Some while before young M wrote this poem she over heard her mother talking about how she was the child she didn’t worry about because she was “harsh, abrasive, and aggressive.” Those words have rattled around in my brain ever sense. They’re mean, hurtful words intended to police girls who speak up and stand up. Sometimes I’ve wished to be a boy. Not because I actually feel like a boy but because boys are expected and encouraged to speak up and stand up but when girls do it even our mothers shame us.
the beginning to this poem
got lost in the bathroom
but the words i remember…
… the softness i have become
feels unnatural and foreign
yet it has arisen naturally
as i become putty in cupid’s hands
cynical spines and angles
smoothed into sensual curves
my acrid tongue tamed to sweet words
Luckily my cynical spines have always popped back up again. I’m notoriously bad putty. Something like play-dough mixed with mace.
The more I work on project Never Use Drugs Again the more obvious it becomes that I must speak up. I can’t be the good, quiet, submissive girl and have any chance of staying sober. This is the issue that has demolished my relationships over the last year. No one wants a woman with an opinion and a direction. No one likes a girl with boundaries and a backbone.
I was thrilled to sit down with my adviser and be told that one of the best uses of my transfer credits was what she termed the “social justice degree” for my minor. ‘Cause I’m not about to shut up and slink off and medicate my pain and compassion into oblivion with dope and drink. I’ve done too much of that already.
I had a spate of “unfollows” here on WordPress recently. I’m an expert at having something to make anybody mad. Good. It’s about time.
I’m getting ready to go knock down a hornets’ nest. I don’t know what will happen or what to expect. I’ll probably get stung. Yes, I am being intentionally vague and metaphorical here. I haven’t yet figured out how I am going to do this. It will probably result in my being cut off from something I have come to need. I stand to lose a lot by fighting this battle. But it needs fought and I know not fighting it is even worse, for then I am guaranteed to lose everything.
Serenity, courage, and wisdom. I don’t know if I can change this or not but there are some things that are just flat out wrong and unacceptable so I’m going to do my damnedest and be prepared to accept defeat and ostracism. I have just enough wisdom to know that change won’t happen if it isn’t insisted upon and that morals matter. I have just enough inkling to know that God’s will for me does not include silence in the face of injustice and violation. There is a lot I am powerless over and cannot change and this might be one of them. But some things cannot be accepted serenely.
I will be heartbroken to be, in a sense, homeless again. But like my family of origin this family has some serious boundary issues. Thank God I’ve had the opportunity of attending group conscious meetings and the chance to see a group of very dysfunctional people work together to create a healthy family and supportive environment. I know it is possible and I will always have that family at my back and on my side. I have one “family” that will never throw me (or my kids) away. I’ve had the chance to experience real people disagree and confront each other and solve problems and still unconditionally love and respect each other. So I know it is possible.
But I am in a strange place of mixed emotions and hesitations and confusions right now. I know that this is right. I know what Jesus would do. This particular problem is pretty well dealt with in the gospels. It’s spelled out in red letters plain and clear, no need to worry away at a metaphorical parable or dig through history books for context and clarification. But I don’t much like it. Ever notice how many prophets are inclined to rebel before saying what they’re instructed to say? Yeah. At the moment I get how it is Jonah would rather spend three days in a fish than go speak his piece. I have to wonder if the dehazing of early recovery is a bit like the belly of a fish. Sort of like getting picked up and spit-out back on path but at the very least a slimy and uncomfortable experience. Now I’m back on shore and walking to the city. I’ll probably go whine about shade and then the lack of it when I’m done with this job. But either way helpless children are involved here so like it or not I’m figuring out how to say this and who to say it to.
It is time for a swift tongue and a strong spine.
No doubt those words about aggressive and confrontational will be applied to me again. Of course, if a man said what I am about to say no one would bat an eye. Oh well, let them try to shush and shame me.