Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Give a fuck? Moi? Not since 1992.

When I was about 10 years old, my mother got drunk and beat me. This was not the first time. It wasn't the last. But this was the first time I didn't resist or try to escape. I fell limp. She hit me and my body moved with the direction of her aggression. She demanded I stand up. I did not. She continued to hit me over and over again. My crime: I left my bedroom in the middle of the night to pee.

Most nights when my mother was drinking, I would play possum in my room...even if it started as early as 6:00 in the evening. I would lay in my bed with the lights off and pretend to be sleep until the following morning. To this day, I can sleep for 12 hours straight, no chaser. I would have dreams of monsters watching over me, waiting for me to move in bed so that they would have reason to steal my soul. As long as I stayed perfectly still, I would survive until the morning.

But this time, I just couldn't hold my urine any longer. It was about 10pm and my mother was singing loudly in the living room. The music was blasting and the walls to my bedroom shook. All the lights in the house were out. I had 2 choices: pee on myself in the bed or sneak to the bathroom and hope she didn't hear nor see me.
I chose not to pee in the bed. I was punished severely.

And I went limp. I was tired of fighting. I had no idea that in that moment, I had relinquished my will to survive. Had I known, I would have killed my mother that night.

Fastforward to December 31, 2011. I am 29 years old. I am very successful on paper and it means nothing to me. I am a shell of a human. I sit across from my mother at the Bread Co. for lunch and I ask her, "Why did you do this to me." She looks at me with wide eyes, a hint of confusion, and responds, "I don't know what you're talking about."**
**Alcoholism, drug use and abuse, and psychological disorders are a debilitating element of this culture. In America, we are told to isolate ourselves. "Be the Best!" "Pull Yourself Up from your Bootstraps!" "Rugged Individualism!" As a result, we end up with a broken society that lacks community and love. My mother was not a bad person.  She was a depressed woman who turned to alcoholism to cope. I am also depressed. The difference is that I turn to creativity to cope.  These things don't stop until we stop them. We stop them by being courageous and telling our stories, learning that our stories are, in fact, the stories of many others. We build community from our pain. This post is not intended to vilify my mother. It is merely my story. I will not sugar coat my story inasmuch as I will not lie to make myself look "better" than I am. There is no such thing as "better" or "worse" humans. We are all one.  
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
-Khalil Gibran on Crime And Punishment

No comments:

Post a Comment