Wednesday, August 30, 2006
First, Thank you all for your amazing responses. I am not a person who gets mushy, but the warmth, the support, the sincere Love that I felt through the internet just bowled me over.
To clarify, I was processing MY reaction to feeling shamed. My reactions, as Suebob astutely pointed out - comes from my "pain body" - a reaction that is disproportionate to the event. When I start to feel these overwhelming emotions wash over me in response to something that one any other given day I could brush aside? Well, it means it's time to look at a deeper meaning. The "truth hurts people" commenter was a victim of a forgotten comma. Intending to say "Truth Hurts, People!", the receptive meaning for me changed without the comma.
I completely understand. That is, as we all know, the danger of electronic communication.
However, I view it as a gift. That forgotten comma inspired me to write something that was due to be written. The emotional and sexual abuse I experienced helped to create the person I am today. My depression has made me a better mother and a more sensitive human being. These are gifts that have been given under the guise of terrible things. If one believes in Karma, as I do, I do not think that these events are senseless and unconnected. I am living the life I was meant to lead.
And NOW, onto the funny. Cause, let's face it...my brain whirls with hilarity.
Fraulein N recently wrote a post in which she relayed the ways she was "Keeping it Fake." in relation to VH1's "Flavor of Love" That went over as high hilarity in my house.
I would like to add the ways in which I, Dawn, am also "Keeping it Fake".
1. I wear brasseires when I leave the house.
The girls do not go commando when I am in public. They are ensconced in a mid price practical, unembellished bra. I take care to make sure my bra straps are not in view.
2. I own and wear heavy duty winter clothing.
Yes. Boots, hats, mittens, heavy fleece pants. Fuck Fashion, I am not being cold.
3. All of my clothing is bought at the correct size.
I am not an XS woman, and there is no way I am squeezing anything into an XS or a Small...Just because you can fit your ass into it doesn't mean you should wear it. I also own, nor wear, any item with the words "juicy" or "phat"
4. I am white.
I do not mistake myself for a person of any other ethnic heritage. I'm pretty clear that I am a white girl from Vermont.
and, my top way of keepin it fake?
5. I am not secretly married to anyone else!
So, go ahead..add the ways you may be keeping it "fake".
Monday, August 28, 2006
This was a comment sent in by an anonymous reader of TWC.
I felt like I'd been slapped when it came into my inbox.
My breathing shortened. My face got red. I felt like a little girl who had just been caught doing something that she had been warned against doing. The same feeling when you told a secret about your family...and realize that it was never meant to be shared or even acknowledged as happening.
Next came my anger at feeling shamed. Who was this person to tell me that I was hurting people? That "Truth" hurts people? Who the fuck were they to pass this judgment?
AS I sat here, feeling enraged, feeling shamed, feeling guilty for something I had done, I had created, it occurred to me.
These are the feelings of a survivor of sexual abuse. One who talks.
I am one of those women. My perp? My biological father. I was ten. He was not the first, as I was quite the favorite of many of my older male cousins ... until I learned that yelling for my mother at the top of my lungs seemed to keep them away. He was not the only abusive man in the family, for my uncles perpetrated against my other female cousins, I later learned.
He was, however, the least expected. My father. The man I adored. The one that I wanted to please beyond all reason. He was the one to sexually assault me. In my house. After my parents had separated.
My mother, thinking she had left this man, and that the damage he could do to my brother and I was minimized never dreamed that he would come for a Christmas visit and bring this sort of catastrophe.
And like almost all young children who experience this, I kept quiet. I had nightmares. I wouldn't be in the same room alone with him during summer visitations. My signals got crossed. The man who was supposed to love and protect me was my abuser.
This became a distinctive pattern as I aged and began to date. I loved the emotionally distant ones. The more they resisted me, ignored me, emotionally abused me? Like candy. When one got me pregnant and emotionally and physically abandoned me? He became the penultimate love of my life. I would have abandoned my education for this man. I would have had this baby at age 20. To please him. To have him choose me. To give me anything, anything at all. My sacrifice was proof of my love, my worthiness of his love, but still he never chose me.
The first time I talked of my abuse was in my therapy sessions. Trying to figure out where my irrational anger and impulsively as coming from as I whirled in crazier and crazier circles, my therapist finally asked me point blank.
And I told her the truth.
And she cried.
To sit in front of your therapist and detail in a flat demeanor the horrors of your childhood, ,and to have her cry as she told me that none of this was my fault? It was honestly the first time that it may have occurred to me the enormity of the impact that this had on my life path. I was not crying. She was. How could I not cry when it had happened to me, and she was weeping simply hearing my dialogue?
Next I told my mother, and she cried and raged and vowed to kill this man. But I did not cry. I had lived with it for nearly nine years. I had hidden and distorted my truth for so long, it no longer resembled anything but a story for me. An experience, much like falling from your bike and scraping your knee. Or being brought into a drug house so your father can use you as a shield in front of his buyer? Or the time your father shot your dogs one winter because they were barking? Or that time he shot the glass out in the car as your mother drove away from the house when you were five? Or the time that he threatened to kill Santa, and took his gun out to the back yard to prove to you that he was serious? Or the time that you were nine and he taught you how to smoke a bong? Or that time when you were ten and he sexually assaulted you on New Years Eve?
You mean everyone doesn't have these stories?
So, "Truth hurts people" commenter, I respectfully disagree. Truth doesn't hurt people, secrets hurt people. The secrets we keep from our loved ones to spare them pain. The secrets we keep from ourselves. The secrets we keep for fear that we won't be liked, or loved, or admired. Maybe the truths expressed at TWC are the first time someone is saying their truth out loud. You don't have to like it. Hell, you don't have to read it, and you don't even have to agree that there should be a place like this to express yourself.
But keep the shaming to yourself. This is what keeps abused people silent. And I, for one, won't shut up to please you.
Friday, August 25, 2006
I would like to blame Terrance. I really would. As my partner, it is naturally his inherent fault when anything irritates me.
But today, I can honestly Blame Canada. Yes, I can Blame Canada. Specifically, I blame Quebec.
I spent my day at the Immigration Quebec office. With a crying child. And a pounding headache. And a multitude of people who didn't want to speak English. They wanted to speak to me in French and look insulted when I would announce that I did not speak French...then proceed to converse with me in French, asking me questions...in French. A language that I have told them I do not speak.
"Mutha-fuckin french speakers on my mutha-fuckin nerves!" - Thanks SLJ, that felt good.
So, two hours later, I am still in Immigration, clutching my green folder like it was going to reveal the secrets of the mutha-fuckin universe. Emily is moaning in her hard grey chair next to me, and begins to lick my arm.
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Do not lick me when I am less than 7 seconds from pulling a classic US postal worker flip out. I flick her in the forehead. The Immigration people look at me. I can hear them thinking:
"Nous ne pouvons pas la laisser dans notre pays. Elle est une mÃ¨re merdeuse."
"We cannot let her into our country. She is a shitty mother."
At quarter to three, I approach the same man I spoke with earlier. He speaks to me again in French. I establish AGAIN, that I do not speak English. I point to my crying child. I ask him with my prettiest "hide your hostility" smile "how much longer does he think it might me? For my child, sir, she is hungry and crying..."
He seems a bit ashamed as Emily rolls around on her grey plastic seat, weeping openly. He'll check. Then he sits there for awhile longer. Not checking. Anything.
I will get you someday, sir. I swear I will.
Then magically my name is called. At 3 p.m.
And the man - the man walks super fast through the maze of cubicles. I make my daughter actually run to keep up with him.
We sit. He reads to me, in French, the list of documents he claims I did not send. I show him the copies of the ones I DID send in, and provide him with extra copies. He tells me I don't have a financial support document...I pull it out of his pile and point it out to him. He counters this move with a claim of not having bank records, and I deftly reach out and pull the bank records from the pile...He parries with "No name on this account", so I reach out with my deposit slip to show our names on the account, and then point to where it is printed on the top of the statements.
