(ps already – this quote is not sent as a demand for you to find joy in service, it is sent as an idea that if you are called to find joy, you might find it in service)
Moving away from the politics of American elections and into the politics of everyday relationships.
I just cannot yet.
We all know that this 2020 general election in the USA was not about politics between conservative and liberal democratic parties.
Our election was about choosing to embrace or reject an ideology which bases all actions and decisions on the premise that many groups of people are unworthy of consideration or being treated humanely, in order that the select premium group of people can elevate themselves and thrive.
We continue to be mired in the blatant fascist hypocrisy which has risen in a terrifying way: whose putrid messages continue to be spewed and elevated by neighbors in our communities, cities, counties and at the highest levels of leadership across our country.
This is vile and should be called out at every opportunity.
If you have not taken a firm stand against the current president and his sycophants, then you are enabling the continued death of thousands of your neighbors and encouraging the blatant disregard of democracy and humanity (for yourself as well, btw).
You may leave now and do some serious self examination along with a total destructive gaslighting media detox.
I’ll be here for you when you find your mea culpa.
In the meantime, I’ll keep fighting for all of our rights as humans (yours too). #carryonpeacewarriors #carryondemocracywarriors
For your Consideration: Idris Elba as Aaron from Titus Andronicus (by my historical pretend acquaintance, William Shakespeare):
“Ay, that I had not done a thousand more. Even now I curse the day…”
When you told me that I should be willing to take the fall because I always get forgiveness… I did it and you cursed at me for being manipulative.
When you told me that I laughed and smiled too much to ease hard things… I tried harder to charm you to smile and spend time with me.
When you told me that my breasts were too big and I wasn’t tall enough to be attractive… I bought shoes with heels and minimizing bras.
When you told me that I should know better than to hire, “those kinds of people who only belong in kitchens or on a janitorial staff,” and formally disciplined me for, “insubordination,” having conducted interviews for other positions with non-white people… I requested a transfer to another branch of the company for personal reasons.
When you told me that I needed to put your penis in my mouth and let you touch my body because I needed to get used to it and ready for what I would need to do when I was older… I did it without question and kept even more quiet.
When you told me that I was too homely to be seen with you or for you to continue dating me after you aggressively pursued me for months until I gave in… I silently carried that pain forward and remained friends with your friends to show what a good and forgiving person I am.
When you raped me the first time… I did not argue or fight back.
When you subsequently raped me on occasion… I became detached and unresponsive during the acts. Until you threatened my son.
When you told me all of the reasons that no one liked me… I believed you.
When you told me that I was selfish for wanting to get pregnant in my 30’s… I tried harder to include you in my pregnancy journey to win you over.
When you told me how glad you were that my baby arrived with light skin… I laughed and pretended like I did not understand what you were talking about.
When you mocked me for being quiet and avoiding eye contact at the dinner table surrounded by unhealthy people during the terror of my separation and divorce… I made more food for you and more space for you in my home.
When you bypassed my home alarm and locked doors to enter my home through the garage coded entry panel without my knowledge or permission after being expressly asked to be sensitive to our continued terror at lethal threats from MrexH who HAD been arrested trespassing on the property violating a court order… you blamed me for being jealous of you and alarmist.
When I insisted on taking my niece to the pediatrician after she was molested (with her parent’s permission as they were unwilling to take her, but wanted her to go when I pointed out this was a necessary responsibility) but was unwilling to be accompanied by another adult non-family member, entirely unrelated in any way to the incident or any profession related to the incident, to the appointment… you blamed me for be jealous and unreasonable for suggesting that her medical appointment was not a spectator event.
When I caught your decades of lying about your paternity… I held my tongue to protect your familial relationships.
When you screamed at me for returning your daughter to your home because I was experiencing a miscarriage and had to get to a hospital… I still tried to make our relationship work.
When you voted for racism, bigotry, criminal lies, bullying and narcissistic abuse… mea cupla.
Because I have let things slide for too long. Until I didn’t.
Once my son was threatened, I realized instantly that what was happening to me in my marriage was somehow wrong. It took me years to accept that what happened was rape, was abuse. Which sounds completely unbelievably ridiculous, I know. Even today I sometimes have to go back through the original documentation to truly understand exactly what was happening to my son and to me in my home.
And my own culpability, which was allowing it. Which was not being informed enough to understand and allowing that to continue.
We are killing ourselves trying to make it okay that people we love, or people who show love in some areas of their lives, are actively welcoming racism, bigotry, misogyny, criminal narcissistic abuse in the leadership with our country.
Oh – that’s right. They have excuses:
the direction of the country (WTF?!?)
potential financial gains
As long as we remain racist, bigoted, fear-based, lying, criminal, narcissistic abusers – you’re good with that because someone somewhere in the tippy top 1% might have financial gains which you equate with morality. Then you can watch from your high moral horse as those less moral, less human, less worthy are kept in their places or eliminated altogether because what do they matter anyway? Also abortion? Remove penis shooting sperm threats = abortion solved. NO ONE wants viable pregnancies aborted, you dumb asses. But until we have control over men spewing sperm creating unwanted pregnancies, PLUS adequate basic care for women/parental people/children, there has to be a safe medical option for uterus wielding humans. Stop trying to control women’s health care and START taking care of basic human needs so that abortion becomes irrelevant.
I am fucking sick and tired of making excuses for accommodating you.
You are not a good person no matter how many lovely things you do, if you endorsed Trump or his sycophants. You are not. Even the mob, murderers, dynastic conquerors, Saddam Hussein, the executors of the Spanish Inquisition did lovely things for family and community on occasion.
Also, I am not perfect – none of us are. But the opposite of an openly criminal oppressive racist narcissistic abusive regime is NOT PERFECTION. It is basic human decency.
We can argue about politics and I welcome political discourse.
I used his school backpack which has been sitting solo on a shelf in his closet since March 2020. Since our world as we knew it shut down, just like everyone else around our hurting earth.
It is a blue backpack with tan leather straps. Very boxy old timey European school boy vibe, but with modern zippers and pouches for electronics, water bottle, keychains etc.
Our impending winter kept the outside dark, full of heavy asthma inducing fog, and eerily quiet just before the sun has had a chance to poke its bright, “Good Morning!” smile up over the horizon. Sometimes when my sweet SonHerisme awakens too early in the morning, he tells me that he tries to stay quiet as possible to not disturb anything in the universe or spook the sun from rising. He gently slides across his bed and over to his front window to peel the shade aside very carefully and spy on the sun rising over the hills and trees to the East of our perch on the side of our tiny mountain retreat. He says he knows it’s going to be a good day if he hasn’t spooked the sunshine away. I love his amazing poetic brain! I love the way his brain brainiacs!
My sweet puffin giant newborn baby bear hockey bat superhero. Now 12. Now 5’9″. Now US size 13 men’s shoe. Now needing to learn about razors (among other things *sigh*). Someone hand me a baby to squeeze STAT!
I wish I could’ve had more. The more died either with my dreams or with my failed body.
I packed a bag in the very early hours this morning for SonHerisme because I have transported back to safety plan mode with the current climate in this country as we all (most of us, sweet beegeezus, I hope MOST of US) attempt to separate from our collective abuser. The most dangerous and lethal time for an abused person is when they attempt to leave. Unfortunately I have first hand experience as does SonHerisme.
We survived. We had safety plan upon safety plan upon safety plan upon backups, supports, and contingencies for safety plans.
It is a most dangerous time here in the US and I felt the familiar call for a safety plan for us.
We have regular everyday safety plans, like you, for fire, inclement weather, school transportation, etc. Being a single completely solo parent, I also have an added COVID-19 safety plan in case I end up severely ill, hospitalized, or … I’ll just say it… dead. I do still have in place some of my safety protocol from MrexH times, but have lapsed in areas compared to my prior levels of vigilance.
As I packed a bag for SonHerisme, I could feel the tension simultaneously rise and fill up my entire body to the point of it completely disappearing thanks to disassociation. It’s still my superpower, y’all. Then again, it is a tell for me to recognize when things are getting really bad. When I am not feeling something when there are big things afoot, I am disassociating, which means something is very very wrong for me emotionally, physically, or both. But, disassociation can be so very relieving for the strong terror. When disassociation washes over me, I sometimes wonder if it isn’t unlike the rush of relief an addict might feel. I love it and crave it so much sometimes, just for any relief from the pain, anxiety, and terror.
I packed one change of clothes, an electronic device charging cord with plug adapter, tetra pack monkey milk (don’t worry – it’s cow’s milk with extra protiens and a picture of a monkey on the container, it is not milk from monkey mammaries. Although, I once told me niece it was monkey mammary milk and she refuses to drink it to this day), two cliff bars, house key, some cash, and emergency contact information. I also included a note from me which says how much I love SonHerisme and how his job is to take good care of himself until I can return to him.
The bag is hanging on the inside of my closet. SonHerisme does not know about the bag because I did not want to cause him any possibly unnecessary pre-event anxiety. My plan was to contact SonHerisme if there was an issue, then have an emergency contact go to the house and pick him up so that he would have emotional support until I could get home.
Hells yeah, I have backups. This ain’ts my first rodeos, son (BEAST BOY!).
That’s right. Georgetown. Up the hill from the concrete barrier-ed current president’s residence. The one who incites violence and spreads viral death – yeah, that guy. Like some of you, we had a local voter intimidation parade of flag bearing vehicles yesterday, with some still going around today.
I grew (and am growing) more and more concerned about our attempt to separate from this abusive regime. I thought about the highway possibly shutting down (which it did very briefly this morning, for the usual I-270 accidents). I thought about roads being blocked. I thought about my sweet baby alone in our house on the side of our tiny mountain hill with no neighbors, no neighborhood buddies, no place for him to walk to (other than the cool goat/fowl farm way at the bottom of the hill), and me not able to get home and make sure that he is okay.
Enter safety plan. Enter packed bag ready to leave the house quickly. Enter emergency backup friends, and backups to them. Enter all devices fully charged before breakfast. Enter all doors and windows locked, alarm set for stay with SonHerisme inside. Enter hopefully casual usual review with SonHerisme, of regular safety plans of what to do when mommy is gone far away for hours and he is home alone.
Once on the road, driving to Georgetown with MotherHerisme in the car (post typical MotherHerisme tears and meltdowns *sigh*), disassociation began to wear off and the red hot fire of anger swept through my body.
I am angry that this is where we are. I am angry and I resent having these feelings of needing a safety plan AFUCKINGGAIN. I hate going through separating from an abusive relationship AGAIN. I HATE the potential exposure to a deadly virus for a check-up MotherHerisme puts up a fit to go to. I also hate the traffic on I-270, which is inching back up to pre-COVID-19 levels.
I like the coven. I like the valet parking people. I like the stone walls and canal stations lining the Clara Barton Parkway. I like the occasional reroute through the Palisades. I like passing my friend’s street and saying, “hello over there!” every time I pass by the entrance. I like saying, “Guten Tag,” past the German Embassy and, “Bonjour,” past the French Embassy. I like the word, “Georgetown,” because it is a compound word with hard and soft sounds.
I am angry at the generation who got us to this point where we are having to extricate from a seriously dangerous and deadly abusive regime. Once again, with their dying breaths, they are sending us all a big f you – I am okay and you are not which makes me morally superior and more deserving of my privileges than you will ever be because you are a super loser dummy.
If they are not resoundingly rejected with the election taking place today, we must carry on with helping our neighbors who are suffering and prepare for restructuring our voices for the next election cycle. But I am angry and resentful about having to contemplate that outcome.
In the meantime also have a safety plan with backups and pack a bag just in case.
In my experience a safety plan can save your life.
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps made it to and from Georgetown and am now completely exhausted helping SonHerisme with virtual school. He will remain unaware of the safety plan packed bag element, for now.
pps please take good care of yourself. I like you – especially you over there!
