From One (seriously amateur) Critic to Another (world renowned, Pulitzer Prize kind)

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I also like to think about things other than my own situation (surprise!).

A friend of mine reposted the following quote from Philip Kennicott’s FaceBook page:

“After all, I am not seeking to be reconciled with worthlessness, but what I do seek is the most ruthless war…It is not a question of convincing other people and winning them over; it is a question purely and simply of extermination…”

American politics, circa 2016? Fascist leader, circa 1939? No, Richard Wagner, in 1849, in a letter to a friend and ally about the composer’s forthcoming writings on opera and society. It’s bracing re-reading Wagner’s writings, coming face-to-face with his ugliness and mental instability. But this mentality, this idea that it’s not about persuasion but victory, not about advancing an argument but defeating the enemy, exists in many fields of human endeavor, especially those that are intricately bound up with the marketplace and competition. Humiliating other people becomes more satisfying than actual success; sadism replaces the productive, emulative force within capitalism. Applied to politics, its natural end is anarchy or fascism, with the former a way station to the latter. I suppose no one is innocent of the pleasure. Even children might acknowledge that in fact it was never about staying up an hour past bedtime. It was about defeating Mom and Dad.

 

My response to her Kennicott repost:

ah, yes, humans being humans… yet somehow we always find it surprising and disappointing. I suppose it is disappointing, considering how long we have been around as a species, knowing how similar and cyclical we are. However, I do believe that we are uniquely poised at this time in history, as in no other time, to tip over into a whole new, primarily peaceful progressive era. At no other time in history have we had so many educated people of all sexes, races, beliefs, who are able to connect and communicate quickly and without many barriers. I am not suggesting that the tipping part will be easy or without serious turmoil, I do suggest that tipping over into something positive and unprecedented, is a great possibility, more so now than at any other time in history. The end ttys xo

 

 

How are you feeling about the future of the United States of America, considering the recent controversial elections?

 

Or our collective global futures?

 

I am so curious because I recognize that I live inside of a series of concentric bubbles, which can make it quite difficult to see things from other perspectives.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps. I wish I had added a response to Kennicott’s comment about children wanting to defeat Mom and Dad. I disagree with that statement. It implies that children are able to process their frustrations in terms of “other” and I do not believe that is developmentally possible in the majority of children.  Children protest bedtimes for a number of reasons – most of which can be traced to fear and being in control of themselves, not a malicious intent toward their caregiver or parent (no matter HOW FRUSTRATING we as parents experience those moments – they are NOT about US).  My further 2 cents on the matter J xo

Brain vs Stomach

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This is an epic showcase showdown…

 

Confession #703

I like to cook stuff.

I like to eat stuff.

 

Food hates me SO much, but I adore it.

 

I adore everything about it.

I like researching it.

I like planning for it and around it.

I like going to the market and finding the perfect it.

I like cleaning it.

I like chopping it.

I like cooking it.

I like setting the table for it.

I like sharing it (or not).

I like eating it.

I like cleaning up after it.

I like leftovering it.

I like reinventing it for the next time (or not).

 

Food and I have never seen eye-to-eye, or rather, body-to-body.

I think that food should nourish all of the senses. 

Food thinks that my body, in particular my stomach, is a stupid dumb jerk that it does not want to spend time with, and so it begs to escape that hell-hole as quickly as possible.  It does not even take time to phone a friend.  It just wants out asap.  If it cannot be accommodated, then it tells my body to punish me further (hives, headaches, nausea, fatigue, cramping, inflammation, super fat storage, intestinal upset, etc – you know, the usual).

 

I do have some allergies and sensitivities, and I avoid those triggers as much as possible.  However, these nasty side effects of my eating can occur even when eating something I have successfully eaten before.

 

It’s anxiety.

Anxiety makes my stomach a hell hole for food.

 

I want my stomach to be a healthy respite for food.

I want my body to enjoy the experience as much as my brain tells me that I do.

 

Our stomachs have been compared to being our second brain – and mine certainly lives up to that description.  Anything my brain rejects because it is too scary, nasty, unpleasant, or terrifying, I know it sends away to let my stomach deal with it.  My brain is Scarlett O’Hara making clothes out of curtains, and my stomach is always “tomorrow,” when Rhett leaves, Scarlett is childless, broke, and the house is crumbling.

