Theres nothing that’s perfect. Even if you look it up. You don’t need to listen to mom and dad about “Slimming down”. You don’t need to suck in your stomach when someone passes by. You don’t need to smile without teeth. You don’t need to cry in the bathroom and force yourself to throw up because you “look fat” . You don’t need to put-on dark clothes because it makes you look skinny. You don’t need anything. Because you are you. A living human. With things that make you yourself. And I’m sorry that mom and dad got so far into your head with what perfect means. Because you are perfect. I love you.
what would you tell
your younger self?
what would they think
of you now?
but it’s all still here
my heart a fist
that hasn’t unclenched
in twelve years
I think the better question
is can I avoid remembering
I was crippled
just looking at them
you‘ll get better
I hope that girl is here
her heart beating
a message to her future being
Why step in it?
I would tell him not to worry. Explain we need not change a thing. To continue trying to eat healthy. And to take note of all the ups and the downs. The education they’ll provide. Will make the fulfilled man you’ll become. You'll raise to healthy children that grow into well rounded resppectfull adults. Which is the only thing you’ll care about by the time your thirty years old. Your only fear will be harm befalling them. And you’ll have sheltered them safely from such. Well into the young adults lives.
One last thing. Altering any part of our history. Could erase their futures. As far as I know your moral compass would not allow you to act so recklessly selfish. Just in case I’m wrong I’ll threaten you with death by suicide assuredly. The positive aspects of life are the prize. The lessons you can learn experiencing the negative. Are no less of a treasure. So says the old. Wise? One.
Throw away the shame of middle-class poverty and hand-me-downs. Your intelligence has silenced rooms full of people more often than anyone ever noticed your clothes. You are a power, a presence that lightens a load or bears a burden with the graces of queens and spirits of angels. You are free and beautiful exactly as you are. Turn away from those who dislike you. Someone else will recognize your infinite value.
Reflections on Rape
The effects of rape were like a war of words within my head. My conscience versus reality versus an inner voice that told me terrible things. This inner voice was supposed to be my self-esteem; Stockholm Syndrome had replaced with an inner demon.
"You are not good enough."
"You are ugly."
"You are a second-class citizen."
"You are worthless as a woman."
"You should have a sense of shame."
Shame was the big one. All rape victims blame themselves. The incarceration of my rapist three months later had not brought about inner peace. I shifted from activity to activity, thought of moving, rode the bus for hours, walked for hours, sat bored in restaurants, watched television or slept in the afternoons, took only the work I had to.
I overate and then did not eat, fasting for a day or two. I avoided water until I was so dehydrated, I would have drunk a liter of coke just to alleviate the dryness. I ate foods with wheat I should not have been eating. One reactive episode involved choking on the coating of a chicken nugget I had grilled. And I thought of moving, of quitting my relationships, of leaving my family, of leaving. And then I stopped.
A few events happened. One was when I was walking with my mother, and she claimed that it was my fault that my delusional landlady was so crazy she flipped over my washing my own laundry and not using her linen. I never understood the sin of using my own linen.
I am tired of the crazy, narcissistic excuses some women have for insisting that everything in a household be done their way, as if they were morally superior and in charge. These types of women are verbally and emotionally abusive to their spouses and sons, which encourages the cycle of abuse to continue. Those people who experience abuse have a thirty percent chance of becoming abusers themselves.
Sadly, I have come across that in direct contrast to the heap loads of sexism that were out there. I was pleased by neither. Wanting a fair shot does not mean wanting to be the boss. It will start with the linen, and it will become a personality marker right through to the very nature of existence. Such is the nature of delusional narcissists.
What brought inner peace was the decision to take up Buddhism studies. Nothing else worked. I had spent the last thirty years subconsciously searching for a cure to this dreaded thing called Stockholm Syndrome without any lasting relief.
In a sense, I was as much trying to escape myself as I was the past. Stockholm Syndrome becomes internalized as much as self-doubt and the experience of rape. Call it PTSD or after-effects if you want. It is a very real experience. It is a psychosomatic experience that affects the mind, body, and soul. I know about those feelings.
I have been there. When Veterans claim they are suffering, they are telling the truth. And they often cannot find words for their experience. My own experience did not make me an expert, but it shone a light in my life onto the reality of that dark experience called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Over time, I realized the amount of desperate humiliation I had felt in response to the emotional and verbal cruelty inflicted upon me over the last thirty years. I had attracted sycophants: narcissists and Cluster B personality-disordered people. These types of personalities are dysfunctional and dramatic. Dramatic does not mean theatrical in this sense. Psychiatrically, they are conflict-oriented, attention-seeking, callous, abusive, and unstable.
A survivor of rape with Stockholm Syndrome meeting up with a seemingly normal-looking and normal-sounding sycophant leads to a lot of veiled hostility and pathological lying. It also leads to their egoism, abandonment, false accusations, cheating, manipulation, defamation of myself and others, and other forms of mistreatment. It was not just one person. It was a large set of people.
I have dated twenty men in my life. I have attracted countless others who were highly questionable, even borderline sociopathic at times. I am not attempting to blaspheme men as a group here, just to point out what happens in these types of relationships. It is a kind of setup, how the dysfunctional meet up with the dysfunctional. Stockholm Syndrome may have a dark side, but it is an internal experience. Post-Traumatic Stress Disordered-survivors do not aim themselves at others as a weapon against their own best interests.
Borderlines are the kind of people who paint everyone with the same brush. A person who asks to borrow $20.00 for a cab is a gold-digger manipulator. A person with a credit history of 600 and $20,000.00 in debt is the same as someone with $1,200,000.00 in debt and five maxed-out credit cards. There are no nuances in their thinking; people are good or bad, black or white.
Usually, in the eyes of a Cluster B personality, you are good if you can do something for them. You are bad if you do not. You are an unwilling participant in an evil game. You do not know the rules. They set the rules, always in favor of themselves. They see their lies as truth, and reality as an inconvenience, things to be fought against.
They can be so convincing that hordes of people will believe their lies without a shred of evidence. Some will continue to believe even if evidence is offered to the contradict their claims. It is like a bad soap opera cross between Dynasty and Forensic Files. It is a competition. You are being set up to fail. You do not realize it is a competition until the contest or race is over. I understood competition. I was a trained runner who grew up on the track field.
Cluster B personalities: histrionics, narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, borderlines. They are the kind of people who cannot be satisfied by ending a relationship. They are perhaps not feeling a real connection with someone. They may have dated out of desperation or for an ego boost. They may have liked sex and attention. There is nothing real about their connections with people. What they are searching for does not exist. They are scooping out their own versions of reality to fill an empty hole.
They are usually obsessed with finding the best partner. It is an image thing. They have to have the best partner for their needs; nobody can meet their endless needs or fill their empty, gaping holes. They will always have empty holes. They get to carry around their great big blue holes everywhere with them. What happens to people who fall in the Great Blue Hole.
There are two hundred dead divers' bodies on the bottom of Belize's infamous Great Blue Hole. If it looks dangerous, stay away from it. I had no ability to process dangers that were veiled and not obvious. There were red flags, but I could not see them. I am alive today somehow by virtue of my own strength. If you think leeches cannot suck your blood slowly, you are wrong. They love to do it when you are sleeping.
It seemed to me a lot of these attitudes were derived from insufficiently fair power structures in relationships. There were a lot of double standards. Men were allowed to express themselves and choose what they want.
By default, men were allowed to choose what they wanted and reject what they did not want. Women did not have the same right, and still do not. It has a lot to do with why people discuss rape culture, exploitation, objectification, and sexual misconduct these days.
Women have to be nice in order to water down their 'nos', and conceal their wants. They cannot express sexuality or spend their own money directly. There are a lot of double standards that fuel rape culture. It is a new term and an accurate one, though not obvious. There are many unwritten codes in society about male and female behavior that can create misunderstanding and hostility.
Dear Little Younger Self,
You may not have romantic relationships but don't fret about it. You have your brains, and soul—there's nothing more wonderful than celebrating what you have and let life lead you to the right path. Never problem things that will not benefit your well-being. You have your family, your friends and your hobbies and determination to step up and be the female you want to be. Romance can wait! Don't be caught up in bad romances that'll end you hopeless for the rest of your life but rather do what you love (eg. writing, reading books) and soon enough happiness would be there not because you got it from someone but you gave it to yourself for yourself. Enjoy the best there is and ignore those who don't think you are capable of surviving. Prove them wrong as you've always done. Compete not with anybody but yourself. And lastly, be happy with the little wins and successes you have, it doesn't last long.
Your Older Present Self
Dear Older But Still Short Self,
You've grown wiser but NEVER forget to write with your heart. It always helps ease the bad memories and take you to life-changing field trips to discover the right and just matters in situations. Help people as you have always helped me here. I know you love it even if you feel used by people for that sometimes. But think about the things you'll learn and not the person who tricked you. Anyhow, it would make you more discerning of the world. With your words here, it felt like adulthood is all about being resilient, patient and trying to survive everyday odds and circumstances. Adulthood may not be easy but being a teenager is not easy too. Never let anyone belittle you again. You are as dignified as them even as a plain individual. I'm proud of what you came to be. I wish you better days and more hugs to survive your world.
Your Little Cute Self
dear younger me,
don't be afraid to tell her everything that's going on with you.
she loves you so much.
she'll never leave you, no matter how tough it gets.
and never expect her to give up, to lose hope;
she's the most hopeful and encouraging person who will ever walk in your life.
whatever you do, tell her the truth.
it hurts her when you lie, even if you think it's for the best.
she knows he hurt you when he left, but she loves you anyways.
she wants you to get your happily-ever-after,
even if that means a few more heartbreaks.
she wants you to know she'll be there picking up the pieces everytime,
no matter how many you end up in this time.
and she'll spend eternity missing you if you let her go,
and you'll be all alone.
so drop the tough guy act when you're around her
and just be you.
she loves you,
and so do i.
never be afraid to be you,
even if it gets scary at times.
love, me :)