There is a line that I love in the movie Whip It! in which Pash is denying the effect roller derby is having on her friendship with Bliss, “If you hear a hint of pain in my voice when I say I’ve lost my best friend to a gang of roller-skating she-males, and the only highlight of my night was serving corn to a man who can’t even chew it, then, I’d say you’re wrong.” Let me just say this about that line–that what seems like anger and resentment I feel towards my family of origin is just that, but lying beneath it are feelings of profound hurt, regret, guilt, and betrayal.
Whip It! is such an amazing movie–even the tag line, “Be Your Own Hero” speaks to me. While it’s a coming of age movie, it’s also strongly about deep and meaningful friendships, family dynamics, empowerment, and not losing one’s life to boys. When Oliver comes back from his tour, and Bliss confronts him about having allowed another girl to wear the t-shirt she gave him, she says, “I don’t want to be the girl who has to stand here and hear you tell her about some stupid girl.” Oliver starts blustering about how he didn’t cheat on her and Bliss kisses him, then slaps him across the face, telling him, “My mother wants her t-shirt back,” thus ending the relationship. Upon hearing about it, Pash says, “That’s why I like a good fondling. It’s so much simpler.” When I was breaking up with Terrence*, I thought about all of the things I didn’t want to be, and never wanted to go through again.
I haven’t really said much about Terrence…just alluded to him here and there. I’ve barely said anything about having Histrionic Personality Disorder. And I haven’t even whispered about Darren (and that’s the mother-fuckers real name) against whom I have a 12-year restraining order. Nothing about Ron*, the only man to ever hit me.
Because of Histrionic Personality Disorder, I tend to jump into relationships without listening to my inner-red-flag-girl. Okay, truth time. She’s been bound and gagged since I was an adolescent. I allow myself to get close too quickly. And I’ve caused myself and others a whole lot of grief because of it. That ended with Terrence. Let me just relate what I never wanted to be to him or any other man ever again. I am a very intelligent woman, and this is going to be painful to admit. I met him in a DVR class in June of 2009. As usual, I was the group leader in the aspect of keeping the herd together and communicating. I planned potlucks after the class ended, was the positive person who tried to cheer people up and encourage them to share. I sat across the table from Terrence. I had his number from the beginning. I read people well. What I read that first day was that he wasn’t going to let anyone close to him. He was scared that people were going to judge him. That was the first day. Then he started to open up. He admitted he’d been homeless for a while and was just moving into an apartment. Being the compulsive hoarder that I am, I told him I had extra kitchen things I could give him. It took me a while before I gathered the things together. Meanwhile, he made puppy dog eyes at me from time to time. I took the box of items to his apartment. He wasn’t even there to receive them, a “friend” was (read criminal associate). I dropped them off, feeling pleased I’d discharged this commitment. We had all exchanged numbers, and he called me to thank me. He called me to come over so he could thank me. I knew where this was going. I went, so I guess I wanted something too. Let me just say that in class there had been an immediate and considerable physical and emotional attraction. We slept together that night. And something was on. Me, in my dreamy, naive, silenced-inner-red-flag-girl state, I imagined the beginning of something beautiful. And reality quickly set in. Here’s what I never want to be again. What I never want to be again is the girl who falls in love with a man who doesn’t readily admit to being an active crack addict. I never want to be the girl that doesn’t walk away from a man who is actively addicted to crack. I never want to be the girl a man (who says he’s crazy about her) won’t give his phone number to because he only wants to communicate with her when he has the desire. I never want to be the girl that keeps talking to a man who stands her up date after date after date. I never want to be the girl who is apparently a man’s “back-up” in case he has a fight with the woman he’s living with, which, coincidentally, he has also never owned up to. I never want to be the girl who a man calls from jail after she hasn’t heard from him in a month, saying, “Baby, I’m in jail. Come get me out.” I never want to be the girl who gets jail letters about how she was the one thing in his life he screwed up, and he hopes he still has the right to call her his baby. I never want to be the girl who, after finding out that he’s been living with this girl, takes him back on his “word” that he’s not seeing her. I never want to be the girl in whose home he apparently smokes crack. I never want to be the girl he steals money and things from. I never want to be the girl again whose car he takes and brings back hours and hours after he was supposed to have it back. I never want to be the girl who helps him while he’s in jail, and when he gets out, he dumps to go back to the girl who is now carrying his baby. I don’t want to be the girl whose house he shows up at two months later, expecting to be let in. I don’t want to be the one he calls and leave messages that she is his real wife, when she haven’t seen or heard from him in months. Or the one he call on Christmas Eve saying he has broken up with his pregnant live-in girlfriend, only to find out in a later message that he didn’t break up with her on Christmas Eve, she got arrested, and now she’s living with him again.
I want to be the girl who never listens to another message of his, never reads another letter he writes, never sheds another tear for him, takes his phone call and says she never wants him to call her or come to her house again. The girl who wishes him happiness in his life, but gently tells him he no longer has any part in hers. And that is the girl I am today. Woman.
I’ve always believed that a person should be her own hero. We sit around waiting for someone to follow and believe in when we can be that person for ourselves and others. All heroes are human. Even comic book heroes had elements and circumstances that rendered them powerless. We can’t always expect others to lead the way or be our saviors. We have to save ourselves and those we love if we can. And I have much to accomplish so that I can live my life the way that I see it. I need to be my own hero.
Surprisingly, today has been an okay sort of day. There is much I need to do, and it is nearly evening. I’ve done the dishes, for the most part. The dishwasher is waiting to be unloaded. I’ll make dinner. I had intended to take care of something this morning, but the person involved bailed, and I couldn’t complete the task. Trey* called and gave me some bad news…his visit here might be in jeopardy, but for a good reason. I was upset for a while. But in the end, I’m simply not going to stress over something that I can’t control. And perhaps I should rein in a little of the energy that I put towards our relationship. It’s hard to maintain a long-distance relationship, and maintain balance. I need to be putting more energy into my life. We have separate lives on separate sides of the country right now, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. I will stay as close as I can to him and I don’t know what the future holds. All I know is that I love him, he’s a really wonderful person, and I truly hope that we have a chance at a future together.
My horoscope has come out for the week from Rob Brezny’s Free Will Astrology (http://www.freewillastrology.com/horoscopes/):
In her poem “Heathen,” Lesley Wheeler describes a young boy who puts his ear up against his mother’s ear “so that the god in your head can talk / to the god in mine.” The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to try something similar with people you care for. It’s a ripe moment to raise the stakes in your intimate life . . . to get closer than you’ve dared to get before . . . to retire the familiar stories you and your allies are in the habit of exchanging so that you can tune in to the deeper hum of each other’s wilder truths.
Being closer sounds absolutely, completely fabulous. Give me some emotional intimacy, hugs, and love. And maybe I’ll get some physical intimacy with Trey*! Hubba Hubba! And you know what? I received a gift from my birth-father. In all that I had previously heard about my birth-mother, there was never anything actually positive. Some was indifferent, there was quite a bit that was negative, but there was never really anything warm or affirming. I asked him why she didn’t want me, why she gave me up for adoption. I wasn’t really the only one. Her parents raised my eldest half-brother. The gift Paul* gave me was in writing, “As I said, she was an intelligent, talented, beautiful woman.” It hurt him to go back to that time and place, he feels a lot of guilt and regret. I asked him to be compassionate with himself and forgive himself. That she had something to do with getting pregnant too, and it was a long long time ago, and what really matters is that they gave me life. I’m sure that L* has made peace with herself, and it’s time for him to do so too. Bless him for allowing me to see her in a whole different light. He loved her. She was beloved.
Today is my daughter’s 11th birthday. She’s a gorgeous not-so-little girl, inside and out. I miss her so much, it breaks my heart. Please, goddesses, gods, spirits, Divine Feminine, let this separation end. Please give me the strength to do what I need to do to make this end. I really can’t take any more of it.
1.) My daughter-she is strong, brilliant, goofy and sensitive. She’s also beautiful. That is a bonus.
2.) My son, extraordinarily intelligent, intuitive, compassionate, and passionate.
3.) My birth-father-for his wisdom, love, emotional support, and care.
4.) Movies-that take you out of your head and give you back little pieces of yourself.
5.) My dogs-without whom I would surely languish.
6.) Trey* because he’s oh so sweet.
7.) The Big Sheep blogger-lady for making me laugh: ( http://bigsheepcommunications.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/rent-what/)
Learning is the first step in making positive changes within yourself. Other factors are conviction, determination, action and effort. Learning and education help develop conviction about the need to change and increase your commitment. Conviction then develops into determination. Next, strong determination leads to action: a sustained effort to implement the changes. This final factor of effort is critical.” ~ The Dalai Lama