Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sacred cows

I'm trying to decide what mood I want to be in for today's writing sprint.  My first date yesterday was an only date.  That's ok.  I'm glad I had the "I want to be chased" thought yesterday.  By the time I got to the date I was real clear that I was uninterested in being the one to do 100% of the physical aggression.  I'm happy to do 50%.  But I'm not running the fuck.  You don't want me bad enough.  No more pity fucks.

I don't need to go have pity fucks with strangers.  I had sex with Noah twice.  It was hot.

I was thinking about the fact that a lot of folks have been discussing "appropriate topics" lately.  Over here at Soggy in Milk we are the all-inappropriate-all-the-time channel so I'm going to wax poetic for a few minutes.  Bear with me.  So imagine you had this nice normal life.  You have great parents and a couple of siblings you adore.  As you go through your life you get to spread daisies and sunshine and shit when you mention your euphoric family.  Everyone compliments you and tells you how wonderful you all sound.  Then I want you to stop for thirty seconds and think of what you have read from me here.  Man I really want you to do this again after you read the book, if you want to.

Now.  How the fuck do you think I feel when people talk about their families?  What exactly should I say if in response to questions about my family?  Should I lie?  Evade?  Be as curt as possible so as to minimize the damage I am invariably going to do?  Be honest and watch as people all but run as fast as they can to get away from me?

Seriously.  Where is my good fucking option.  Because you assholes seem to think that the topic of "childhood" and "families" is perfectly appropriate in public.  Oh, people will tell me, "Well you can talk about Noah and the girls!"  How generous of you.  I'm so grateful that I have a pat answer now that will satisfy your need for idle chit chat about things you are uninterested in.  Let. me. make. you. more. comfortable.  I live to serve.

I am angry about the so-called polite conversational topics because they exist to silence people like me.  They exist to make people like me invisible.  And powerless.  They exist to make it impossible for most people to successfully prosecute their attackers because it's not ok to say what has happened to you.  Ever.  People who say, "Well it's ok to say it to the police" have obviously never pressed charges for sexual assault.  I have.  Do you know how the police treat you?  They say that you have mental problems and you should be in therapy.  Despite the fact that the next door neighbor heard the whole thing and reported it to the police.  I was still dismissed as crazy.

Fuck appropriate conversation topics.  Do you know what is an appropriate conversational topic?  Police brutality.  Incest.  Rape.  Poverty.  These are things that can and must be talked about as often as necessary.  In any circumstance.  Ok, not in any circumstance.  But in any circumstance where there are only adults present.  I don't think every five year old needs to hear about incest.  But every child should grow up hearing frank conversations about police brutality and poverty.  They should know that these things exist.  This should be part of their lives too.  Because it is part of being aware of the world around you.

If someone brings up a topic you don't like you can try to change the conversation and make it all about you, or you can engage in a dialogue.  If you are feeling massively uncomfortable, say that.  Look at why.  If your upset is about your irrational beliefs being challenged... fucking go with it.  Get over yourself.  Seriously.

Things don't change until people are upset enough to make them change.  The longer you brush uncomfortable conversations under the rug only to be had at rare, carefully pre-selected, never risky times you are growing at a snails pace.  That's not something that fuels real personal growth, I'm sorry.  I'm that kind of control freak.  I can do that.  I love doing that.  It means I don't do any personal growth.  It means I hide in my little freak ghetto and get into a rut.

I'm better than that.  I need to go have the uncomfortable conversations.  I need to be honest.  I need to exist in the world.  I need to demand the right to take up just as much space as everyone else.  I'm not going to evade or give a half-truth when someone asks about my family.  I will answer questions honestly.  I will act like I have nothing to be ashamed of.  "Oh, what's your family like?"  "Incestuous rapists."  And I will take the blinking eyes I get.  I will take the look of shock and horror.  And I will try not to flinch.  And I will try not to cry.  And I will try not to run away.  And I will try to answer the following questions graciously without my voice cracking.

I'm not doing something bad by telling my story.  I'm just existing.  Yes, it's a harsh story.  Sometimes life is harsh.  Sometimes people have harsh lives.  It's far more common when you live in poverty.  That is a big part of the story.  Why did I move so often?  Because my mother was running away from my dad and from one abusive situation to another.  Because we lived on charity.  Because we had no choice.  Because we were evicted repeatedly for non-payment of rent.

I'm tired of trying to make up a story that will make other people feel comfortable around me.  I have spent my entire life trying to figure out how to lie well enough to be able to talk about myself.  I'm really tired of it.  I'm really tired of trying to invent a me that is good enough to be in public.  If I carefully censor myself enough, maybe I will be a good enough person to deserve to be part of public discourse.  This feels really shitty you know.

This wouldn't be such a big part of my story if other people didn't require that I tell elaborate lies in order to appear "normal".  It's not lying!  It's just... not mentioning things.  Uhm.  If you don't know that my family is full of incestuous rapists then you don't know anything about them and I shouldn't bother talking.  Because it affected everything.  It makes a big difference when I talk about my mother hating that I swore if I mention that I was raped about twenty minutes before she beat me for cussing.  It gives a whole new perspective.  That was my life.  I was raped and then I came home to more poison.  Multiple times.  It's kind of weird that I would come home from being raped and be mean and nasty and full of rage, right?  But that kind of behavior was not to be tolerated and I was to be brought down a few pegs.

It's time to go start writing on the book for today.  For better or for worse I found my tone.  It's time to go put a narrative on this bastard.

1 comment:

  1. This song makes me think of you, I'm not sure if you know Janis Ian's work: