Bang Bang (Chicken)

Uh-oh.  Now she’s going to preach about: gun control, teachers need guns, mental health, universal health care, libtards, evil conservatives, sexual assault, feminism, sexism, patriotism, nationalism, racism…

 

TRIGGER WARNING

 

trigger, trigger, trigger!

 

BANG!

 

Honestyism

 

Those of us living in the United States of America, are living in a fear reactive based culture in general.  On top of that, we maintain this bizarre “code of silence” about truths and realities of our culture/town/neighbors/school/family/self which permits us to disengage and disconnect from responsibility to ourselves and to each other.  These things prevent us from having productive dialogue, discourse, and disagreements, which could lead to healthy compromise and solutions.

 

For example:  I am confident that there are next to zero parents who want to their child to feel unsafe at school, or to be shot at school.  This is the beginning of a dialogue.

Some of us might feel that schools need security/police/armed teachers or staff for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

Some of us might feel that we need better gun control/mental health support over all for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

(psst… these are not mutually exclusive ideas, just different ideas)

 

When the dialogue becomes about the extremes, which we are brilliant at, the discourse breaks down and stagnates until the side with the most power and control gets their way.  This leaves the rest of us scratching our heads, “what just happened?!!” Or loosing complete interest and tuning into some reality television show/youtuber/drink/exercise/food/work/sex/whatever to tune out our reality.

BANG!

The power and control duo do not equal good leadership.

BANG!

Having power and control is not a good indicator of good decision making.  (hello, world history and anyone who has been in an abusive relationship)

 

One of the things that makes our country so great, is that we emerged from a group of people who were unified in their belief that there was a better system for collective living. Rather than relying on those who wielded only power and control, they developed a system of collective input and feedback (not equitable, and with other issues, yes, yes, yes I am simplifying.  I said “ONE of the things,” anywho…).

BANG!

We have the laws we have because we voted for them.

BANG!

We have the people in office that we have because we voted for them.

 

Gun laws or lack of?  We vote for those.  BANG! BANG!

Education system?  We vote for that.  BANG! BANG!

 

I am not under any Pollyannaish spell where the magical world of magical peace will be attained through everyone believing in my truth.

 

I am suggesting that, as a collective, we do not accept our own culpability or responsibility in our collective missteps, disappointments, inactivity/activities. Shame and blame game, baby.  Power and control for the win!

 

WORTHINESS is critical.  Believing that one is worthy and others are worthy.

 

All it takes is for me to look inside my own home, inside of my own family, inside of my own community, to see this playing out.

 

My Home/Family:

There are so many scenarios to demonstrate in this dynamic.  The two men in my son’s life who are the closest to him struggle to maintain civility, courtesy and respect with SonHerisme.  It is awful.  I draw my boundaries as I am able to do so, and I am getting stronger and more able everyday.  In the meantime, I wonder what these men are doing to help SonHerisme feel worthy as a person.  Worthy enough that he can see worthiness in others.  Worthy enough that he does not get to the end of his rope as an at-risk teen and go into a high school or workplace or concert, and decide that not only is he unworthy, but so is everyone else.  What are they doing to show him how to be a functioning healthy adult man?

 

I could have this conversation with them.  It would not be received.

 

After the latest High School shooting, my father wondered what the differences could be between that shooter and himself.  My father tragically lost his father when he was very young.  His mother became ill and died when he was a teenager.  He was poor.  He was bullied.  My father is completely at a loss in understanding why this young man in Florida, and other white men, are shooting kids at schools, when he did not do that.

Unlike these kids, my father had a support system of people who believed he was worthy, and showed him that others had worth too.  He had a consistent sense of reciprocal responsibility in his community from the time he was born.

He did not have access to the kinds of firearms people do today.

 

Bang

 

My School/Community:

In our school community, parents are not included in the school-day community at all.  It is considered a sacred place for children only (and the staff).  Our after-school community consists of primarily female-centric activities run by parents (girl scouts, brownies, garden club, writing club, mother-daughter book club… yes, gardening and writing are not just for girls, but they are female centric and female run).  There is a co-ed robot club too, limited and selective, and an athletic club that meets seasonally at a local park (also run by women).

 

I have reached out multiple times to try and establish interest and leadership in more male-centric activities (scouts, maker-space, running club etc) with little to no response, and ultimately no action.  Inevitably someone comments, “where are the dads?,” “c’mon dads, grandfathers, uncles, step up!,” on my social media posts on the school page.  As if publicly shaming the men, we will make them want to be involved.

 

I offered my intention to walk near the school on the planned walk-out days, specifically noting that I would not disrupt the school day.  I was told, through an intermediary, that I was going to frighten kindergartners (oddly no mention of the preschoolers, so I guess they are a-okay with my goings on). After much circular dialogue, I finally received confirmation that the principal specifically wanted this person to tell me not to walk near the school.  We are so ridiculous in our silence and assumptions.  No one thought to have the courtesy to ask me what my vision and intentions were beyond my post. No one thought of how to promote supportive community (as in the entire school community, not just the carved out piece of children and staff) in this charged time.  By the way, I was going to walk and talk about peace and safety with my son, on the public sidewalk near the school.  Which, it being a public sidewalk and all, no one can prevent me from walking on.  Ironically, no one else indicated they were joining us.  It was most likely going to be the two of us on a bonding stroll, reinforcing to my son that I was, in some small way, a member of his school community and supportive of the community.

 

Where in our community are we offering support for our boys to feel that sense of worthiness?  That sense that others are worthy?  That sense of reciprocal responsibility?  We can’t even do it in our own school.  How can we expect it to happen in our broader community?

 

bang

 

I am struggling in my own home with this.

 

bang bang bang Bang BANG

 

I am so proud to be a citizen of this country, despite our gross flaws, because each of us can potentially make a difference by using our voice and vote to steer our collective community and nation.  I am finding it amazing that more and more people seem to be engaged and interested in our country’s direction.

 

I agree that there isn’t a single answer for this recurring gun violence in schools issue, and also that we need to start somewhere.

Changing gun laws seems to be a no-brainer beginning, but it does not address our serious endemic issues (which are often institutionally endorsed).

I believe that we have been teetering on a tipping point for some time in our country. I hope I’m contributing to us tipping in the direction of peace and humanity.  I am trying in my little corner, to support my SonHerisme to feel his own worthiness and the worthiness of others.

 

Maybe I should do more.  Maybe I should do differently.  For now:

 

Please let me stay healthy and alive until SonHerisme reaches well into adulthood, to give him the best footing to not become a tragic statistic.

Please let us pause and collect ourselves nationally to support school safety.

Please check on your neighbor.

Please help our fatherless boys (and those with harmful fathers).

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey and hot sauce – mix ‘em up = bang bang sauce

Fry up some stuff, dip fried stuff into sauce

I hate mayonnaise.  Oh, wait.  I mean, I like to eat it occasionally when it is called for, but I hate it.  I hate the way it looks.  I hate reading the word.  I hate saying the word.  Blech

Do you know what I hate more than mayonnaise?  Hypocrisy, “code of silence,” lying, compromised health and safety, kids getting shot at school.  You know, the everyday.

b aaa nnnnn ggggggg

Excuses/Abuses – Tale of a Gut Hater

IMG_3310

(My heart is, our hearts are, in deep pain for our world today.  Please pay attention to, and take good care of, each other. Please and Thank You)

Before my Situation (so, ‘BS,’ for short), I never understood why why why anyone would put up with being abused by another person.

Why would you be with someone who hurts you? 

What kind of person puts up with that?  Prostitutes?  Drug addicts? Uneducated people?  People bound by misogynistic cultural norms? 

Who were these adult people choosing to live these lives? 

I could not comprehend abusive relationships at all.

 

Now, After my Sorry Situation (so, ‘ASS,’ for short), I cannot understand how to develop a relationship that isn’t abusive. I just do not trust myself anymore.

I know so many people, people in my BS and ASS communities, who are in or have been in, abusive relationships (and also, healthy functioning relationships, but they are foiling my post and will be disregarded at the moment).  It is hard for me to imagine how to be in any relationship.

I do not know how you functioning couples do it.  I am not saying that in a trite way.  I truly do not know how you do it.  I admire you, as one might admire a first class trip around the world, or a George Clooney Italian Villa – it’s so lovely to imagine, but so out of my reach or reality, that it appears like a magical fantasy.

How did I go from BS to ASS?

Honestly, while I knew that something was not right with my marriage, I had no idea that I was being abused.  I did not know that my husband was abusive.

 

The Police explained it to me.

The Sheriff’s department explained it to me.

Detectives explained it to me.

Domestic Violence Shelter Counselors explained it to me.

Multiple Private Therapists explained it to me.

My Physician explained it to me.

 

My Family and Friends explained it to me.

Church Officials explained it to me.

My Attorney explained it to me (and referred me back to my Therapist, many, many times)

 

I still did not know that I was in an abusive marriage.

 

I thought that I was the problem.  If only I could do this, he would be happy and not threaten our son.  If only I would do that, he would show us respect and kindness.  If only I could do this, he would stop hurting me.

There are days now, still, where I am consumed by guilt and remorse, that I was unable to do more, to help him better, to find the right Dr for him, to provide the right life for him to sooth his worries so that he would like us.

 

On these days, I have to force myself to read some of my notes for/from my attorney, in order to remember the facts of what has transpired, rather than my own feelings.

 

This is a painful, but necessary, process. 

 

Mostly, because in my case, if I lapse and allow my feelings to guide my actions, I would be placing both my son and myself, into lethal danger.  As I type this, I know that sounds like a crazy person.  After all that has happened, WHAT kind of person would subject themselves to that kind of peril?

 

Unfortunately, it is me.

 

And many other well-educated, loved, supported, life-engaged women (and men).

 

We are not stupid.  We are fiercely compassionate.  We are intelligent.  We have a hard work ethic.  We are devoted, dedicated, and honorable.

 

So much so, that our determination to be all of those things, blinds us to our own reality.

 

If something is not working, we set our minds, hearts, and souls to problem solve and correct whatever issue is set before us.

 

We believe we can help and resolve, through love, hard work, and devotion, any obstacle which is presented to us.  Our compassion for our abuser knows very few, if any, limits or boundaries.  We see someone worthy in there and we work our hardest to comfort and support and lift that worthiness out.

 

What we do not know, is that we are worthy enough of recognizing our abuser for who they are.

We are worthy enough to expect the same fierce compassion we exhibit, from our partner.

We are worthy enough to decide when to walk away from a situation that is not healthy or working for us.

We are worthy enough to deserve to feel safe in our home, in our bedroom, in our garage.

We are worthy enough to be treated the way we would want our sons and daughters to be treated in their adult relationships.

We are worthy.

 

It took my entire community over a year to convince me that Mr exH was abusive.  I was afraid of him.  I was confused by him.  I was incredibly painfully sad for him.

 

I was shocked when it was suggested that he was an abusive person.

 

I fought for him to get help, to get support, to get medical care, to have his pillow, to have his special toiletries, comfort items and clothing…

 

He continued to abuse me, and I still fought for him, like some caricature of the definition of an abused spouse.

 

What saved me from all of my excuses for his abuses? 

 

At one point, I was so deep into trying to do “the right thing” for my husband, my attorney called me in to her office (btw, this is never good news) and asked me if I trusted her to represent me in court.

I was having a difficult time understanding exactly what the process was that we were involved in, and what I was supposed to be doing.  My attorney spelled out for me that she was there to advise me, to guide me, and to advocate for me in court.

Even if I could not understand what she was doing, she needed to know if I trusted her as a professional.  I responded that I absolutely trusted her.

It was at that moment I realized

my thinking was based on false assumptions. 

While I was still unable to pinpoint exactly what my false assumptions were, I understood clearly at that moment that my thinking process and beliefs must be flawed.

My attorney has 20+ years of experience and a stellar reputation.

Family and friends had interacted with her multiple times by this point, and all were impressed by her.

Something clicked in me and allowed me to see that even if I did not agree with my attorney, even if I could not see what she was seeing, if I trusted her, I had to believe that she could interpret the situation correctly and knew what to do.

I was in crisis, after years of spiraling toward crisis.  I had no experience.  I reasoned with myself all of the way to, “how could I know what I don’t know?”

I had to trust that my attorney knew.

 

At the same time, my therapist was also gently introducing me to the idea that I was abused.  I did not believe her, but, again, I trusted her to know what she was seeing and hearing.

 

It is hard to follow your gut and not your heart,

when your mind is screaming at you.

 

Mind says, “You are an idiot/slacker/lazy/incompetent/evil/selfish/awful person for setting this situation up”

 

Heart says, “He is in so much pain and distress.  How can I take care of helping him, so that we can all be well?”

 

Gut says, “Listen to respected resources. Get a Safety Plan. Tell trusted people.  Trust your trusted people”

 

My gut saved us.

 

My gut that hates me, because I have treated it so poorly, saved us.

 

For everyone going through similar situations, I want to encourage you to listen to your gut – not the core of your heart, mind, and soul – your gut.

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting or making excuses

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting abuses

 

Your heart, mind, and soul will be revived, comforted, and nourished to where they need to be, through counseling and other support networks.

 

Right now, you need your gut

 

I am praying for you on your journey too.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo