they're really subtle and could go by almost unnoticed, but sometimes they come in the form of someone validating that indeed, the thing you're doing is worthy of attention. I take this instance in this way. The first thing it made me think of is "hmmm maybe I shouldn't have all that stuff linked to my facebook page for anyone to read", because I worry about taking care of others (many times above my own needs) and I worry about it being hard or uncomfortable for them. It was really the first time anyone held me accountable in a real way for the things I am sharing publicly, and it was a mini adventure trying to figure out how to deal with that. I wonder if the comments were an attempt from people to deal with all that information and hold me accountable for it- I said it, I should be able to answer for it, I should be able to deal with the effects of it in the world. Those were statements made and posted that really couldn't be dealt with in a loving or supportive way though, this was different. So I considered unlinking it (honestly I thought I had previously, but my need to get all of this out into the light of day must have gotten the best of me). I have decided against that. I know it might not be what's appropriate, I understand that it might be too intimate for most of my connections, and since I use my facebook semi-professionally it might actually work against me in my pursuit of work. Also, it's actually kind of embarrassing for someone I have never met in person to walk over to my open chest and poke around. Who knows what other people get out of those thoughts? But at the end of it, I have to acknowledge where I'm at with my process. And for me, it's more important to feel like I'm working to bring all of that to the light of day in a way that I'm comfortable with (I'm very comfortable with being uncomfortable, it's ok for other people to not sit well with it, and if they get something out of it that validates their own experiences, even that is worth all the uneasiness).
The next, deeper thing I brought to the surface is that this is the point. Maybe I'm clumsy about it, maybe there is a better way to share what I'm going through so it's not an abrupt finding. Maybe I'm being kind of immature in making it a sort of sneaky, roundabout thing rather than being more up front however that is possible. But the important thing to me is to do the thing. I don't think I would be as ok with sharing that I am a victim of sexual trauma from a young age as I am if I hadn't decided to start sharing select things publicly. There are many other things in the process that were instrumental, like getting a kickass therapist and doing the work on an emotional level every day, but I have to believe that almost testing it out was a precursor to discovering what ways I can speak about it in public. And yesterday, to an audience of 20 or more people, I began to do just that.
It's part of this bigger cycle of issues I'm dealing with right now, hence the title for this post. To speak on metaphysical terms, my solar plexus has been tight, blocked, sharply and violently guarded for a long time. And the thing is, when you have one chakra blocked, it's usually the evidence of how everything is out of alignment and points to blockage of the baser chakras. I've decided on a spiritual and emotional level to go into that and investigate what's really going on there, and I've discovered that I have a metaphorical room where I've locked a lot of valuable stuff for a long time. When I first touched it, I found deep grief, sadness, fear, loathing. And those are valuable in and of themselves, but that's not all that's there and I somehow know that. Even though those things are my keys for entrance into that room, I know that once I put my hands on things and say the magic words, there is a whole aspect of my wholeness that is bound up in the items displaced there and buckled down. But how do I access them? That's the name of the lesson right now.
I feel like a total neophyte with this- especially with the way that I lived and sustained through abuse in all of my formative years, I was not nurtured in the ways of accessing, releasing, and cultivating my own emotions. It's like the people around me thought that feelings in general were throw away things, unless they were being used as weapons. Anyone can imagine how well that worked out for helping me form a comprehension for existing as an emotional, sensitive individual. I think it's ok to have boundaries on expressing emotions, but the times when I was told "that's enough" were far too strict and often, and the times when I was told "you're just doing this for attention" (so what, for starters) or "you're manipulating the situation" (oh my god with that one) were totally wrong and unacceptable.
At this point, the task I feel that I'm charged with is in finding the times that it is ok to have all of my emotions. When you're taught that emotions are dangerous, when you're taught that they are weapons, that you can't feel them or you need to break yourself into pieces to deal with it "later", it's so so difficult to give space for them when later comes. I shouldn't have had to do that in the first place, and I am going to unlearn that.
One thing I've done is to notice when I'm frustrated in a conversation with Brian about relationship things. I notice, and I notice that I'm frustrated because I'm emotional and I'm trying to deal with the situation 100% logically without emotions. And at that point, I have dissociated. So it's almost like a ghost has flown out of me, to escape in a different place within. And in this visualization, I stick my hand out and catch its tail, and go "nope, come here". I ask myself "what am I feeling?" I sit with that. And lately when I do this, I begin to cry. And once I begin to cry, the real issue I'm always trying to avoid comes to the surface. I don't know what it is until I give myself access to the feeling, the magical object that is locked in that room within my solar plexus.
The other massive thing I have been able to just begin to internalize is that the rage I felt and still feel at times is actually guilt for not being able to protect myself. I was not able to protect myself from the abuse, I was not able to say "no", I was a child. That's kind of the point! And my assumption that I "became wicked" later is a way to take blame for the continued abuse through my teenage years. When you're told that not only you but everyone around you is just trying to get away with being a total asshole, you begin to behave that way as well. It feels like freedom. Eh, but that's a lie. And crying is so profoundly healing! As a baby, that's all that can be done. And to me, it would seem like that wouldn't be enough, that crying is a weak and ineffective inaction. It's a total negative, a zero, a nothing. Of no worth. But that's a lie taught to me by broken, sad people. Crying is mighty. It's hard for me to believe that- it's so simple, it's one thing I've always had that I didn't have to work for. It's just mechanics- you have an emotion that needs to be made physical and water leaks from your face. haha! I know it's not that simple, but that's how it feels. And going back and reclaiming that, and reclaiming that in the moment, and letting it be a game changer and letting it be powerful is instrumental in my recovery. Just cry. It's enough to cry.
So now I'm at this point where I'm investigating what the boundaries are as far as when to just cry. The other night, Brian and I were talking about us (which is very often a difficult conversation), and I got to a point where I felt so frustrated I had no idea how to go on. So, I stopped. And I thought "how am I feeling?" And lo and behold, I began to weep. It didn't stop there. I cried a bit, my face screwed up, I sat for about 5 minutes and silently wept. And then I cried more. And I cried more. And I worked up into a cascade of sobs, wracking my body, as Brian held me quietly. I fell over on his lap and simply sobbed. And when I began to pass the crescendo, my real feeling came out. I said "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I said it a few times more, and then said, "what do you want, I don't know what to do, just tell me what you want"- pitifully, my ticker tape told me, and although I knew that was the abuse talking, I accepted it, and cried for it. Cried for the person who would think a brave action like sobbing in front of the one you love is pitiful or weak. I cried for my exhaustion, for Brian's exhaustion, for my entire tattered, vivid, agonizing history. And really, most of all, I cried out in hope. Hope that my process would be enough, that I was doing everything I could and that our love would endure. Hope that needing someone to love and to love me would be ok, and would work out. I hadn't cried quite like that since I lived in my apartment. And I really just cried until I felt it pass. And then I held myself there, in the catharsis, and was able to peek at the darkened boxes in my locked room. I lit a candle in the room and before the wind blew it out, I could see with pride that the things which were stored in there were not so inaccessible after all.
I'm not afraid to share my process.  I would like, one day, to be able to compile all of it into a book and get it out there "legitimately".  Maybe it would help someone else who is going through a similar thing.  I know it would help me.  Those are my thoughts for now.