 

What I am trying to say is that I like cooking a big turkey, and I missed out on doing so for Thanksgiving.  I’m going to cook one for Christmas Eve.

 

I am also trying to say that I have found a new therapist, and will begin Somatic Experiencing to heal through this process.

 

I hope that my stomach can learn better communication with food, and not piss it off so much.

 

I hope that my brain can more effectively deal with situations and processing emotions, so that it may communicate appropriately with my stomach.

 

If you see me in clothes made from my curtains, please feel free to call me on it.  If they are green velvet with gold tassels, please contact my mother asap.

 

I hope that you all are handling the holiday season well (for those ‘in’ it).  Expectations, internal and external, are sometimes difficult to reconcile with reality (hello, anxiety).

 

If you are not moving well through the holidays, please find support for you – you are worth it!

If you are finding the season hopeless and desperate, please call a national hotline:

Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.7233

Suicide Prevention Hotline 1.800.273.8255

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

Disposable Emotions

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Parent/Teacher conferences happened last week at SonHerisme’s school.

This is one of the very, very extremely, limited times parents are permitted to see inside their children’s classroom, or the inside of the school environment at all.

Our school has very exacting leadership.  A militant Montessori, some might say.

The school is the domain of children and teachers, where families and parents are not permitted or included.

The conferences are strictly scheduled in 15 minute increments, twice per school year.  During two scheduled weeks during the school year, 20 minute opportunities to observe your child’s classroom are offered, but only to one parent at a time, and only if you secure the time slot before the other 100 or so parents.  There is also a 15 minute opportunity to join in your child’s classroom for their Walk-Around-the-Sun (Montessori birthday celebration).

Why are we still there? 

The teachers and parent community are unusually wonderful at this school.  I helped to build the school, as a founder.  While I am not on the same page with the leadership of the school, I am not currently in a position to help facilitate change, and the broader community of the school has been indispensable to us.

Also, despite having a horrific introduction into formal schooling (we were homeschooling prior to attending school), I was not in a position to even move SonHerisme into a different classroom.  My every move and breath was being questioned and picked apart by my attorney, SonHerisme’s attorney, and MrexH’s seemingly never-ending series of attorneys (each of whom firmly believed they were going to catch me doing or being something awful, so that they could vie for MrexH’s position with the court system – because that makes TOTAL SENSE when you are looking at a mentally ill person threatening to kill his family, with a history of abuse…yup, totally).

Anywho, the school leadership blatantly told me that, if asked by an attorney, therapist or social worker, they would not support my request to remove my child from the destructive abusive classroom situation he was in, or to change his school environment.  The school leadership’s position was that I would be harming SonHerisme’s education if I chose to school him differently. The school leadership is considered an expert on the subject of my child’s education, not me.  This felt like a threat to our safety.

The school leadership described me to SonHerisme’s attorney as an “over-protective” “hypervigilant” mother…  UM, YES because MrexH wants to KILL us, perhaps…?

This communication between SonHerisme’s attorney and the school leadership cost me countless sleepless nights, loss of trust in the leadership, and probably close to $1000 in attorney’s fees to explain myself – never mind the hours of my time in communications with those attorneys, our therapists etc, that most assuredly took my time AWAY from a confused and hurting SonHerisme who just desperately needed my presence and assurances.

The school environment we entered had an entirely unprepared incompetent teacher and was rampant with extremely poor  aggressive violent behaviors and bullying.  Most of the 30 children that were in that classroom 2014-2015, are still trying to normalize and catch up to their peers – even the half of the class that removed their children due to this horrific school situation.

While that particular teacher was not permitted to return to the school the following school year, the damage was done.  And I remained confined by the threats of attorneys and the attitude of the school leadership, to keep my child in that environment.

Those of you reading this and thinking, “This would never happen to my child!  Unacceptable!  I would pull my child out of there in a heartbeat and give them a piece of my mind!”

Be my guest. 

Walk my path.

(but holy bejeezus, I hope NOT) 

Have multiple attorneys threaten you with the safety and well-being of your child.

One threat: to send some stranger, in a van, to your home to physically remove your ptsd anxiety ridden child, and force your child to spend time with his abusive clinically psychotic father (who wants to murder SonHerisme and Herisme), if you make any questionable decisions or moves.  You know, because it turns out that, according to attorneys and potentially the court, it’s probably ME that had the problem – you know because of my anxiety about MrexH, and I am too overprotective and hypervigilant.  Yeah, that was the REAL problem here…

Anyone want to revisit the misogynistic bullying culture of outrage discussion?

Good times.

And so, you move those feelings to somewhere else (dissociation much?), and wake up in the morning to take your screaming crying frightened child into, what you KNOW, is an abusive school situation, and you leave him there because you’re fairly certain no one is going to murder him in a public Montessori school with a tough-as-nails, protective school secretary, watching the front door.

The unknown social worker in the van transporting your child to his psychotic abusive father is what you are avoiding.

Once that teacher was not invited back to the school for the 2015-2016 school year, new teachers arrived, and a new school secretary (the previous secretary made an extra effort to introduce SonHerisme to the new secretary and let him know that the new secretary knew how to keep him safe too.  I truly appreciated that!).  The school leadership divided that classroom of children into smaller groups, so that they could have a chance to normalize into the environment.

So far, so good, in terms of the classroom dynamics shifting and allowing education and positive learning to take place.  Of course, this is only as far as I can tell from observing my child outside of school, as no parent is permitted inside, except on the occasions listed above.

However, the recovery is taking extra time for us because not only did we have to move through the tragedies of our home environment, but also the severe tragedy of an abusive school environment 2014-2015, as well.

Which brings me back to the school conference, now that there is context for what comes next.

The consistent and patient teacher SonHerisme is in his second year with (multiage Montessori classrooms, he has not been held back), shared with me that SonHerisme confided he was worried sometimes at night because his dad wants to kill him.

Holy Fduck (D-)

At a follow-up meeting about extra educational support for SonHerisme, his teacher shared that SonHerisme told his peers in a classroom discussion about sad things in everyone’s lives, that his dad wants to, and tried to, kill him.

Holy Fduck (D-)

When the class discussion moved on to how to deal with the saddnesses, SonHerisme’s response was, “you just forget about it.”

Disposable emotions

Dissociation

Or, SonHerisme is growing, changing, and starting to forget somethings and remember other things in a different, maturing way.

I hope that my lessons to SonHerisme are not that the primary processing of emotions includes dismissing them, disposing them.

I want him to be able to acknowledge emotions,

process them,

move successfully and healthily through the strongest of them,

to live his long, healthy, full, fulfilling and safe life.

Maybe I am too good at dissociation and disposing of my own emotions to know how to guide him through this.

Thank G-d, and the generosity of SonHerisme’s therapist,

his therapy continues weekly.

Obvs I need to be in therapy – which takes private insurance – which takes money – which takes an income – which requires employment.

In time.  I feel that I will get there.

In the meantime, thank you all for your patience.

If you know me irl and know our school, please be kind in your judgements of them and of me.  Challenging extremely unpleasant circumstances tend to bring out the worst in everybody.

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps. yes, it continues to be difficult for me as an adult to process what has occurred.  I cannot imagine how these situations have formulated SonHerisme’s young little being. *spirals into worry*

Madame/Madman President

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I awakened last Wednesday morning, as most of us did, a little shaken by the outcome of our presidential election.  Not primarily because of the WHO, but primarily due to the deluge of outrage.

 

Did we really have NO IDEA that our country was poised to make a bad choice?

 

Did we really have NO IDEA that a significant segment of our country is fundamentally misogynistic, bigoted, racist, power-hungry?

 

Did we really have NO IDEA that either way the election turned out, about half of us were going to spiral into outrage, and the other half into bloating gloaters?

 

REALLY?

 

C’mon people.

 

Have you spoken to your neighbors?

Have you reached out to the lady next to you in carline?

Have you volunteered at your local domestic violence shelter or homeless shelter?

Have you, or anyone you have ever known, been a victim of domestic violence?

Have you ever known someone who has tried to separate or divorce from a domestic violence/abuse situation?  With children?

 

If you have been in an abusive relationship, tried to divorce or separate, and have children, then you know what to do now.

 

You know how to handle this situation, because you have dealt with it before.

Power and control,

through bullying, misogyny,

bigoted/racist speech –

been there, done that.

 

Our courts condone this type of behavior every single bojingle jangle day.  Ask around, we’ll tell you all about the reality behind the curtain of American Happy.

 

We have already worked through our outrage, shock and dismay at realizing the truth of our culture.  We are all sorry that the rest of you are just now being smacked in the face with it on a grand and public scale.

 

We know what to do next, and it isn’t “move to Canada!”

 

This is what you do.  Do what you CAN do.

 

I can prepare breakfast.  I can make healthy choices to fight my cancer.  I can work with attorneys/therapists to keep us safe and healthy.  I can inform myself about local, national, and global issues.

Talk to your neighbors with respect and compassion.  Talk to your family with respect and compassion.  Take care of your family.  Take care of your neighbors.  Turn your frustration into informed action and spread love all around yourself.

Inform yourself about what is happening socially and politically in your community.

Hold your communities’ elected officials to their commitment to represent you.  Volunteer for a community committee.  Thank those who serve on community committees.  Know your Congress people.  Know your Senators.  Know what they stand for and communicate with them about what you stand for.

 

Engage.  Empower.  Encourage.

 

We’re in this place together.

 

If we continue to turn our cheeks, spew rhetoric, or close our eyes and our ears, this, THIS, THIS is what happens.

 

Dear Adults, we NEED to do better.

 

Know your community.  Respect each other.

 

Know more and make better decisions with that new knowledge.

 

You are important, not more important that anyone else, and you are loved.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

‘A’ is for Attention

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Attention!  Attention!

 

Attenzioni!  Attenzioni!

 

Achtung! Achtung!

 

Mind the Gap and so forth.

 

Karmic disclaimer: This post is not here to invoke unwanted connection or attention.                     This is an expression of exasperation and disgust.

 

I wanted to title this, “A is for Abandonment.”  Then I thought, MY G-D, WHEN will I STOP sounding so sour and dour and gloomy doomy? Blech yuck blah UGH

 

My life is one of mostly comforts and the love of a sweet SonHerisme.  And, despite the current political tensions, we are poised in a country of overall general comforts, the likes of which have never been experienced in the history of mankind.

 

Yes, my family loves me and supports me.  We are supremely blessed and I am unimaginably grateful.  I live in a time and country of possibilities.

 

Here is what is weighing on me – a shackle that I seem unable to displace.  Perhaps I am not meant to displace it.  Perhaps I am meant to carry it for this lifetime, for whatever reason.

 

MrexH’s family has, for undefined reasons, chosen to abandon SonHerisme.

 

It is so painful. 

 

Not just the loss, but the utter lack of communication or contact for SonHerisme, who is unable to understand the ridiculousness and arbitrary selfish behaviors of adults.  Especially from those whom he loves and have professed to love him.

 

I understand that this is perhaps because they believe that I am the most horrid and awful human to have ever walked on earth.  Some days I believe that myself.

 

However, given that maybe I am a horrid awful terrible person, my G-D, wouldn’t you want to make sure that the young child I am taking care of, is okay?  Wouldn’t you want to send him a reminder that you are thinking about him and sending him your love?  Not even a damned f’in birthday card, people…  NOTHING

 

The last contact SonHerisme had with anyone from MrexH’s family, was in November 2014, when they came into town, unannounced, to attend one of MrexH’s trials.  They telephoned me and requested to see SonHerisme. I agreed.  They hugged him and promised him they would keep in touch with him.  They never have.

 

MrexH’s sister suggested that she bring SonHerisme’s cousins for a visit in the Summer of 2014.  They never came, they never wrote or explained, they never have.

 

Over the Summer of 2014, MrexH’s sister and mother, sent SonHerisme a generic birthday card, with their signatures only.  SonHerisme was turning 6-years-old.

 

Since that time, nothing.

 

There are a thousand explanations. 

And there is NO explanation.

 

Every once in a while, SonHerisme wonders aloud about his absent cousins, his absent grandparents, his absent uncles (one has since deceased), and all of the other relatives from MrexH’s family.

All of them *POOF* disappeared from his life without regard or explanation.

 

To bring you up to speed, or as a reminder, currently:

There is court-ordered ‘no contact’ between SonHerisme and MrexH, for safety and health reasons.

I send weekly updates about SonHerisme to MrexH (cc: attorneys & representative from MrexH’s residential facility).

We have a court-ordered BIA (until April 2017) who represents SonHerisme legally.

We have a court-ordered parent coordinator who facilitates any contact between MrexH and SonHerisme (to date there has been no physical contact since early September 2014).

(and, YES, this all costs me $$$$$$$)

 

July of 2016, our court-ordered parent coordinator, believed (based on information from MrexH – completely unreliable since he has a severe mental illness, yet that is what we have to go on) she might be able to arrange contact between MrexH’s family and SonHerisme, and told both SonHerisme, and me, about this potential.

This has never happened.

 

This is a deep pain in my soul – knowing that this group of people have somehow been able to rationalize absolutely smashing and abandoning my child’s heart.

 

That they are able to do this,

reinforces that they are all unsafe and unhealthy people for us.

 

I currently cannot imagine a scenario where I could be convinced that any reintroduction to any of them, would be healthy or safe for us.

 

SonHerisme has other cousins, other grandparents, a broad community of support.  They love him, and demonstrate their love for him consistently.

My prayer is that, other than possible curiosity as an adult,

SonHerisme will have enough in his life that this utter abandonment does not leave permanent holes,

just informational scars.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

ps. I do have thoughts on the political climate to post in the next day or so {hugs} all around

Pumpkin Patch Pathos

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You are beautiful.

It is not you, it is me.

Not tritely, just truly.

 

I had an anxiety attack at the pumpkin patch the other day. 

 

Not the fake pumpkin patch.  This one is a real, honest-to-goodness working farm turned pumpkin patch for 6 weeks.  Once they harvest in September, they go out and install swings, apple cannons, jumping pillows, hay bale climbing structures etc. on the harvested fields, and leave the pumpkin fields for guests to ride out to and pick a pumpkin.

 

It is a stunning piece of rolling farm land.

 

We buy season passes and head over to play quite a few times over their short open season.

 

When we headed over there the other day, about an hour into our visit, I had an overwhelming feeling of dread.

I couldn’t breathe.

Tears were draining uncontrollably constantly from my eyes.

I felt people were skinny jean/sweater poncho/man-bun/jaunty hat or beanie/riding boot/pumpkin-spice latte-ing at me from all directions.

I could feel my skin crawling with dread.

I attempted to collect myself by sitting on a bench and allowing SonHerisme to fend for himself in the throngs. I shamefully pulled my left sleeve down over my hand.

This did not work.

So we left.

 

Please forgive me for not fitting in.

 

Please forgive me for not being matched up.

 

Please forgive me my ability to only single pro-creation.

 

Please let me forgive myself.

 

Anxiety is hard.

 

Beauty and expectations can be overwhelming.

 

I’ll plan better next time.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

Weekly Penance

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In the Game of Courts, your attorney versus his attorney, you must be willing to suspend disbelief and all sense of what you know as truth and logic, in order to survive.

 

Much like you do when watching a popular HBO series.

 

You must also retain the ability to blithely travel back and forth in your history, even to other lands, as others will rewrite and redefine everything you have known, even about yourself and your child(ren) as truth.

 

Much like a character in a popular Showtime (or is it Starz?) series.

 

Anywho – fun!  Right?  WRONG

 

At the end of it all, going through a divorce with an abusive spouse is as ridiculous and insane as believing any of those television shows is true.

 

Yet, throughout the entirety of the process, you will be surrounded by people trying to convince you, no, actually, DEMANDING that you accept time travel, zombies, dragon-riding queens, and magically clean/fully-toothed Scottish warriors from the 18th Century, are real and accessible.

 

They will insist that you are anxiety-ridden, overprotective, and therefore incompetent parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are sexually promiscuous, potentially introducing your child(ren) to a pornographic lifestyle, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are the one who has abused your child and your spouse, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are a lazy incompetent willfully unemployed person who is reckless with money, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

They will insist that you are unstable and unreliable in all areas of your life, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)

 

Divorce from an abusive person is a disgusting disorienting process.

Because abusive people are disgusting and disorienting.

 

This is how it came to be that every week, I am court ordered to pay penance for my compliance in allowing an abusive and ill man to father my child.

 

Every week, I have to send an email to MrexH, MrexH’s caregiver, SonHerisme’s attorney, and my attorney.  The email has to include facts and positive comments about SonHerisme.  Including a picture is optional.

 

Every week, I sit down and compose the same email, with a sequentially numbered attachment containing 2 facts and 2 positive comments about SonHerisme.  Each school report card period, I attach a photo of the report card (at the request of SonHerisme’s attorney).  I have also, on occasion, included a photo of SonHerisme’s school work.

 

SonHerisme has been asked many times over the past few years, by Social Workers, a variety of Therapists, Attorneys, Counselors, Friends, and Family members, if he wants to say something to his father, send something to his father, or hear something from his father.  SonHerisme has always been consistent that he does not want to do any of those things.

 

Because of this, I have never felt comfortable telling SonHerisme that I am obligated to do this weekly penance.

I have never sent pictures of SonHerisme.

After our divorce was final (FINALLY), I stopped including pictures of SonHerisme’s work.  It just doesn’t feel right.

If SonHerisme doesn’t want to send copies of his personal works, I do not feel it is my place to override his wishes.  Since MrexH has a legal right, as SonHerisme’s parent, to have access to school records, if he chooses, so I do include SonHerisme’s report cards.

 

My weekly penance typically looks something like this:

 

Facts about SonHerisme:

  1. SonHerisme attended school every day this week
  2. SonHerisme was healthy all week.

 

Positive comments about SonHerisme:

  1. SonHerisme made progress with his math works
  2. SonHerisme is proud of his forms

 

 

This is court ordered under the guise of me maintaining my cooperation in keeping MrexH informed and a part of SonHerisme’s life.

See how cooperative and encouraging I am?

I have sent 39 of these reports to date.

So consistent.

So compliant.

So still up to me to maintain, negotiate and navigate this relationship *sigh*

(Here is where an attorney would threaten me with having to pay a professional to do weekly evaluations and reports, or lose my sole legal and physical custody, if I cannot comply or if I speak about how ridiculous this process is)

 

I am sending information about my young child to someone who is basically a complete stranger to us.  Someone who is so ill and unstable that he is unable to care for himself.  Someone abusive, with a legal trail of court recognized abuse.

 

These are things that might never occur to you to consider before your life is ripped apart.

 

Sometimes I feel like an asshole sending this report.

Most of the time, it feels like my punishment.

A weekly grim reminder of the truly unfortunate and sad circumstances of our situations.

 

My weekly penance.

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

 

It Is My Story

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I know that you are trying to help…  it is the memes, man, the memes…

 

Dear Memes,

 

Please let me own my story

 

It is my story

 

Please do not ask me to let it go

 

Please do not expect me to be strong

 

Please do not suggest that I embrace the magical beauty of everyday

as if this is not the ONLY piece of my existence which is keeping me moving through my trauma

as if this will be what sustains me due to your suggestion

as if I am doing another thing wrong in addition to being in this trauma, which I must correct in order to be right with my world

 

Please let me own my story

 

It is my story

 

Please hold space for my story

 

Please truly listen to the reality of my story

 

Please help me find the nuggets of wisdom and strength from my story so that

I may truly own my story,

instead of my story owning me

 

Please

and

Thank You

 

Maybe, in time, this is how the trauma-ed we can move beyond the tragic defining moments of our lives.

 

Thank you for your help.  Y’all are awesome and SO needed!

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps this post seems to have an ungrateful twinge to it.  I do not feel ungrateful for all of the love, prayers, and support. I am eternally and supremely grateful!

I am doing a terrible job of trying to express that something feels so wrong to me.

All of us experiencing or having experienced trauma, want desperately to be out of it. We never wanted to be in it.  We want to be healed.  We want to feel healed and safe and healthy.  Being pushed to “drop it” “let it go” etc feels like “pretend it didn’t happen and stop speaking about it because it is making everyone uncomfortable now because can’t you go to yoga and release it to the winds of time because we want to be surrounded with positive light people full of happy inspiration fulfilling lives and you are totes bringing us down with your story…”

Why can’t we just know and acknowledge that shitty crappy things and people and circumstances are afoot, beyond the discomfort of too much laundry waiting to be folded, or dishes to be cleaned, or cars needing repaired (although, I acknowledge that these can be supremely stress inducing too)?

Why can’t we stop “healing” from some awfulness with an anticipated date of completion, as if once the stitches are gone and the skin is healed, the vibrant scars should never be explained or noted or spoken about, except in whispers?

Why can’t awful things, people, circumstances, be recognized as such and as a normal part of being human?

Why can’t we decide and own our stories instead of shoving them aside as if they are trash to be left on the curbside?

Our stories define us, no matter how we fancy them up or how we choose to address/discard them.

Why can’t we just own them and shape the hopefully eventual wisdom of living them in combination with all of our stories, and still be okay to have all of our stories?

I want to own my story so that it cannot own me.

Or, maybe I’m just a big meanie who needs a drink and a yoga break and let it go…

Preposterous Misogynist

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I just cannot EVEN STEPHEN with this election cycle.

 

We’re all not even stephening (or stevening – whatevs, peeps)

 

Ugh

 

As heated accusations from an older male person were recently hurled at me about how women need to “grow up” and “man up” and “get over yourself” and my “need for perfection” being the “real problem,” regarding the outrage at Mr. Trump’s leaked banter with Mr. Bush (of NBC), I ultimately fell into painful silence and emotionally twisted myself into the deepest pit of my soul.

Not that I did not attempt to make my point clear, I did.

I have learned over years of working with children, that once you meet screaming out-of-control anger with the like, you have lost any chance at healing, or the ability to mutually empathize and work through emotions together, in that moment.

I apply that lesson as needed, with adults too.  Not always, I am not perfect (obvs).

However, in this situation, I just stopped responding and waited for the directed screaming to end.

 

Painful to experience.  I was in complete shock, disbelief and in tears (not in front of him).

 

This is someone who knows my story.

This is someone who knows that I have been sexually assaulted,

both as a child and as an adult (different men).

 

But, even without my personal history, I am flabbergasted and rendered speechless when barraged with this defense of Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush’s banter.

 

HOW is it okay to dehumanize half of the population of this earth?

For entertainment?

 

Power and Control.

 

It is not funny. 

It is not just “talk.” 

It is not okay. 

 

Beyond Mr. Bush being on company time, with company equipment (and with company responsibility), behaving in this egregious manner, it is precisely the attitude that this behavior is “just men being men,” which promotes misogynistic rape culture.

 

If you are able to reduce another human being to an object

meant for your sadistic pleasure,

or some other dehumanizing activity,

you are enabling rape culture.

 

Power and Control.

 

I’m not suggesting that that there aren’t any humans who do not want to be grabbed and kissed or grabbed on their body and forced into physical interaction, but then I am speaking about those situations which are absolutely consensual between adults.

The CONSENT and ADULT bits being the very most important parts of that equation.  Without consent and being adults, the situation has nothing to do with pleasure and has everything to do with power and control.

Power and control do bring pleasure for people, but when it is not done in a consensual manner, there is NO pleasure, only dehumanizing dominance (which might get someone off, but it is NOT pleasure) (also, sorry for being crass).

Pleasure is healthy,

dehumanizing people to feel a sensation is NOT healthy.

Suggesting people be dehumanized is NOT healthy.

 

I also do not buy into the, “well, at least he is being honest about it and apologizing.”

 

No Sir.

No Ma’am.

An apology made years and years after the incident, only because of public relations pressure, and couched inside of ANY defense to justify those words, is not an apology.

 

Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush, I invite you to come and spend all of your working time at our local Domestic Violence Shelter, in our out-of-the-spotlight town, for 3 months, and then talk about your words and actions and their meaning and influence in our world in an honest way.

 

Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush, I invite you to sit with our local group of victims of Domestic Violence, for as long as they need you to, so that you hear their stories until they are ingrained in your souls with such power that they radiate out of you into every thought, word, decision you make in every aspect of your life for the remainder of your days on this earth.

 

Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush, I invite you to donate half of your yearly earnings to our local Domestic Violence Shelter so that women and their children can be sufficiently represented in our courts in their defenses against men on whom you have perpetuated the myth that these women and children are possessions for your sadistic pleasure.

 

Regardless of your ability to recognize it,

your words and actions have a direct effect

on the children these women are trying to raise and educate

and keep safe from men like you.

 

Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush, I invite you to pray with me for my son, and all of the children like him.

Pray that he has guidance, support and love to be able to recognize that he has a responsibility to himself and to all other humans, to be treated with respect, kindness, consideration, and empathy.

Pray that he is able to provide for his livelihood in a way that reflects his talents, values, and commitment to himself.

Pray that no human decides that he is not human enough for consideration.

Pray that he may be kept safe from those unable to not de-humanize others, and if he is not safe from them, that he can protect himself from them.

Pray that, if he chooses to do so, he brings children into this world and is able to provide the same prayers.

Pray that he has ZERO influence from people like you on his ability to make decisions for himself.

Pray that you become better humans who are able to earnestly and truthfully pray and respectively live your lives in this manner, for him and all of our children.

 

I will walk with you though these prayers and actions.

I will extend my hand to you through these prayers and actions.

I am willing to take this hard path with you, for our children, because I am not afraid to shine the light on this wrong and turn it towards the path of being educated and enlightened (not by me, as I am on the learning path too).

 

Yes, this is a “shame on you,” post because I totally feel it.

On behalf of your mothers, your grandmothers, your aunties, your great-aunties, your sisters, your daughters, and our sweet vulnerable sons, I proclaim it loudly

SHAME ON YOU

 And

Shame on us for watching Mr. Bush’s shows – this is undoubtedly not his only incident of extremely egregious behavior at work, which should have caused termination.

 

Shame on us for allowing our election cycle to result in trying to make any kind of right out of two massive wrongs.

 

Shame on me for not taking a stand sooner.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps the older male person did apologize and asked to not discuss the matter further

pps I will continue to educate myself so that I may be an informed voter

Couple Out

img_4378

 

After the neighbors across the street moved away, a new couple moved in.  I do not remember anything about the family that moved away, because I was so young.

I do remember the couple that moved in.

They lived across the street, until I was long grown and gone from my parent’s home.

We were forbidden to run across their manicured lawn. They did not have any children.  However, they always kept their eyes on the children on our street, and never hesitated to call our parents if they were worried or disapproved of our behavior.

Yeah, my parents were called a few times (kissing underneath the only streetlight on our street – teenagers have mushy brains).

Many people on our street had the nastiest attitudes and words for that couple.  My mother and our next-door-neighbor lady, were always trying to include and defend that couple with our neighbors.

But, the couple knew they were outcasts from the general neighborhood.

As a child, I found this completely confusing.

To me that couple seemed to have happily and contentedly figured out an answer to what seemed to be, a very difficult issue in our Midwestern white middle-class suburban culture.

 Whenever the mommies gathered, there were a million complaints about their husbands, typically rounding out with a unanimous disgusted, “ugh, MEN!” sigh.

Whenever we were left in the care of our daddies babysitting (showing my age here, GenX all the way!), there were a million complaints about their wives, typically rounding out with a unanimous disgusted, “ugh, WOMEN!” sigh.

 

To me it seemed like the couple across the street had magically figured out how to smooth all of those issues out by finding each other.

This couple were together for over 60 years,

when they unexpectedly died within a month of each other. 

 

I annoyed the hell out of them.

I thought they were great.

I was given some of their furniture they wanted me to have when they died.

I still have it.

 

 Mr. Mike and Mr. Paul 

Trailblazers for normality of consensual humans humaning

 

Coming out day is today.

Humanizing {{{hugs}}} all around

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo