It’s always a white man, the white man who can make ungrounded arguments and thinks that he is so sentimental and deep. Meanwhile I sit on the other side, panicking at his lack of understanding and empathy. He is the one saying that his uncle with the walking disorder deserves no pity: As though people can be expected to act in non-burdensome ways even when they are ill. He says mediocre things like “I’m not good at math but I passed my statistics course”. I stared at him with a stoic smile, but wondered how someone can be proud of mediocrity. But then I remember how upper middle-class white people have the privilege of being mediocre. This privilege comes from not having to tackle systematic inequality and never being denied an argument based on their identity. And then I disclose too much, I disclose too much to prove that his oh so deep argument is actually a misunderstanding of normality. He says nonchalantly: ” the only life that can seem normal to oneself is one’s own life”. But hello my own life has never seemed or appeared normal. With the shifting moods it has only felt like a life that moves too quickly and I can barely catch up to: as though my life is a train and I am running to make sure that the door doesn’t close on my face. I told him about the bipolar that plagues me. He interjected by praising mania, exclaiming how jealous he is of people that are bipolar, and that yes he is aware of the coming doom, but the mania sounds amazing. Mania is not what the movies show it to be, mania is decisions which leave you empty, in problems, which push people away because everything moves too quickly and you have no inhibitions to control your interactions. I told him that it is not what he thinks it is. We moved on to the cliche topic of how terrible 2016 made everyone feel. He chimes in to say: “Now is the time to figure out how you would behave during the Hitler Era, blah blah.”He proclaims his knowledge that as a white cis-gendered hetero man with blue eyes, he faces no coming persecution. Everything at this point becomes noise, I am being pushed to an extreme discomfort and I don’t know what to do. I feel dirty, as though every part of me is soiled and unworthy. This man so confidently walks around being a disgusting excuse for a human being. All the microaggressions remind me that to indirect racists I am a stereotype, not a person but a reified phenomenon. Not real but an object; an illusion, an invisible figment, a sort of problem. I looked at him who has excused himself to go to the bathroom, and attempt to form a connection through a smile, he looks back, panic stricken, a half smile forming through force, and I know that apart from wasting 4 dollars on cold-brew and basically sabotaging my sleep, I have wasted so much vulnerability on someone who wanted nothing but a surface connection. I went back, I hid, I felt sad. This is the experience of having a complex identity, one who does not fit into definitions of normality, who as a woman am too direct, who has been able to succeed through the obstacles within education and don’t directly fit into the narrative of mediocrity, and yet as I sit with this particular white man, I start to hate everything about myself, particularly the part of me that isn’t mediocre enough to validate this man and in turn is validated. I have a great amount to learn and love still. I don’t know what normality can feel like, nor do I want to though.
I ripped the candy wrapper,
Did you hear the news?
I ripped the candy wrapper.
I do not remember ripping it,
it must have happened beyond my consciousness
but I ripped it.
I broke it, I tore it, I killed it.
In some way parallel to how I handle relationships.
I ruin, and wreck, and never even intend to or notice.
So then I become apathetic to it, I don’t even feel sadness.
I blame it on:
and I find a new tv show,
or another person to distract me.
Because in reality I am sad,
I feel remorse and yet did I truly ruin it,
or did they just leave?
I convince myself that it is the latter, that way I did nothing,
I can’t fix it, and it is insignificant.
I stare instead at some image
There is always a body
the texture of a body, next to me
prying the warmth away
until the stillness comes
and they leave.
Stillness is the drops
that fall from my metaphorical eyes
because the real ones have stopped responding.
My hand aches for his skin
my soul aches for something tangible.
The fragments pull,
what fragments and how exactly can objects, or ideas, or parts pull and in what direction?
I suppose the fragment of forgetting,
the fragment left behind by compartmentalized pain,
What exactly do we mean when we say trauma?
It all goes back to the concepts of consciousness and memory,
but we discussed that memory is often reinvented, remade
the balloon suddenly appears and it is red
never-mind that you never consciously perceived it,
but it is there,
an explanation to the fuzzy image that distracted you and made you vulnerable.
Perhaps the falsification of memory allows us to exist beyond violation.
We not only invent after the fact but interpret memory in whatever way
allows us to exist, allows us to not jump when the subway zooms by,
so when I woke up with no memory,
I remembered the question, that I would have theoretically posed:
I never expressed my consent, except in remorse,
in the crawl on the floor, in the rising anxiety, in de-realization,
in letting you touch me again,
until I couldn’t anymore.
I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy
I’m tired of driving ’til I see stars in my eyes
It’s all I’ve got to keep myself sane, baby
So I just ride, I just ride
I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in the night
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble,
Ride- Lana Del Rey
Thinking back on my life, I can see the covert transgressions that men have done to my body. I recall moments where I was coerced into fulfilling some carnal desire that my body did not mirror. There is one moment that stood out the most to me.
I am in the dark room and there is no liquor flowing in my veins. My only desire is to return home, to lay in my bed. Instead I am stuck because I cannot drive back, and my father is not one to be there at knotty moments. It is not his fault because it is late and I made the decision to come with this man to this room. I beg to be driven home. “Please don’t be mad at me, I just hate sleeping in foreign beds.” But my lover does not listen and instead tries to nudge my skin into awaking in passion. But my skin does not react and instead I shut down. He takes off my clothes and as a lie there without moving he pulls in and out of me. There is no lubrication, just the grind of friction; skin against skin recording the violation. “I knew you didn’t want it and it made me finish faster”. I put my clothes on and he finally drives me home. I don’t recall anything else.
I became the person who drank to feel desire because my body no longer reciprocated efficiently. Maybe it was my weight loss, or my loss of self, or maybe I have never been in love but I have convinced myself that I acted not to fulfill anything but to prove my feelings. I suppose it’s the discovery that I am not loved out of physical boundaries that turned me into a rock.
This event was rape but I didn’t admit it to myself until a year after it happened. I did tell him to stop but I think the minor details are gone and they are replaced by fog. Sometimes a muggier picture saves us.
Speaking of muggy, I recently began to think about a more recent event that is even more within blurred lines. My transgressor once told me that a girl had told him that the song made her think of him but I merely giggled and gave no thought to this observation. I overlooked many words that he used to bring my self worth to the floor: ” What will people think? Me as your white male contributor, you as my spanish _____. I never remember the word that he used to describe me. He truly violated me but I didn’t see it until distance enhanced my clarity. Sir as he liked to be called took me to a strip club. I think that at some point he put a drug into my drink. I recall the buzz of the alcohol and compare it to times where I have been just drunk and not drugged. When we left the gentleman’s club everything seemed more illuminated. I drank more than I could have without passing out but didn’t puke, nor sleep. Instead I went into a dream like state. When it was happening and I was in his bed, as he touched me, I saw shades of pink in the lights. Everything was rosier and beautiful. It all felt amazing but even if it was good at the time, I feel violated that I may have been secretly drugged. I probably would have consented to the sex because I felt that I had to repay his kindness. I have been such an idiot. As time went on, the pink turned to black and the rest of the night happened without my consciousness. I didn’t think that I was raped. I thought I had placed myself into a situation that ended with me feeling like I needed a million showers. I felt dirty for a long time and had no self-worth until very recently. I gained weight within a few months because food became my outlet.I never told anyone that I was raped because I never admitted it to myself. I woke up naked and didn’t understand how time had moved without me. My dress has a little hole on the shoulder which is the only physical mark of my violation. I saw a pink glow as my violator touched me. I hid behind that glow for a long time and pretended like my life was just maturing. Instead I was dwindling into the woman who let herself break down for seemingly vacant reasons.
I have begun to face my demons. I had a dream where possessed people appeared and with God’s name I made them disappear. I think that the demons have gone but I think that it is time that I evaluate how sin purged me into a darker world than I was ready to face. I also think that God is granting me the strength to face my past. I will grow because I am ready for a new opportunity to live. Like the phoenix, I will grow out of ashes.
Tonight I could write the saddest lines or I could stuff my face with the rum raisin ice cream in the fridge but instead I will write about the way my character has developed.
I did cry tonight and I roamed around holding yet another cigarette in my hand. I attempted to fall but I couldn’t. Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet that we broke up but maybe I just think that I couldn’t do anything to save the relationship. Even if it hadn’t ended he was talking about pulling away.
I know that I’m hard to love but maybe someday someone may think it’s easier than he did. I suppose after your third heart break, you just know that there is hope and that love does not end with one person. It’s always painful to see someone go. And the thought of the person who held you, holding another is almost unbearable. But after getting used to people leaving, and breaking, and scraping, one day your heart just becomes numb to it all.
It still hurts. I won’t act like I’m some emotion zombie but it doesn’t hurt like it did the first time. The first time may not have been the most beautiful but it is the most painful both emotionally and physically.
I didn’t turn on evanescence nor Lana del Rey today and instead opened a playlist full of new songs. New music brings happiness to your brain; it’s proven.
Even the darkest has arms is the title of the song currently playing and it’s true. When I was depressed the dark always seemed to have a power that the day lacked. Maybe in the dark I could breathe because I didn’t have to pretend to have it all together.
I am a very difficult person to love but I have a right to be an individual. I’m not losing myself, I can give my time but never myself. I may lose one hundred more people but at the end of the day I have myself and as long as I can live with myself, the rest doesn’t matter.
I’m working on my thesis and I’m reading lolita. I always fall in love with the language of the novel. I can try to be critical but I am instead mesmerized by the magic that words can make.
I do not want to be an easy book but instead want someone to find my complexity enthralling and beautiful.
I have much to do still to better myself. I have to lose 25 pounds still. But I have hope that one day I may reach a place where I feel comfortable being my imperfect self. I wasn’t enough this time. To be honest after the fights I almost feel incompetent to ever be in a relationship. I just heard you suck, you’re such an asshole, you don’t get it so many times that I can’t be sad to not be in a relationship where I wasn’t enough and I was the problem. Being alone hurts but it’s better than constantly feeling like a problem. I was somewhat an awful person but bad habits die very slowly. Maybe the best bet is being alone and working on my thesis, my life, my knowledge, my netflix queue, my summer reading books, and most of all myself.
I’m closing this relationship by trying to be a better version of myself for myself.
You are either tasting sweet heaven, or a dry bitterness. Red or white? Total preference. Chardonnay is too bitter even with cheese. And yet merlot tastes the opposite, sweet, like the temptation of kissing the boy with the sweet eyes. Like the temptation of feeling life at your fingertips. So you let him kiss you. You feel his kiss first soft, become deeper, more urgent, and his hands begin to touch your physical being. You will at first smile, then become hesitant, does he even like you? or is this just…sex. The hook-up culture. In nights of cheap wine and the bitter taste of weed. But that night you have no drugs circulating your system. You are soberly kissing the boy with the sweet eyes and curly hair, you are letting him take your shirt off, you stop for a second, suggest the mattress be on the floor, the bed squeaks.
As you lay with him the kissing continues, the light is off, more clothes come off. You convince yourself that this will only be sweet paradise. You are tasting a brand of sweetness that has no guarantee, but you continue. Condoms? well at least you have some. Did he intend to have sex with you? He has none. You struggle with the unopened box. And finally fling one at him. As he goes inside you. Think back at your dilapidating relationship. Feel like you are shedding an old skin. Don’t look at him. Just feel him react. Then suddenly feel the finale on his part. Be polite and pretend. Pretend that you too have felt something.
It’s the night. Lay on your bed next to him, feel your heartbeat, enjoy the feeling of not immediately breaking away to take a shower. Comment on the pace of your heartbeat. Did everything happen too fast? Lay next to him as he checks social media websites. Did you smile? Let him hold you. Love the feeling that he brings you. But don’t expect more. As you sleep, dream of him. This has never happened. He is a rare phenomenon. You finally feel connected to someone.
Wake up in the morning, sober, no physical hangover, instead emotional turmoil will begin to storm your mind. feel the rush, eat cereal, sit next to the foot of the mattress as he sleeps. Look back. Never has a boy just slept in your room during the day, recall his arms around your body. Normal events with a touch of enchantment. spend the last two hours before he leaves once more in his arms, touch his hair, feel the pecks of his lips on yours, open your eye and see his, smile. And then watch him leave, see your room once more empty. And walk out. Get a text about his left behind charger, feel excited to see him again, but don’t expect it.
You got drunk, and now you are once more sober, without the good feeling of the boy with the curly hair and pretty eyes. Resort to nights of flavored vodka and wine with your friends. Will he ever come again?