To the Young, Oppressed American, Whomever You May Be

There’s a universal truth that nobody wants to look at, despite the fact that it is probably the most pervasive reality on earth.

Some parents hate their children.

Saddler still, some parents love their children but have no way to protect them, from themselves, from the abuser, from the cold and uncaring consequences of their own failures.

So we have nowhere to seek solace. In a world that also hates us for reasons of its own, there is no hiding. And it’s unfortunate, but I need you to buck up. Because, out of the 7.125 billion lost, sad, and abused bastards on this slowly dying space turd, you happen to have the extreme luck to be born one of the 318.9 million Americans. This could also apply to any one of the 35.16 million Canadians, 64.1 million United Kingdom residents, 23.13 million Australians, and so on… but this is America, so suck it other countries.

You have options available to you that other people can only dream of. And you probably don’t even know what they are. Because why would anyone tell you when it’s in the majority of their best interest to keep you small, afraid and ineffectual.

I had the benefit of some great teachers when I was younger, and I’m going to compile those lessons here for you. Read them, but know that they’re only my experience of what worked. If you only internalize one sentence in this entire blog post, it should be the next one. You have options. Just because someone says you have to do something doesn’t mean you do. Just because you don’t know anybody who’s ever accomplished the things you want doesn’t mean you can’t.

Handle yourself. Go to the nearest mirror and look into it. You are the parent now. Your parents can’t feed you, can’t keep you safe, but someone has to and you’re the only one here. This is where being an American is the best thing you have going for you. We are surrounded by wealth and you don’t need that much to survive. Start cleaning houses, mowing lawns, sell fucking oranges by the side of the freeway. Get an income stream that is independent of anybody else. Don’t get a job you need a ride to get to, don’t use parental connections, make something entirely yours. Live off this money. Whenever possible, hide a bag with a change of clothes, as many underwear as you can spare and some food that doesn’t parish. This is your bug out bag, and you may need it someday. Figure out how to escape your room when you’ve been locked in it. If the violence is escalating, don’t go home. It won’t get better, it will only ever get worse. If they say it will get better, that’s a lie and it will only ever get worse.

Some people want you to die. Whoever you are, this statement is true. They may be close or far away, known or unknown, but they wish you were dead and they will take steps to starve you out of this life. Decide if you will fight or if you will die. I recommend fight because dying will take so much longer and be so much more horrible than you think. Even more horrible than it is now, even more horrible than the worst days in the fight. If you will fight, fight. Do not let them tell you where to go, what to say, or how to act. Do not let them tell you what your options are. We already covered this, but they are lying. Figure out what game they’re playing, learn all the rules to it and beat the pants off them. Find the loophole, get what you need on a technicality if you have to. This isn’t semantics, it’s survival.

Lie. Whenever possible, lie to people who show an inability to hear your truth. They want you to lie to them. That’s why they change the subject when you start to talk about what’s really going on, that’s why they minimize the impact of what you’re telling them. They want you to tell them you’re fine. Say you are and move on. This is not an ally, this is a roadblock to your ability to thrive.

The truth is a powerful weapon. Use it to your advantage. Unleash it only when it stands to do the most damage to the oppressor and the least to you. This usually means when you’re free and clear of the situation and safely out of their control. Alternately, it can be deployed if you’re backed into a corner as a last resort.

There’s safety in numbers. The poet Jenny Zhang has said “I’m not going to accept the mentorship of people who don’t see me, don’t know me, and don’t understand me.” Conversely, if you have someone who’s in the shit with you, who knows from experience exactly what it feels like to be hated and cast out by your own parents, they may be an ally. If they are trustworthy (if they say they’re going to be somewhere and they show up, they don’t make promises they can’t keep) trust them with a small thing (will you keep this dollar for me until the end of the day, for example) and see what happens. If they can be trusted, you may have found somebody who can watch your back. Don’t get comfortable, though. Circumstances change and allies can become enemies over time.

Beware of caretakers. Some people will think it’s romantic to be friends with you. You are a waif, a scoundrel who’s own parents have cast them out. It’s like a cartoon they watched in their safe house with their good parents while you were hiding in a closet or a bush or any other kind of cover you could find to keep them off you. I’m not saying not to be friends with normal people. Normal people are the reason I graduated from high school. But you have to know that you need more than they can provide. If you try to rely on normal people, they will begin to resent you. After all, it’s not their fault you’re like this. If a normal person offers you something too eagerly, especially if they’re an adult: beware. People always want something in return. You are broke, young and you have no resources. They will probably want to fuck you, and they’ll probably imply that raping you is justified because you accepted whatever gift or assistance they offered initially. This is why it’s so important to handle your own shit. If you don’t owe anybody anything, they can’t collect in the form of your ass.

Find a sanctuary. This could be any place where you feel protected, where people won’t turn you in to child services, where hours or maybe even days can be spent in safety and relative comfort. Make sure that no one controls access to this space. The public library, for example is public space and therefore no one can be banned from the library. Sanctuary can also mean a cultural association like a church or a youth group. If you’re going to find sanctuary in youth-oriented space, be careful. Rules designed to protect normal children can also be used to make you vulnerable and dependent on services that either can’t be relied on, or come with too high a price (see previous paragraph). The good news is that anybody who tells you you have to follow their rules in order to be happy is lying to you. Always remember that you have options.

And finally…

Forget about all of this. If this works, you’re going to wake up one day in a glorious future. A future you built yourself, a future where you are safe and you don’t owe anything to anybody. You must become a soldier who hones his skills, praying for a time when they are no longer needed. Your dis-empowered youth is only a hurricane, terrible but brief in the scope of your life. Giving this shit up will be almost as bad as learning it in the first place, but it’ll be worth it. Tell yourself that this is likely where your parents stopped trying if you need motivation to press on. Don’t be like them. Don’t fuck this up.

Stop Saying “People Pleaser” Like It’s a Good Thing

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That’s not being “too nice” that’s people pleasing and codependency. Codependents aren’t nice out of the kindness of our broken, black little hearts. We’re nice because we think that, in order to manipulate another person into taking care of us, we must first take care of them. We over compensate for failures, do un-reciprocated emotional labor for others, and we expect others to do the same for us. We feel broken inside, and instead of using our meager resources to fix ourselves, we attempt to find another two-legged stool on which to lean precariously in a laughable simulation of real life and relationships.

We say things like

“They need me”
“But I love him”
and
“I’m sorry I fell asleep at the wheel and crashed my car into a preschool, but my mom is sick and my kids are doing poorly in school and my husband just lost his job again, so could you please tell all those mourning parents that it really isn’t my fault?”

If you’re still wondering when it’s going to be your turn, that’s probably because you haven’t taken your turn yet. You say yes to things you want to say no to, you put other people’s feelings before your own, and you’re standing on the deck of your sad, neglected tug boat wondering when your ship will come in.

Ships don’t go anywhere to come in from if no one invests the time and the money to build them.

There’s no such thing as “too nice.” Frequently people who think they’re “too nice” are perceived by others as being either doormats, or game players who have a pathological inability to ask for what they really want. Somewhere someone taught us, probably brutally, that when we speak up for ourselves, when we lay out our boundaries, we will be punished for it. Best case scenario, the people who taught us these lessons felt, or at lease justified their actions by claiming they felt like they were teaching us not to need so much. So when we asked for love and affection, when we needed to take a brake, or if we needed food or water and it wasn’t given to us, we learned a different way to get those things. We emotionally manipulated the situation in whatever way possible in order to be safe and fed, if not loved and adored.

Being mean to people only goes so far in securing their loyalty, but being nice, even “too nice” is a pretty great way to ingratiate ourselves to others, especially if, like us, they are deficient in basic skills and looking for someone else to meet the needs they should have been taught to meet for themselves.

So, how does one stop this soul-sucking codependency? A far as you’re concerned, I have no idea. That’s a journey you’re going to have to go on your damn self, but I started with saying no. And being mean. Especially to people who were mean to me.

Ben Bateman, Will You Marry Me?

You freak me the hell out. I love you so much that I believe to my core that I could live forever with you and never marry you and never love you any less. And I thought that was the plan.

I mean, sure, we’re going to pay lip service to this sexist, classist society that would seek to side-fuck it’s way into our family structure, which is personal and should never be the subject of tax law or special rights or any of the bullshit it currently is. We’re going to go to their City Hall and pay their little legitimacy fee so we can operate in their system the way we want to, but let’s get real, we’ve been married this whole time.

We’ve been living together, we’ve been devoted to each other and we’re more married than some married people we know. We’re the real thing. You’re so real a thing for me that I didn’t even believe in love before I met you. You’re the proof that I wasn’t even looking for.

I married you the day I decided I could trust you with my broken heart, that I could let you see this pile of dead meat inside of me and that you wouldn’t make it worse. My heart is so healed now. I don’t believe I’ve been this happy, or this real of a person ever.

You are so good, I knew from the start that I wanted to be good myself so I would always be good to you. I don’t think I’ve been living up to that lately. I try to take emotional responsibility for myself and solve my problems like a grown-up, but I’ve freaked out on you a lot over the last few months. This wedding stuff is seriously scaring me. I thought that full legal marriage was a trick we’d play on an otherwise inept and bigoted system, but as time passes, I’ve became worried that the trick is on me.

My fear has dominated my thoughts. What if the only thing keeping me from turning into my mother is the fact that we were never legally married? Every marriage in my family has been unhappy marriage. What if I tell the world how I feel about you and you leave me like everybody else did?

No one has ever been my family to the extent that you are my family. Being with you feels as safe as being alone. Most of the time, I am terrified that people will figure me out and either they will ask me to leave, or they will leave me. This has been especially strong since we moved to Portland, where every friend is a scary new friend and where I have no history and no roots. You figured me out a long time ago, and to my astonishment, you not only stayed, you told me you liked it.

I think you might actually revel in the fact that I can be pretty scary sometimes, but that you are amongst the incredibly small minority of people to see my custardy insides and know that I am just a fat, angry little cream puff. I’m pretty sure you taught me how to be compassionate. And I’m pretty sure I taught you how to be direct.

This might not be a big deal to people who dreamed of their wedding, who imagined the clothes and the colors, and the everything. Who had a road map for how to treat someone when you wake up one day nearly sick with the realization that you plan to get old with them. That they know the worst thing about you and you them and you love each other more for it. But I never planned for this because I didn’t think those things were real.

I’m not going to be a good wife, but somehow I don’t think you want that. I’m too angry and too manly to be the kind of mother to our future children that your mother was to you, but you embody so much of her gentleness and kindness that I can’t imagine they would suffer. All I can give you is my sincere promise that I will work with you and not against you, that I will support you in whatever you do, that I will take responsibility for my own emotional health, and that I will give you the space and time to do the same. I will tell you I love you every night when we go to sleep, I will be your sounding board, and your voice of reason when you need that because I know you would do that for me, and I will be your shoulder to cry on just like you are for me when I need it.

I don’t have anything in this world except myself, and that is already yours. Whatever happens, wherever we go from here I had to tell you this. And I wanted to say it on the blog because I was afraid to say it, and I didn’t want my egotistical fear to keep me from being completely honest. I love you so much that it scares me, but I’m not going to let that stop me from showing up for you today, on our wedding day, and every day after that in whatever fashion you need.

More Like Lakefront Socially Constructed Gender Binary Hunt

20160420_lakefrontI’ve been unreasonably obsessed with house buying shows lately and they’re giving me fucking heart palpitations, over how dumb they are, but also over some super obnoxious gender shit that’s being played as normal or even natural over here.

For example, I just watched an episode of Lakefront Bargain Hunt wherein inexplicably rich mid-westerners look for a vacation house for the basement budget price of twice what our actual house budget is in a fucking major city, but I digress (maybe this is why I might hate these assholes.) And in literally the same shot the husband was talking about how great it’ll be for him to spend all day fishing on the lake while the wife said “oh, it’ll be so nice to be able to see our son playing on the dock while I prepare food here in the kitchen.”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

No, it’s super cool for you to do what you love all day long completely unburdened by the family you clearly started for some damn fool reason only you could know. I’ll just be here serving our cuntfruit and cleaning the kitchen where I belong. Thanks eversomuch for allowing me to help you buy this beautiful view from which I can attend to your needs. Do you want to savagely mouth fuck me now, or should we wait until after the kid’s asleep? I always appreciate the brief moment of silence after you pass out without even trying to get me off in return. It’s literally the only time I have left where someone isn’t demanding my servitude and I wish, in that moment, I could finally die.

So, you know. I’m learning a lot about the house game.

From Pants to Goddesses

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Shirts vs. Pants

In the battle of shirts vs. pants, pants and skirts win. Primarily because I like a clean vagina and clothes on my bottom half keep stuff from getting in there. But also because I hate bras, and no clothes on my top half (I’m assuming) also means no bras. Because fuck bras.

Booze

I don’t know enough about booze to really talk about it. Except that well into adulthood I absent-mindedly have a habit of sniffing water before I drink it because I had enough times in childhood where I unexpectedly grabbed the wrong cup and took a huge gulp of straight vodka. Which is gross.

Mythology

I like the way that Athena sprang out of Zeus’ head fully formed, and I always felt like her virginity was too much interpreted in a Christian context in modern retellings of the myth. Adding the bullshit about purity and modesty that didn’t really belong to her. Athena doesn’t fuck or show men her body, not because of Christian shame or timidness, but because of feminist power. A person’s body, their sexual energy, and the knowledge of that is a privilege. Not because sex cheapens a person, but because knowledge is power.

Just Wedding Things

Friend Ruby found this modern bridal meditation on the true cost of perfectionism the other day and shared it with me, proto-bride.

My initial reaction to the visual of a sad pregnant woman crying quietly into her pillowey mom-to-be bosoms while some over-priced Palm Desert twat fucked up her wedding hair was to blame the patriarchy, as usual.

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But for serious you guys, what in the fucking fuck is up with weddings? At this point, all the stress of half-friends and strangers trying (sometimes desperately) to shove me into some fantasy wedding box has worn off, and the pre-event stress of having to see, converse with, and be polite to more than 3 people at once has yet to arrive.

If you’ll recall:

a sick drawing inspired by that -me alone- drawing from lilo and stitch except instead of being dead im smiling

I feel like a stray that peed on the rug. Everyone is very excited over something I did. And they’re making a lot of noise about it. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.

Not that I don’t like having noise made over me. As much as it baffles me, I think I like it a lot. But forgive me if I have no reaction, or seem slightly frightened by the concept. In a lot of ways, I am a stray.

I have less than no respect for the institution of marriage. If it weren’t for the incredibly unfair bias our legal and tax system has toward married people, this wouldn’t be happening. Therefore, I have even less respect for the wedding-industrial complex and for the concept of weddings altogether.

The fact that I would, or even worse, that I should have lived every second of my 31 years on this planet carefully planning for the day in which I will be expected to reenact a traditional goods for human capital exchange in front of everybody who ever loved me is totally fucking gross, not to mention really sad. And that I would be expected to buy them dinner and give them presents afterwards is also totally yucksville.

This is where I would usually backpedal and say that I’m not criticizing your traditional wedding, dear reader- except that almost every person I’ve talked to regrets the wasted, money, drama and time their traditional wedding cost them. It was a massive, stress-filled fight-fest with every person involved from the beginning to the end, and then there were years and years of paying off a debt no one was happy to create. I’m not saying this because a couple of people have said it to me. Virtually every person who had a fancy wedding regrets it as far as I can tell.

I don’t have the time or the energy for that. I already fight enough with enough of the rest of the world. So, anybody worried about me freaking out about anything about this ceremony, don’t worry. I’ll be more likely to freak out about how happy I am just to see my friends and how sad I’ll be that I can’t spend a solid weekend alone with each one of you at the same time because you know how I get in crowds.

I am the ladies room

I haven’t had the time, or frankly the emotional fortitude to read all this anti trans toilet law bullshit. But is there something in there about being able to press charges against some bathroom policing fuckstick if they get it wrong? Like, if someone is convinced that a cis gender person is in the “wrong”  bathroom and makes any attempt to prove their bigotry is at least legally valid, can they then be charged with assault when they attempt to force the issue with their victim?

Also,  how trans is trans? What about intersex people? Is this just a vagina vs penis thing? How vagina is vagina? How penis penis? What if I’m holding a dildo? 12 dildos. How many times can I hit a bathroom policer with a dildo before they themselves refuse to go to the bathroom in public for fear of the mad dildo avenger?

Important questions for our government officials.