On Airing Dirty Laundry

No Soy Tu Chiste
It is absolutely crucial to talk often and talk long about the abuse I suffered growing up.  The first steps in REALIZING it was abuse came in opening my mouth and talking about it, and being surprised by the reactions from my friends.  When I saw the reflection of how people should respond to news of abuse, I realized how awful the abuse I suffered really was.  I started to see that it wasn't my fault, and I started to be able to put the responsibility firmly where it belonged.

Now I am at a stage where because of the abuse I suffered I can see how my attitude is colored by my history.  I know that I often question the motives of people around me and come to the conclusion that it's my fault that the core of it, rejecting them when I feel helpless to change things.  The more I can go back and place the blame where it belongs, the more I can understand that not everyone is out to get me, and not everyone has ultirior motives.

I must speak on the issues I am dealing with, I must normalize my process.  The more I feel isolated about it, the longer it will take for me to understand that what happened to me was not normal and I was not a bad kid.  That means talking about my brother openly.  That means discussing what my parents did in places where my dad might end up reading or seeing it.  The sooner, the better.  The abuse that my parents inflicted on me would still be happening today if I were a child in their household.  I escaped, so that I could survive.  That is not my fault, it is theirs.  And whatever I need to do in order to put the blame where it belongs is what I need to do. Furthermore, it is not to place blame that I do what I do.  It's just to let it out!  It's just to feel like my voice is heard and my feelings are validated.  I have no malice toward them, in fact I worry so much about how my words will affect them that I hold back and doubt myself.  But any relationship that requires me to be anything other than up front and honest is a relationship there's something wrong with.

The adults in my family constantly rewrite history.  They downplay my abuse and they disregard my thoughts and feelings on it.  I was the one it happened to, and I was the only one not allowed to make any decisions on how it was dealt with, if it made anyone else uncomfortable.  But nobody seemed to care that I was dying, that I was shattered, or that I badly needed healing.  If it inconvenienced them, they were blind to it immediately.

I am not here for that.  I'm here for truth.  I'm trying to bring light to the world, and I want to make effective changes to my world in order to bring about justice and peace.  That requires for me to make people uncomfortable.  Once I can excavate the truth from my past and live through making the people I love and trusted the most in the world uncomfortable, I will see that I have the strength to make others uncomfortable in order to bring change to the larger world.  I know that once I come out about the things that happened to me, there will be backlash from my family.  They will play the victims in whatever way they can, because that's what they're good at and that's what has worked before.  And whether it works for them or not is none of my business; it doesn't work for me.  I love them, but I can't make them love me and I can't make them value me.  All I can do is heal myself so I can do the work that I so badly need to do on this earth.

Sep. 15th, 2014

No Soy Tu Chiste
Fall in.
The horizontal structure of a tree,
the soul.
The roots.
The whole.
The yin inside the yang
is a whole
universe.

Maybe,
maybe,
but maybe,
in sleeping,
in letting lie the quivering puppies of expected response,
in being eyes and a silent mouth when nothing is to be said,
and keeping instead that energy inside,
in roots,
the echo of a truer call and response will have the chance to spark forth.

The roots

are the entire body

of the tree.

Let fall the faulty expressions

twitches in the face which distract

make haste the space between well and exhausted

forthwidth.

Be eyes,

remember,

be eyes.

Importance has been sleeping all your life.

Let hands fold.
Let yoga mingle stillness and flex, breath and hesitation, into poise.
Let nothing happen, and make space.

Aug. 25th, 2014

No Soy Tu Chiste
Nobody told me anything useful
Growing up
All the lessons
Just all
Were useless
Made me feel
Useless
I hear music
Read poetry
People say "my momma told me this"  "my daddy told me that"
Nope.
Nobody told me anything useful
So I told myself

I told myself it would pass
I told myself I had been through it all,
Already been through it
Oh well, oh well
I read books, I read the house down
Devoured and became a demon of knowledge
Still as a statue on the outside against vengeful attacks
But inside I laughed spitefully, burned
They weren't telling me anything useful
I had no use for them

The thing that got to me
Was how petty it all was
All of that
To teach me to sit pretty and act right
White.
In the white world.
In the men's world.
All of that nonsense.
It got to me.  It made me sick for years, and I still battle with it.
Because you can't shrug that petty shit off,
The evil.  It is evil and must be respected as such.
All I have now, is to cultivate myself.
Nobody told me anything useful until I started finding the people who did.

And I must pull it out by its stinking head.
It was planted thoroughly in me.

I grew up knowing the world needed me.
I grew up knowing the world had big problems.
And they told me I was wrong and there was nothing wrong,
And I should shut up, or at best they didn't know.
Nope.
Useless to me.  That is useless to me.

And now I know, I must weed it out of myself.
I must find my racism.  I must find my sexism.  And all the domino effects and isms that cluster around them.
Classism.  Ableism.  Ageism.
I must remind myself that the most powerful thing I can do is hold a mirror.
Which is one thing they never wanted me to do.  Only reflect for them what they told me to reflect.  Or be an abyss.
Hold a mirror, a mirror is useful.
To recognize where I am racist.
Sexist.
Classist.
Ableist.
Ageist.
And find the scared, rule-abiding little girl behind it and take her up swiftly and never ever let her go.
That is useful.

The other stuff,
They never told me anything useful,
That's all garbage.

On Anxiety and The Other Side

No Soy Tu Chiste
“Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society.”
Thomas Szas

I don't know if I really support everything that this man said about mental illness (or the lack of it as being proven scientifically), but I've been thinking a lot about this quote lately.

