7 years ago today, Facebook (who cares so very much about me natch), allowed me to post this picture of wineberries growing wild (albeit invasive, apt) on the rocky hillside of the land which I currently occupy.
7 years ago today, the day after celebrating sweet puffin bear SonHerisme’s 5th birthday, I struggled to make sense of and piece together my quickly unraveling life having no idea how truly awful, terrifying and excruciating things were about to become. None of the puzzle pieces would fit – it was as if I was desperately carefully jamming together paper, wood, plastic, cardboard and invisible cut pieces from multiple puzzle kits with zero instructions, support or guidance.
I planned SonHerisme’s party to be at a large local park with fields and play equipment aplenty. Potluck so that everyone could be invited and gather together on a hot summer afternoon to socialize while children could happily run free and wild, full of birthday party sugar. MrexH (then still MrH) was alarmingly overtly not interested in the birthday party (he left about halfway through) and actively aggressively angry about discussion or preparation of the birthday party, taking his anger out in frightening tantrum outbursts primarily directed at SonHerisme. It was heartbreaking madness.
MrexH justified his behavior because I was not a good mother, I was not a good wife, I was a bad friend, I served rice and potatoes at the same meal which was not hot enough to justify being a proper meal (throwing the full plate tantrum on more than one occasion), I wasn’t controlling SonHerisme well enough, I was overly controlling of SonHerisme, I bought too much fruit, I didn’t buy enough fruit, I didn’t empty the trash often enough, I emptied the trash too often and was wasting trash bags, SonHerisme didn’t eat quickly enough at meals, SonHerisme ate too quickly at meals, SonHerisme cried too often, SonHerisme needed too much of my attention, I woke up too late, I got up too early and awakened MrexH up, I read to SonHerisme too much, I needed to do more academic work with SonHerisme, I didn’t exercise enough, my taking time to exercise was selfish (while he hired a personal trainer and went for weekly massages), I didn’t make my hair attractive, I spent too much money on haircuts, I didn’t buy attractive enough clothes, my clothes were too revealing and on and on and on, day after day after day.
This pattern increased in frequency. It did not matter what I did to change myself or help SonHerisme, MrexH found something multiple times each day to justify his anger towards us. He threatened to leave us, to take away my access to finances, to move us to another state where we wouldn’t constantly be trying to leave the house to spend time with friends and family. These are usual abusive patterns which I did not recognize, even though I knew that something did not feel right (then the murder threats – well, you know the story).
Also for sure in our physical relationship, things were not right at all – but, that’s for another discussion. Or not. It’s a difficult and uncomfortable topic for sure. I understand what marital rape is now, and I did not know before. Enough said.
You think you are clever and on top of things, until the universe pops in with a great big HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING – then the universe might show you how much you are not paying attention, until you do.
So, thank you Facebook algorithm, for reminding me how the universe can work.
It occurs to me that we are all getting a HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING from the universe at the moment. Not dissimilar from my own personal experience (this is true, the opposite is true, the other thing is really true, but that is really really true, you’re the one with the problem, no you are, I know you are but what am I, I’m in charge, it’s their/your fault, etc).
This is why those of us who have experienced and survived abusive relationships are super sensitive at the moment, recognizing once again the familiar patterns of bullshittery shitstorm shit being flung about.
We are desperate to communicate to you how much we all need to be paying attention. Even in isolation while thousands are dying, many of us are still not listening. Instead we passively disassociate trying to mentally jam mismatched mixed media puzzle pieces until we can cobble together some skewed version of how all of this will make sense as reflected by the memory of our comfort alleged safety zone of January 2020. All the while, in real life, being fucked over, again but worse.
We need help. Vetted professional help. STAT ASAP and all of that.
Why aren’t we listening to the helpers?
The teachers, principals, school staff who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy education for our children.
The nurses, doctors, mental health, healthcare workers who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy people.
The scientists, virologists, public health experts, epidemiologists who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy community behaviors.
THEN, after we hear from these learned experienced folks, who already have massive amounts of experiential real life and professionally validated data from years of collecting it – THEN turn to the economists, big business, multibajillionaires to fund what the experts tell us need to be done to keep us healthy and functional as family, neighborhood, community, county, state, country, global citizens.
In the meantime, we are playing a dangerous game of roulette with human lives which cannot ever be replaced. Through the virus, through racism, through bigotry, through discrimination, through misogyny, through accessibility, through general basic inhumane behaviors we are emboldening the dangerous mindset pushing roulette to egregious heights of engagement.
We can no longer afford to pretend otherwise.
We could never afford it.
We were pretending we could because the largest block of voting and economic power in this country has remained stagnantly in charge for at least 55 years, and told us that pretending we could afford it was the only way to gain and maintain a position of privilege and power, which is the ultimate measure of our morality and justification for our behaviors (no matter how inhumane).
I suggest they were and are wrong.
I suggest we can do better.
We must pay attention and act in decisive, humane, trickle-up ways, or we will continue to be unwillingly painfully fucked.
The good news is that every single community in our country, in the world, has helpers! Look for the helpers. Once you find them, listen to and support them so that they can listen to and support us as well.
It took me some time to recognize I needed help – I almost got us killed – and then to listen to the help (feeling the actual present threat of death helps to open your listening ears, but I do not recommend it). Somehow I listened to the helpers. I believe that you can do it too.
I believe in you!!!
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
#carryonhealthwarriors #carryonpeacewarriors #ilikeyou