I feel as if I have addressed this all before in some manner. Perhaps only in my very weary brainiac though. So, well, here goes this:
We are not approaching the world the same way, thee and me. Thee may not directly apply to you, but it does to (points to the way far dim back of the room) you. Me is me (as much as I can be aware of how my flawed self moves through this consciousness iteration of life – ah, but that is a topic for another day…or not. tra la).
Zero is my hero. Zero is my hero because it has no value unto itself, no quantity, no expectations placed upon it other than being a critical placeholder to better define integers as they freely move up and down a number line according to measurements, mathematical properties and calculations. I loves me some maths, yo. (Too much Teen Titans Go! here, I am aware, thank you very much for your concern. Beast Boy rules!)
While zero is indeed nothing, it is everything to all other integers. You cannot have one (or two or three or four) of something and know or be aware of that one (or two or three or four) of something, unless you are also aware of having zero – having nothing. Otherwise you just have something without a numerical value attached. It won’t matter if you have one, two, three, or four – you only either have something or you don’t. You need zero as the marking point to define more than or less than having something or less than something.
Numbers flow up and down. Zero is constant. There is no negative zero or positive zero. Numbers attached to zero either remain the same as when they started, or wholly disappear into zero.
No beginning, no ending, a steady comforting circle of consistency = my sweet hero zero.
Of course, as with all true heroes, my hero zero is flawed. Dangerously so, these days. Because my hero zero is caught up in the zero sum game. Sadly, so are some of you.
In the zero sum game, there are only two options: to win (positive) and to lose (negative). Everything that happens points directly to zero without fail and all players end up on one side of zero or the other side of zero, without exception. There is no melodic movement of integers working with mathematical symbols up and down the number line. There is no symphony of ten page calculus problems to enlighten and entertain our brains or expand knowledge(AP Calc buddies unite!).
There is only zero.
Here zero can no longer be our hero because without the dynamic interaction between integers, when zero stands alone, zero has no value: causing every player on the number line to become irrelevant. They are reduced to existing or not existing.
Who decides where you might fall? Existing or not existing?
When you enter into the zero sum game…
ALL LIBERALS ARE LIBTARDS and should be forced to submit to tests to determine their commitment to nationalism and patriotism or they should be kicked out of this country!
ALL CONSERVATIVES ARE EVIL and should be forced to submit to public accounting of their personal social/financial agendas so that a select group of us can determine their true commitment to community!
But, humans are not able to sustain in a zero sum game and have not ever been, since the development of humans. We have always needed compromise with each other’s diversity in ever dynamic/organic degrees depending on the composition of the humans grouping together (politics, yo). Attempting to force ourselves into zero sum game players has resulted in genocides, wars, holocausts, rapes, murders, children in cages, marginalized vilified cultures/races, enslavement, famines, atrocities galore.
Anyone who has been through a custody battle with an abusive narcissist, has first hand experience of the life long devastating damage that zero sum game promotes. The courts in their objectivity (generous eye roll) allow for grossly dangerous behaviors (such as threats of murder) from a psychotic sociopath mentally ill parent yet hold the other parent under an untenable microscopic lens of perfection. Ah, Herisme, it’s not always about some aspect of your divorce… let it go, stop giving it space to control your life, refocus on more productive areas of your experiences, etc etc etc. OKAY, I get it (obvs. I don’t but I will let it go. For now).
One would think after multi millennia, the vast majority of humans would recognize and dismiss zero sum game as a baffling historical behavior only seen in the very tiniest percentage of extreme humans. Like cannibalism.
Sadly, this is not the case. Thee’s are still painfully, and shockingly to their very own demise and detriment, grasping onto zero sum game by their bleeding broken fingernails, trying desperately to be pulled into the “exist” bubble from the “does not exist” bubble. Which we all know will not and cannot happen by the very definition of zero sum game. There is no movement. You exist or you do not. It does not matter how lovely, good, awesome, terrible, pious, or talented you are, you will never ever ever switch bubbles. You also do not get to choose which bubble you are in. Spoiler Alert: Thee’s and me’s are not in the exist bubble. Even the folks who look like they are in the exist bubble, are not in the exist bubble – only by rhetoric and current perceptions – not in reality. We know this by seeing how many people throughout history who thought were in the exist bubble in their zero sum game, but met terrible fates (Mussolini, Napoleon, Hitler, Julius Cesar, etc).
My dearest darling friends who earnestly post the “you may belong to one wing or the other, but what you’ve missed is that the bird needs both wings to fly” kind of meme (especially if it includes an indigenous person’s image – natch!) are preaching a basic humane philosophy to a zero sum crowd. Zero summers are looking at that soaring bird, figuring out how to: modify their wing so the other becomes irrelevant, constrict both wings so they only do the bidding of those on the platform they’re building on top of the bird for the very smartest/best/worthy people, and get rid of the indigenous person who may be preaching narratives which threaten their innate supremacy. The zero summers never recognize that all of those decisions ultimately lead to their demise as well. It is so super frustrating.
To sum up (bwahhahahhaha – get it, SUM up with zero, get it?!?), zero can be a hero when room is provided for other integers to exist. In zero sum game, there is no hero, no winner, everyone loses.
I call upon thee and me to stop engaging with the zero summers because their game has no room for any of us, including themselves. Zero summers are not in a head space where they can recognize that as they burn down their Atlanta, they bask in the warm glow, denying the very existence and potential resolutions of their excruciating pain, as they burn themselves as well.
Instead, please consider refocusing on the actual wings of our birdy collective so that we can soar as never before – together, healthy, goal oriented, supportive etc. We can disagree on direction, how many feathers to keep, who is prettier, more talented, and all that occasionally valid discourse. But PLEASE let’s do this as we fly and not burn ourselves to the ground. Please let Zero be the Hero and not a goal for humanity.
Thank you for coming to my Herisme talk today. You can catch me here very occasionally as my brain and life permit. You can also catch me (if you can) at our local co-op (physically distant with my kitty cat mask on – meeeow), or wandering the park trails throughout our lovely county while SonHerisme runs circles, kicks balls, screams, leaps, etc around me. You really can catch me there, because I am a s-l-o-w daydreamy walker (apologies to my irl showing up friends!).
COVID19, Dam Breaks, Hurricanes, Cyclones… Also, FatherHerisme’s kidney function is a stitch away from dialysis, SisterHerisme is going in for non-cancerous (as far as we know today) colon surgery, MotherHerisme’s wounds are not healing and she will need surgery and hospitalization in the next month, SonHerisme has a jump-out-of-his-second-story-window-and-onto-a-tree-branch and other daredevil plans brewing. Past traumas resurfacing.
I wish I could wash it all away for all of us in a lovely outdoor shower space (with spa bench, natch) in my woods. Alas, it is only 55F today. Even if my outdoor shower dream were real, it wouldn’t be happening today anyway. A friend has been encouraging me to get a home sauna – which I would very much like to do. The potential financial fallout from COVID19 has me quite hesitant, however. So, a shower in my own plain builder grade shower might help (?). Please don’t suggest a bath. I know my ridiculously gargantuan tub appears lovely and inviting, and it was tons of fun to sit in and splash about with my tiny baby boy and my tiny baby nieces – but, germinating in a tepid pool of my own filth to relax? I don’t understand that at all. Hard pass, and also, no.
Note: I am grateful to even have a shower and hot water considering what many of us are experiencing atm around our tender world.
Thinking about washing, soaking things off for healing, reminded me of a sort-of recent experience I had at my local co-op. My community, my tribe, is comprised of many bougie crunchy adjacent (some full on crunchy) mommas. Not GOOP bougie, more like advanced degree educated, world traveling, new wave community collective supportive bougie. We sew our own masks, but also already had N95’s in our garages… we shop at the co-op, but also order recurring grocery items from Amazon.
Anywho… for a while some of us were gathering about once each month at a coffee shop (locally owned and roasts their own bean blends – see what I mean? Bougie but still grounded) to talk out and support each other with work/home/kids/relationships.
At one of our gatherings, our facilitator mommy shared her affinity for drinking celery juice in the mornings (again bougie, I KNOW IT). I too drink celery juice in the morning, but I have not been able to convince myself to use any special, or especially expensive, appliance (this might be a pattern – see internal struggle over sauna purchase). At the time, I was blending my celery stalks with about 4 ounces of water in a regular old blender. Then I would strain it through an old tight mesh utensil someone gifted to me years ago, which I believe is originally intended to remove items from a wok when frying.
As we were swapping stories of best celery juice practice, facilitator mommy suggested I try using a nut milk bag. In case you are unfamiliar, a nut milk bag is a reusable cotton bag used to filter out almond/hazelnut/soy bits from soaked/cooked nuts in order to extract a milky substance to use as a cow milk substitute for consumption. Crunchy – right? Some of us wear full on make-up, hairspray, and actual tucked-in belted knee boot outfits, so-crunchy adjacent. But we drink celery juice that we are blending at home. Gah! Whatevs – we are the mommy people doing the things.
That mommy person sent this mommy person to our co-op to get a nut milk bag to alleviate my messy celery juice burden.
Because I am highly suggestible to personal indulgences falling under the $10 mark, I did indeed go to the co-op to purchase a nut milk bag for straining my celery juice.
You guys… I went and asked the co-op worker man where he keeps the nut sacks.
Because my brain does not work, and my mouth does not either, I guess.
He did not respond, as you can imagine. It did not immediately click-in to my brain that I had misplaced my words, so I REPEATED MYSELF.
It was then that I had the terrible awful watching-the-train-wreck moment of realization as the final “nut sack” escaped my mouth, and I scrambled like a babbling idiot for correction as if I am a non-native English speaker making an innocent mistake because clearly English is not my first language or I would have never ever ever said “nut sack” even though you know me because I am in this store multiple times (pre-COVID19) every week for at least a decade interacting with you all and WTF is wrong with me – Could you please show me where you keep your reusable bags for making nut milk.
Apparently I am an 11-year-old-boy because I still giggle about this.
The first one to suggest that I now use the famous disguise of jean pants and a toothpick in my mouth when I shop, will indeed be my bestie for the day. (WWDITS is the best worst show ever and perfect escapism, better than any soak – most any soak – so go there now. Season2 Episode6 Jackie Daytona rules)
Of course we are all wearing masks so for the time being I am granted a temporary reprieve from crippling embarrassment at the co-op.
Funny things still happen in grave times. I hope you find a giggle or two in your day.
Things that go awry, misbehaviors, quick tempers (what? me? NEVER *weirdo sugar sweet smile*), wild long hair snagged on bra clasps, mud stomped into carpets, puppy and giant boy prints on the glass door every.single.g-damned.day (breathe, breathe, breathe), my mother’s perpetually multiplying piles of mess, cleaning up dishes a zillion times each day, somehow miscalculating the entry to my mouth and ending up hot tea burn staining my comfy long shirt & thighs (pantsless of course bc blip reasons)… these are a few of our blip-orite things.
Anything not meeting our standard of “liking it,” is summarily dismissed as being a “blip” thing during this COVID19 situation. Like Happy’s blip beard. You know, Iron Man’s bestie and number 2 work wife? Yeah, we Marveled up all over the place these past months. Don’t judge me. Blip you. Blip off.
(no clean segue)
Part of my serpentine path keeps pulling me towards things I do not like about myself. Much of which I wish I could blip away or blame on a blip instead of facing it and letting it go. At the onset of our physical distancing here, another woman was brutally murdered by her husband. Thankfully her son was spared. She was not someone I knew well other than seeing her through the community of mommies and she lived nearby.
This hit me hard, as it did many of you, especially those of you, my sweet supportive irl friends, who knew this family personally. I am trying not to succumb to the bizarre seductive comfort of depression or addiction to suffering. I hope that isn’t what this is. I hope it’s recognition and processing. I have no idea honestly. It is next to impossible for me to distinguish between my imagination/disassociation and leaning in to move forward. And so I write…
Domestic Violence is terrifying. Truly. For many of us, we do not even know we are in a bad situation until it is too late. We see ourselves as strong loving women (or men) who are resilient and up to the task of loving a man (or woman) who is troubled and merely needing proper support or care. We are pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps to rise to the challenge of this work to help them, because we are unparalleled problem solvers and are convinced that we are motivated by our deep love for them. Our identity and worthiness is completely tied into this narrative because we are smart/clever and we would know if we were in over our heads – right? We typically do not know. We cannot begin to comprehend the danger we are in even when it is pointed out to us directly from a place of healthy love or plain solid facts.
I spent the first few weeks of COVID19 physical distancing with my throat so tight I could only force my voice out in whispers. My sweet SonHerisme was left to ferally rewild for the most part as I could only handle the very bare basics of interaction and chores (thank you woods surrounding us for keeping him occupied, curious and safe). There were many blip behaviors during this time. I had to work my way back out of the muck the only way provided to me – through my child’s crisis and need for me. He is a miracle. I am on better footing today. #carryonsingleparentwarriors
Since the initial writing of “When you run my 5K,” I have wanted to speak it out loud. I gifted myself a microphone in either 2017 or 2018 to do this (my memory is spotty about many things, including microphone purchases – see ptsd brain). I finally opened the microphone this past week and recorded my story. I was also prompted by Glennon Doyle’s call for sharing stories through her new book Untamed. Full disclosure: I have not finished her book. While I am able to read nonfiction (NOT fiction, for reasons), her words are so raw and powerful regarding her journey, I can only digest her stories in small increments. She, like some of you, is a very live-out-loud person. My sensitive brain only allows that in small doses (live-out-louders who know me irl, you know who you are and you know that I love you). I am not a g-damned cheetah (see Untamed). I am something else wild, but not that. Also, my heart broke for that cheetah, the cheetah’s they brought to the outdoor symphony concert by the river one year, and all caged/performance animals not in their natural habitat.
Note: please do not ask me to go to the zoo with you or to take your sweet small people to the zoo. I will do it because your kid(s) is (are) adorable, you asked me to (you too have an adorable face), and I do not want sad faces on any babies. But, I will be miserable and will subsequently physically and mentally grieve for those animals for days. I blame this partly on my anthropomorphic projection tendencies combined with brain sensitivity and vivid imagination plus developing boundaries. Fair warning: paybacks will manifest in the form of limitless ice cream plus your sweet small person’s choice of tacky souvenir. You’re welcome. Yes, I have taken my child to the zoo because he too is super adorable and asks to go. Yes, it is ALWAYS painful. Also, yes, he has a future therapy fund. Again, you’re welcome.
Now comes the prompt (if you are so inclined) for you to revisit, or visit, my initial post for this blog through this link. Please be patient with my voice. My throat tightened up the more I read. It continues to be difficult for me to confront that reality. Necessary to face the truth of course, but nonetheless difficult.
I missed so much during this heightened terrifying time, it feels like I blipped to another universe outside of general living while surrounding life kept going. I have finally caught up on Marvel movies, yet I have missed so many other important things and I am sorry if you are a part of what I missed. I am trying to reconnect personally and with general life.
There was another domestic violence murder on the other side of town about a week after physical distancing began. A smattering of other local domestic violence incidents have also been steadily reported. A dear friend of mine is gearing up for a nasty court battle, once the courts are reopened, due to domestic violence with child protective services involved. There are many, too many, more that we will not hear about until it is too late or at all while the violence continues. Domestic violence is rarely a blip. It usually comes in waves and cycles through repeatedly until the victims are able to accept and receive intense help and support, or death.
If you are called to do so, please consider donating your time to your local domestic violence shelter. They usually have a list of needed donation items or finances for legal services etc.
Please check on your neighbors.
Please keep yourself safe and healthy – you are needed here.
As always, thank you for giving a piece of your time to my musings. You are beyond bliptastic 🙂
I do not know who planted that tree just outside my window.
It is not a native tree, so some human person had to specifically decide to plant that particular tree in that particular place. Bred in captivity and forced into the rocky hillside soil of my front yard. Sweet tree with a sadness she cannot ever quite place, I suppose.
I have been told that this tree species is not hardy, yet here she remains standing after the 13 ½ years I have been in this house looking outside of this window, while plenty of other trees have not withstood the trials of those same years. Ice, snow, wind, tornadoes, hurricane winds, little girls, little boys, bears, deer etc. She is still trying to be herself and continues to grow.
There have been two occasions when I thought she was lost to us. After hurricane winds came through one year, she lost a few branches, one of which was an offshoot twin trunk at her base. When neighbors came to help with yard clean up (many other trees were completely felled and needed chainsaws for removal), they offered to remove her as well.
She was in bad shape, they said. She was going to rot from the inside out and fall over anyway, they said. She was not even a native tree and was misplaced in the yard, they said.
Without hesitation I declined their offer feeling sure that she would be okay and should be given the chance to prove them wrong. Or maybe it was my own vanity at wanting to prove their chainsaw wielding asses wrong. Some might say I occasionally present with unpredictable stubbornness – allegedly.
I liked her and I did not appreciate the way they were so cavalier about cutting her down when she obviously still had life left in her. If she rotted and fell, then so be it, but I wanted her to have a chance.
Fast forward a few years later, add a significantly terrible ice storm followed by hurricane force winds, and my lady tree was truly devastated. All of her thick sturdy long limbs below about 20 feet of her height, had been forcibly ripped from her trunk, leaving nasty splintered painful gashes all around her. Other trees in my yard were completely felled by the storm and lost.
There was too much damage to rely on the generosity of neighbors this time, driveways were blocked, the public road was blocked. Thankfully the county came and removed the giant 30 foot pines that fell onto the road (I am on an essential emergency route – phew). Professionals had to come in and handle the other significant tree damage in my yard on my little hill in the woods. When I recovered from the heart attack inducing cost estimate, resigning myself to that expensive reality, I saw my damaged sorrowful non-native lady was included.
I agreed to all of the work the professionals proposed – including complete removal of my lady. She had retained a smattering of her original beautiful old limbs at the tippiest top of her. The rest of her looked like a slightly oddly bent-curved bare telephone pole. After signing the contract, I went back inside the house to take one final look out of the window at my lady. The top of her held so much promise – she really was reaching and stretching for her bit of sky and sunshine. I lost my resolve and immediately went back outside to tell the contractors to please not remove her. Please leave her there. Just clean up her broken limbs and leave her bare trunk with the shaggy top. I felt that there was some life remaining in her.
If she truly was not hardy, as they were telling me, then her top heavy trunk would fall in its own anyway and I could have her naturally felled remains cut to manageable pieces and pulled into the woods then. But, not today when she still had some life. For a few years she looked very odd with no lower branches plus a shock of green on top. But this year, as I look out my window, I see so many swirling baby twiglet branches finally coming out of her trunk. She is more than alive, she is resilient and thriving!
Even through this unusual mild winter, my old grand lady willow was unable to stay alive due to another wicked ice storm, yet this non native broken stripped bare tree is still standing and providing a home for birds, flowers for bees, and a bit of shade for the moss and worms. I like her and I am glad that she is a lovely brilliant fighter.
Severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration, causing a person to lay title, right or claim to something or someone, purely due to their own willful ignorance, heightened sense of righteousness, bigotry, racism, misogyny or other inhumane approaches to life.
“Her entitledementia was evidenced by her 10am temper tantrum over autofill not placing the proper passwords into a newly re-passworded 20th shopping app.”
“Her entitledementia allowed her to seamlessly move from ‘I believe her’ to ‘It matters more to me to have this misogynistic rapey screaming judge enjoy lifetime salary and benefits meanwhile destroying women’s and children’s healthcare and well-being, because I’m afraid someone might take my non-existent guns away and force me to be responsible for myself being humane because liberals are super scary and babies making big deals out of nothing. Drain the swamp! People on welfare should take drug tests’ ….”
Willfully ignorant to the point of insanity
Warning: If you know anyone afflicted with entitledementia, please consult your therapist immediately for professional assistance regarding the establishment of strong boundaries.