The longer I live with my own cycles of depression and anxiety, the more I feel, with certainty, that these are not illnesses in the sense that they could or should be cured.  I can't speak for everyone, and I will not.  But for me, my reactions in the form of anger, anxiety, depression, and sexual diversion have been in reaction to situations which merit exactly those things.  I think where I see it as a sickness is when it comes out without my understanding of what it is directed at.  That, and obviously the uncontrollable nature of it- which is itself mental illness if anything ever is.  The act of trying to control your own strong emotions instead of nurturing the fear they come out of and heal- that is sickness.  It is also widely condoned in our world as either preferable or the only course of action.

I often stop in my steady stream of unraveling in order to thank myself, whatever god/dess/universal bla there might be, or just feel good that I have the facilities to see the strings.  I see where all the strings attach and I know that what I've been told up till this point in life, if it feels wrong, is wrong.  I have had it proven to me enough to be able to trust myself (oh this is the mercy) when I have that feeling, instead of fighting it in favor of some disembodied voice telling me this is how it always was, and I should be more under control, and bla bla bla.

Anyway, I just see how broken and burning the world is, and how many, many, many people simply choose to live as if it is not.  This is a perception, I have no way of knowing what goes on in their innermost minds.  But when you pass the space of a few days with people who act like the world is just fine and only they and their family matters, even if it isn't the intent and that's not how they feel, you think that's how it is, that's how they feel.  I won't go into it more than that.

It is exhausting.

I will still refer to my anxiety and depression as being ill, because I have to take sick days sometimes and people don't understand "I'm fucked up today, I just can't function because I'm too fucking woke", so it's easier to say "oh I'm sick".  Until such a time as I'm not afraid to say it like it is, until such a time as I am able to build a world that doesn't respond violently to a statement like the former, saying "I'm sick" is easier...it's also true because my symptoms manifest themselves physically.

I will say, having children has been so fucking awesome in learning how to deal with my own issues.  I refuse to believe that children ever deserve punishment.  I refuse to believe that children should ever be treated harshly, and if I feel angry it's because I don't understand.  So my response is always to slow the fuck down, talk it out, take all the time that is needed, and make sure they know that they are loved and important and that I take their issues seriously.  It's taught me to treat myself in the same way.

The most important thing is slowing the fuck down.  That is the fucking key.

And in all of this, I can see how even what seems like the smallest slight to an adult, a kid can throw their whole. entire. fucking. world. out of sync.  Imagine living in our world, all the time, like that.  That's reality.  It's getting to the bottom of how sensitive I am, and how that's totally fucking ok.  That feeling anxious and depressed is exactly the fucking right response to all of it.

Children man.  They are the shit.

On Existing

No Soy Tu Chiste
Growing up, I learned about existence in terms of status quo.  I learned that there was a common denominator that everyone learned the skills to aspire to in order to maintain order and cooperate with each other in the world.  That set of skills was called normalcy.

I learned that in order to be normal, I could not be difficult, or uncomfortable, or challenging, or obnoxious.  My feelings had to be subdued, I had to care very little for my own desires and needs in order to perhaps get what I wanted or needed.  So I learned.  I learned to manifest a three-point trifecta: a pleasing or otherwise unbothered affect, a pleasing or otherwise unbothered physicality, and a pleasing or otherwise unbothered articulation.  As long as I could maintain these three, I could survive.  If I let any of these slip in the slightest, I was attacked from every angle and chaos would ensue.

Basically in order to be normal, I learned that I had to exist for other people.

And as I got older, I understood that it was not enough to simply exist for others.  I had to exist for others correctly.  I could not let on that I was existing for others, it could not be obvious.  That would break the facade, and would make things too real- it would point to the truth.  And the truth could never be revealed.  

It wasn't just that I had to be these things- I knew that everyone had to be these things.  I trusted that the people around me were doing it right and that I was simply too young, too little, "just a kid", and I couldn't be expected to learn the great skill it took to be "normal".  I was basically small, stupid, and impossible.

So I learned as quickly as I could.  Every time someone laughed at me, or scorned me, or made me feel insignificant, my skills became more sophisticated.  I learned to excuse my abusers.  I learned to store my real feelings in a box, either deep inside of myself or if I could, outside of myself somehow.  This became how I remembered a lot of my childhood- as if it happened to someone else.  I was thorough, I was meticulous, I was swift.  I was very good at it; it wasn't long before people began to remark on how well-adjusted I was.  I remember specifically the word "adapting" or "adaptable" being slung around to compliment me.  I knew that this was the ultimate feather in my cap, but when that compliment fell on me it fell hollowly, it fell emptily, like a pin falling on a glass table.  I began to feel enraged with it without understanding why.  That rage followed me throughout my life.  Every time someone tells me how brave, fearless, or inspirational I am, I feel that same rage.  I feel rage because of what I have lost in order to appear this way.  I feel rage because really my journey is so much more complex than that- I know that I worked to appear this way, knowing that the only thing that would make me worthy of existence would be to exist for other people.  To never be bothersome, make others uncomfortable, act out the abuse that was enacted on me.  I was a good little submissive victim.  So brave.  So inspirational.  So strong.  So fearless.  So well-adapted.  Well-adapted to the bullshit cycles being acted out.  To the abuse.  Whatever anyone wanted to do to me, they could do, to make themselves feel more powerful and to make me feel like nothing.  I existed for them.

I started really to wake up in my teens.  I started to identify my rage.  I started to understand that if I was adapting so well to this, there was no hope for me.  So I began acting out.  And for about 5 years, things got really, really dark.  And then for about 10 years after that, things were wild and red and hard and I was the bad guy multiple times.  And every time someone told me I was brave, I felt sick.  I embraced wickedness.  I did things wrong, I cried for days, I was impossible, I deliberately decided to misunderstand things, I made people uncomfortable.  I alienated almost everyone I knew, if I could.  I felt small.  And weak.  And wrong.  For a long, long time.

And it took me that long, just letting the pus run from my open wounds, feeling embarrassed and awkward and punishing myself for being so wicked even as I knew it was exactly what needed to happen, it took me till now at almost 30, to start to get in touch with myself and to remember my life as it happened to me, as my own memories.  To retrieve myself.

I sit here sobbing openly, and I allow myself to miss me.  I miss my life.  I missed so much of it, putting it away until I was safe to feel.  I put myself away until I was safe to come out.  And the bits and shards of me that are stuck, sing to me from my past.

"Come back.

Come, feel this.

It's ok."

My stomach hurts.  I feel physically ill, I am dizzy, disoriented.  I'm not used to feeling my feelings, I'm not used to being me, I'm not used to inhabiting my entire world.  For fucking once, I'm here and I'm present.

It is so good.

On Order

No Soy Tu Chiste
What do we lose by sticking inside the lines of what dominant knowledge calls civil society?

I remember what it was like to be a child.  Those experiences are not as valid as the ones I have now, which I am able to articulate and prove, break down and negotiate into understandable and bite-sized pieces.

I do not want to be bite-sized all the time.  Sometimes, that's fine.  But we think that the way we exist is naturally how things just work out.  And this isn't the case.

I remember so much magic, I have lost touch with it.  It is not just childhood innocence.  It is not just ability to dream.  It's magic, and I have lost it.

It's not just childhood, it's indigenous peoples of the world.  It's people who are lower on the hierarchy.  They are wilder somehow, more prone to chaos.  First of all, according to whom?  And secondly, it's telling that we have a system which subjugates that which we see as wild, larger than life, untamed, unbridled.  That which does not vocalize in order to serve.  That which is truly independent.  Our system is death; don't be this, can't be that.  Prove that it exists and it will be believed.  But life is alive.  No matter how we compartmentalize in order to dominate.  No matter how much the system courts death.  The only death the system will truly achieve is its own.  The universe is accommodating. 

On Figuring It Out

No Soy Tu Chiste
So look.  Though.

You're not going to finally, at the end of all the reading, at the end of all the watching, listening, taking in, reevaluating, all of that, you're not going to be able to deconstruct it.  You're not.

PS there is no end.  That's part of it.  It's a cyclical, multi-faceted regime.  It's a huge organic machine.  There is no end.  There is no undoing, there is no piercing.  There is no getting outside of it.

You're not going to figure it out.  That's the whole point of it...it keeps you confused, scrambling, trying to make sense of it.  It makes you want to sit down and think, clear your head, but makes you feel like you can't, because there's just this one other thing you don't know about what's right and what's wrong.  And as long as you think that way, as long as you think that at some point you will know enough to join the fray, you will never join.  You will always be fractured.  You will always be apart.  It's called being in shock.

You have to be in a place where you make space for your own peace.  Name your boundaries.  Keep cultivating, keep reading, keep making brave choices.  Join in.  Because it's right, because it's fulfilling.  But don't think that because you don't have the final answers on it all, that you can't participate.  We're humans.  We're messy.  It's not ok.  But you can have peace.