Like a Kung Fu master, I weave and glide with his every move...until finally he has no choice. He approves my CAQ, my permission from Quebec to study in the Province. I need this document before I can apply for my Immigration Canada, and the school board demands it before they will register Emily for School (which is a whole 'nother mutha-fuckin post...since she is to go to an English speaking school and since her parents aren't Canadian, the Quebec law says she should have to go to a French Immersion school - unless given a special waiver for part English instruction...)
So? Is it any wonder that I am having a glass of wine...and a cigarette as a reward for not killing any other human today?
P.S. As I was sitting outside, our ganga-smoking neighbor came out. I think I may have actually scared him a little as he watched me abuse the gnomes...then try to explain that I had a REASON for taking pictures of the gnomes. People love the gnomes! That I am loved by the internet, dammit, and the gnomes are loved too.
"Good luck with that", he said in a heavy French Canadian accent as he walked inside.
I don't need no mutha-fuckin luck on this mutha-fuckin blog, mutha-fucker.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Mmmmmm, Wentworth Miller. I love me some Wentworth. Yeah, I know he is most likely gay as gay can be, but I care not. He is some yummy eye candy and I am happy that Prison Break has returned. If only due to my need to research shank/shiv lingo and fantasize about Wentworth's tattoo'ed body.
But, ahem, back to the task at hand.
During BlogHer, I shared the wonder that was my Chinese Herbal medicines. We admired the wonder that was the beauty of the pills. The gold coated herbs.
Then the inevitable question came..."What's in them?"
Um, I don't know...Herbs?
Several of us peeled the ingredients list open and took a gander. Ok, what wasn't in Chinese was a bit befuddling to the non-Latin speakers among us. But one word I recognized.....Semen.
Excuse me? I am taking medicinal semen?
So, for your edification - and my peace of mind, I am unveiling the ingredients of my magical Chinese pills.
Calculus Bovis - Um, this is a bezoar. Those of you who have read Harry Potter? Yeah. This isn't looking good....
Rhizoma Chuanxiong - From an herb - Lovage.
Radix Glycyrrhizae - HEY! This is Licorice root. OKAY, not bad. Makes up a little for the first ingrediant.
Radix Ginseng - I also know this one! Ginseng!
Cortex cinnamon - I like cinnamon.
Radix Ampelopsis - It seems to be the root of a tree. At least I think.
Colla Corii Asini - Tonifying and enriching the blood, Nourishing Yin. Uh,Oh. This one has a bit of a disturbing origin...It seems to be derived from gelatin made with the skin of a donkey. I am eating Ass ass gelatin. Given to me, by a doctor.
Here is the scary one:
Semen Armeniacae Amarum - OH! Thank GOD! It is Bitter Apricot Kernal. Here I was, all worried, and the donkey gelatin and cow gallstone is much, much worse.
Pollen Typhae - Cattail Pollen. Good enough!
Poria - A fungus that grows on pine trees? I'm eating pine tree fungus?
Some more roots, a few more roots...something called Medicated Leaven.., another root and "Mel", which had me concerned until I realized it was Honey.
So aside from the disturbing Ass gelatin, Cow gallbladder stone, and pine fungus, everything else seems pretty ok.
It's amazing what we will swallow...and I think you all know what I mean....
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I promise ...lots of funny Dawn bloggity goodness is bubbling beneath the surface. I can feel it.
Yes, I am drinking wine. In a restaurant. Outside. Last night. See how I sacrifice for you all?
Emily is home. Dear Lord. The Loudness - THE LOUDNESS!!!! It's like living with a carnival barker and Vegas neon sign. And the touching, the non-authorized touching of my body! I woke up with her lying across my body - she had lifted my shirt and was laying stomach to stomach with me. Talking at me. About the cat. While pressing on my bladder.
Oh, and the poor cat. Who remains nameless. I think the cat is really re-considering her feral lifestyle after being pursued by Emily for the last two days. Hunger and the elements are beginning to look appealing to being carried around by the hyper 8 year old. At least, I kind of find them appealing as an alternative to the incessant noise. Perhaps I'll dress the cat in my clothes and make my break for it.
See the button on the sidebar? Oh yeah, baby. I am a Semi-Finalist for Woman of the Blogosphere. For all three freaking blogs.
Which makes me what to run into my 20th high school reunion (in two years) and start poking some women in their noses. HAHAHA. Cause I'm funny, bitches. And Smart! So take that, all you miserable wenches who made my life a living hell! I am a god damn Woman of the Blogosphere! Times 3!
Writing well really is the best revenge. Wise words, Ms Kennedy, Wise words.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
I am alive. Reasonably well. I've been walking, and reading and visiting with people I feel like I have known fo-ever. I've been having my accupunture, and quilting. Quiet things. Recharging things.
Tammie and I had a conversation during Blogher where we both expressed feeling like it was time for us to go re-join our lives. Between our collective moves, and life changes, it felt like Blogher was the end of one phase and the beginning of another.
And so it has. That isn't to say that I am not scared about this next phase, or that I am fearless by any stretch of the imagination. But it is inevitable. So I am trying hard to resist my instinctive urge to fight change or flee. That takes more energy than you would expect. So I may be ...quieter...here for a bit.
But ok. I'm Ok.
Emily comes home tomorrow night, so I expect the hurricane force to hit me like a ton of bricks. Then, of course, there is getting her ready for her new school - and me ready for MY new school...and dealing with the immigration paperwork and university paperwork...and getting a student ID....and finding the library on campus....and the right buildings...and which bus to take to and from my house....
To warm me back up, here are some random photos I have taken - and bizarre thoughts that don't seem to go anywhere, but are patently Me.
Here is my dinner with the lovely and talented Jess - Who is neither as bitter, nor emo as she would like you to believe. On the other hand, perhaps she has simply met her match in the emo bitterness that is me - so we were well suited.
Again. Jess would like you to think that she has an uncommonly huge head. But I do not agree. I found her lovely. And funny. And let us just say when to literary, sci fi geeks meet, a good time shall be had. Even when she knew I was about to say the word "regalia".
Are you as curious as to what that smell is as I am? I resisted trying to get in the car to sniff the air freshener. Then Terrance and I had a big fight about me taking this picture. He feels that someone is going to come out and try to beat me up some day. I say only if they can catch me, bitches.
I really appreciated this bowl of spinach ginger soup. It was as delicious as it looked. The whole meal was delicious.
You can never have too much of Snakes on a Plane - especially when in French.
This made me laugh. Yes, I had a glass of wine, but still. I loved this. Those damn breastfeeders. They are everywhere. Sacre Bleu!
And finally, welcome to the family...stumpy tailed, long hair grey girl cat. We have spent 200 bucks at the vets, so she is ours now (HEY, that was another fight between Dawn and Terrance!). She is actually pretty sweet natured and I have caught Terrance petting her. Sadly, I cut her tonight while trying to de-clump her fur. We were both tramatized. She has no real name yet. I am trying out French names. I called her "Gigi" today. I don't know. Nothing seems to fit yet.
Finally, my blog-versary passed last week. A whole year. Who would have thought? Love you, internet.
And here is a final bit of classic Dawn. When coming home a tiny, teeny bit drunk from your evening with Ms Fancypants...Don't accidentally put Compound W on your face instead of your little tube of super-expensive face cream stuff.
Did I think of Fraulein and Mama Tulip? You bet your sweet ass I did. My face is still peeling a little.
Now, you too can be the height of fashion with a custom made purse, which you will proudly carry around Montreal to the envy of all the fashionita's.
