I could write a beautiful, poignant 1,000-word version of this post that’d keep me from my kids for a couple hours. Alternatively, I could write a more succinct, less illuminating version that takes me only ten minutes. I’m opting for the latter.
My sister Rache and I are very similar in some ways. She’s an ASNAC nerd who took me to the Jorvik Viking Center on my one trip to England, so we definitely diverge in some ways, but … in many ones where it counts, we’re clearly cut from the same cloth. Read more…
I grew up with both violence and denial. Denial aggravated me far more than violence.
Violence came and went. It happened because it happened. Parents were sometimes cruel, and then the kids they violated often learned to be cruel, too.
Denial, on the other hand, screamed, “I have the luxury of pretending what happened to you could not happen to me! Therefore, it happened because there was something uniquely terrible and deserving about you!”
The violence I endured as a child taught me to trust my instincts.
When a “charming” acquaintance made my skin crawl, I told my friends. They said I didn’t give him enough credit.
They were shocked when he committed murder-suicide. I was shocked, but not surprised. I’d lived with violence long enough to identify the subtle indicators others could simply choose to ignore. The little red flags he displayed didn’t even register for 99% of the people around me, none of whom–otherwise–themselves presented a single red flag.
When one of my sisters was at risk, I knew it because of how her communication changed. She didn’t have to tell me much for some part of me to cry out, “Alert! Alert! Alert!” even before she first told me he’d attacked her. I identified the risk before I could express it well.
When she called me about a later attack, I’d just finished reading security expert Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. I had vocabulary to show her the risk I saw. From the book, I read her a list of danger signs displayed by a partner. She told me her boyfriend had “done at least 25 of those things” and, thank God, packed up and drove more than a thousand miles south to begin a new life here in SoCal.
Had she stayed, she might not have survived.
When a neighbor told my son what to do, speaking over me to command Li’l D against my wishes, I trusted my instincts … and Gavin de Becker’s Protecting the Gift. I said no and ended the conversation. My neighbor’s aggressive reaction to this affirmed how right I am not only to trust my instincts, but to teach my sons to trust theirs.
Many times before now, I’ve told you I will not perpetuate violence by my denial.
All the same, I wanted to shove my intuition aside in 2016 when it screamed, “Your representatives don’t represent you!” Instead, because I committed to never perpetuate denial at others’ expense, I researched. Once again, I discovered my instincts had guided me well. They uncovered truths logic alone would’ve kept concealed.
Despite everything I’d learned in youth, I’d been taken. I’d had no idea that the predatory tactics of pedophiles could be adopted en masse by politicians. I’d never have even had cause to suspect, had I not grown up in such mayhem.
I was prepared to love Bernie Sanders almost thirty years ago.
I was barely a decade old when I testified against a pedophile. He sat only a few feet away from me as I described how he’d once placed a hand on my breast.
Atop my Twitter feed this morning was a paid Clinton Tweet asking, “Are you on the team yet?”
“Yet.” Subtle but not: “It’s inevitable, even if you haven’t recognized it. Yet.”
No, I have not changed my mind since Friday. Years of unpalatable fiscal and military positions did not magically assume palatability for me because Elizabeth Warren endorsed Clinton, nor for any other reason.
My sister actually addressed this point in her weekend post, “Earn Our Vote.” Rather than address it further here, I’d ask you to please check it out there:
Be our leader. Don’t wait for us, grudging, to trudge to your camp because, brow-beaten and bullied, we have given up on the things that matter to us.
I haven’t been reading blogs recently, and I miss them. I miss you.
My quiet, though, is a necessary, self protective one. In this greater quiet, I have spent a lot of time thinking more about safety. I have discovered both that I haven’t been a safe place for myself and that I must work–hard–to be one now and for many tomorrows.
Of course, even the greatest quiet must include one’s closest friend and Silver Star (aka “Rache”), and we’ve had much to share. One text message exchange in particular lit my heart such that I wanted to memorialize it, to remember the exchange and to remind myself that love isn’t a matter of luck. I wrote Rache:
[Someone] told me earlier this week that I’m lucky to be so loved … but it wasn’t luck, for me or for you or our siblings. Having known great hurt, we are also uniquely equipped to identify those who could or would never hurt us. We have sought those people in our lives and left aside the others. It is not luck that we are loved. It is that we are lovable … that we listen, and we hear, and we love so greatly. Read more…
Silver Star just published a novel!
Wait, what? Silver Star? Who’s Silver Star?
You mean you don’t know?! Why, she’s my just younger sister! You might recall that I once wrote a post about how I’d love her more if she’d blog? No? For those of a more literal bent, I also reference her as “Rache” or “Rachael” in, oh, 10-15% of my posts.
So she wrote a book, huh?
Yep. It’s called Waking Dreams, and you can find it here. It’s even free right now!
She is an ASNAC nerd, a Portlander, her own kind of Wonder Woman, and, always, always, my Silver Star.
Silver Star, aka Rachael Wolfgang, answered a few questions for me. My questions are in bold. Her answers are in not-bold, which is not to say she’s not herself bold. It’s just a formatting thing. Trust me. (Why not?) Read more…
If we were having coffee, I’d ask you why you were out and about so late. I’d explain that I’ve only slipped out briefly while my younger sister, Rache (aka “Silver Star“), sleeps on my couch. She’ll be headed back home almost as soon as she arrived, but the quickness of her trip doesn’t change the warmth left in its wake. Home feels even more like home when filled by traces of certain loved ones’ presence, I’d say with the hint of a smile, already looking forward to hearing my sister’s snores for a few more hours.
I’d tell you how we didn’t do much, and about how very perfect was our laziness. I’d say we slept only in alternating fits on Friday nights, talking through most of Unfriended and Cinderella, and laugh when saying I made it through only ten minutes of Avengers: Age of Ultron before taking a late-night nap. Me, sleep through a superhero movie and stay awake for Cinderella?! I wouldn’t have believed it myself, had I not been there, done that! Read more…