“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
– Klaas, Steinem, et al.
Gloria Steinem was not the first person to say this, but she was very likely the awesomest. Feminist + Journalist + Activist = Bad Muthafucka. I don’t care who you are.
It’s proven true, too. As I have been trepidatiously, and gently, divesting myself of relationships and obligations that have been (a) bad for me and (b) improperly assigned to me in the first place, I have been confronted with the fact that my life could easily have changed much, much sooner had I simply let go of all the expectations and guilt and insistence that life accommodate my idea of how it should be rather than the other way around. And that fact, though well into conscious awareness now, has itself been the preconscious trigger keeping me from making grand gestures in service to my own growth for quite some time.
Deep down, when you’re being treated like shit, you know you’re being treated like shit. And you know that you will always be treated like shit by the people who treat you that way, no matter what little “changes” they’re “committed to” this week.
And having to accept that fundamental truth, to admit to yourself that an essential human relationship – an association that human beings need, very desperately, from day one, and one for which the yearning never quite fades, even when the hope of ever achieving it does entirely – will never, ever come to fruition, not in such a way that allows for your basic dignity or autonomy to remain at all intact, is a difficult pill to swallow indeed.
But it is the truth. And once you get over being pissed about it (to be clear I’m not over being pissed about it yet, so this is all hypothetical conjecture on my part) it, having been acknowledged, will set you free.
Actually, I can say for certain that it will. Because getting over being pissed about it is in no way a linear experience. It is cyclical, in my experience. The growth is stage-wise. You get pissed, you get over it. You get pissed again, and maybe it’s a little less intense the next time, but you feel it over and over again. But the fact that you’re pissed about it, in varying degrees of intensity, doesn’t change the fact that when the emotional response to it fades just a bit and you can step outside that reaction to take a more objective view of life from outside the dysfunction, it does feel better just to be able to take that step at all.
And the anger isn’t so much anger, after a time. It ages into a complex, bitter little kernel of regret and grief. And what the metamorphosis of the anger looks like beyond that point I really can’t say. But I am certain that it will continue to evolve and mature and harden up into something even more complex as time marches on.
Not sure whether I’m excited to witness the process or not, but I remain resignedly certain that I will witness it, regardless of my feelings in regards to it.
That’s a thing I’ve been chewing on for a few days. I really wish I could be the type of woman who only worried about nail polish and calories. I know it’s not, and I’m not saying it’s less important, but I kind of feel like those sorts of non-existential worries would be a vacation for me.
Next time I’m born?
I’mma be born a damn socialite.
What else? Oh yeah.
Officially obsessed with this song at the moment.
No end in sight to this particular earworm. So that’s fun.
Also, I’ve been making good progress on Chu’s “Rebuilding Shattered Lives.” It’s not as fresh as I’d prefer, but with no academic or professional affiliation I kind of have to takes what I can gets on Google Scholar.
Seriously. I get totally jacked up when I: 1. Find a paper that’s potentially useful and then 2. Can find the full text for free online.
So I’m going full dweeb ahead on this bad boy and I’m about a third of the way through. Would be farther, but notes.
Taking notes is my idea of a good time.
Finding a full text of this book was a windfall I was not prepared for but very grateful for. I mean, it’s copyright 2011. It’s not completely irrelevant. I just wish I didn’t have to follow up on some of the research that I know, either literally or intuitively, has changed.
But it’s free.
Free is good.
Free is great.
William Wallace loves free.
Okay. Maybe not the most parallel reference. But it’s okay.
Any Scottish reference is a good, good reference.
Finally, Minchin Monday is rising from the ether again today. You’ll have to forgive me because I used to choose a Minchin piece that related to life the week prior to MM, but I’m just getting back into the swing here so I’m just gonna pick one that’s always made me giggle.
To be honest, I was gonna lead with “Storm,” because it was my intro to Minchin and the reason I love him, but I’ve decided to ease us all back in a little at a time.
One good shot to the kidney and he’ll slide right in.
Nighty night my babies.