Back story? Um, yeah. One day I found this thing in the ladies room at my old job. People would bring in the wierdest shit and abandon it to the gods of the bathroom. Being the prankster that I am, I decided to smuggle it downstairs and hang it on my friend Denise's office. Dee has impecable taste in decoration, so this was sure to stick out like a sore thumb.
A few months later, I recieved a gift for my birthday. Dee wins this round.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
"What? I'm busy."
"Just come here."
(Dawn walks from bedroom to study)
"Do you smell that?"
"Smell what - I don't smell anything."
"Wait a second....right now - do you smell that?"
"OOOOOhhhhhh. Yes, I do smell that."
"Do you know what that is?"
"Are you inferring that I SHOULD know what that is? Or that I have had previous knowledge of that particular smell? For I rebuke thee, Satan."
"PLEASE! You went to the University of Vermont. Damn. It smells like it is right on our deck..."
(Dawn and Terrance tumble out onto their deck to eye the source of the mysterious aroma. They spy their new neighbor sitting right outside.... Small talk is made. They shuffle back inside)
"Well, now we know."
"We sure do."
"I wonder if I talk loudly about having glaucoma if he'll offer us some."
"He probably thinks you're a narc. What black guy has a PhD? Screams Narc."
Sunday, August 06, 2006
"What do you think of this couch?"
"Don't like it"
"How about these chairs?"
"Yeah, hate them."
"And this? How does this strike you?"
"You seriously like this piece of shit? It's hideous."
"I kind of like this couch - it seems comfy to read on."
"That couch is awful. Who would want a couch like that in their house?"
"Here, try this chair. I like this one."
"It's the SAME chair you hated five minutes ago, just in a different color."
"Listen. I am 36 years old. I deserve to have real furniture. I do not want leather couches. I am sit of living on futons, mother fucker. I am not afraid to cut you."
"Did you just say that when you divorce me I can choose my own furniture?
It is O-N mutha-fucka...."
All right, so this may have been slightly more dramatized than the real event....but it was how it went in my mind. I think Ikea should have a lawyer on the way out, so you can draw up the divorce papers. Big ups to the Playmobil Playahs
Friday, August 04, 2006
And a very tired Dawn in her new white Fussy shirt. Which also makes your boobs look great. I'll do a side by side at some point.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I love the people I already loved, even more. I met new loves. I got voices to put with words, and that means as much to me as faces. I can hear the person talking now as I read their words.
Bloggers are a unique people. Many of us will tell you that we are socially inept, always feeling a little behind the social eight ball. Many of us battle anxiety issues and depression. Many of us struggle with body image and our places in larger society. All of us write and create in the bubble of our private worlds - houses, apartments, coffee shops. We are solitary units casting out into the ocean of cyber space. We dare hope someone - Anyone - will like us, let alone GET us.
The giddiness of Blogher, I think, has to do with being in the presence of like minded creatures. Having driven from out from behind our metaphorical rocks, we must socialize. We must represent. We must remember that these are people who know very intimate details of our lives - just as we do them. It is one thing to Blog Naked, it is another to be Naked in the room with other Bloggers.
For myself, I disguise my nervousness with outrageousness. It is an old "Introvert masking as an Extrovert" technique I picked up. And I drink.
God (or your designated deity here) love every one of you who still love me after BlogHer, as I have inklings of things I said to individuals, as well as groups, and think to myself "Buddha on a biscuit, Shut your mouth, Woman!"
But, the reason I love you all even more, is because you implicitly understand that I couldn't shut up. I couldn't HELP but say the bizarre and hysterical things that fly out of my mouth, with nary a filter in sight. I was with my people. You understand.
So now, I crawl back to my safe cave. I reflect. I speak very little. I walked to the bakery and had my danoise and coffee this morning. I curled back into my nest to recover.
And yesterday, I went to the Market to reconnect with my new home. So, I leave you with Jean Talon, Yesterday at 4:30 p.m. Cause Meghan called me the "Annie Liebowitz of Produce", and that tickled me beyond belief.
(pictures will be forthcoming - Blogger is being a punk ass bitch right now)