Reality

8:04 PM Edit This 17 Comments »
I'm pretty sure this post will be completely discombobulated and confused, but it is what it is. That's where my brain is. I've been introduced to several feminist blogs lately. And I am reading them voraciously. Sickeningly so. Glued to them. Trying to learn (or unlearn) and process and put into perspective where I'm at today. It is at once, exhausting and exhilarating.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my voice. The woman that at one time took on a 30 person church council and told them they were full of misogynistic shit and didn't think anything of it to a trembling being who couldn't even express a simple desire for fountain diet coke and not the kind that came in a twist off cap bottle. How did that happen and how am I supposed to get that back?

I've had glimpses of that girl. I attended a women's Bible Study at the Dead Guy's dad's church for almost six months after he died. It was at once healing and suffocating. It was a one pastor (male, of course) church where I at least felt welcome in my grief. Until we started really STUDYING. At which point, my brain engaged and spewed forth the opinions of the heretic woman I used to know. Reading a passage from James and discussing it and hearing one matriarch say, "We better ask Pastor so and so what he thinks it means." finally broke me to say such things as, "This is a women's Bible study. What makes you think that men have the ultimate say in what it means? We are here to discuss what it means to US, not what it means to THEM!" And the heretic was reborn. They were frightened and at the same time emboldened by my fervor. And I hope that they don't forget that moment.

I get flashes of this woman every once in awhile. She's begging to reappear. That self-confident woman that has opinions and thoughts and moxie. I used to cherish my moxie. That part of me that wouldn't take the crap of the paternalistic society I live in. I used to fight it. And she might become reborn. I'm frightened of her, but I think she is the true me. It's just a matter of time before she takes over. And I like her, too. But I'm confused and uncomfortable with her anymore.

I think I finally put my finger on it tonight as I was driving to the meeting. I think that since I so supremely fucked up my life that I don't have the "right" to my old thoughts. But I do. I SO do. That's the real me that's screaming to reappear. She's the one that really lived her life. The drunken sot that drank in her closet is NOT me. She was a phase of me. But she's not me. I should be excited that I know that, but I'm mostly afraid.

I ran into a man tonight that I used to worship. He and I got sober together. Him - about two weeks after me. We'd talk late at night on the phone when we were struggling with life. I had a crush on him. A big, big crush, and then suddenly at about a year and a half sober, he started to irritate me and I couldn't figure out why. This was a man that walked the plank with me. But one day, I finally got it. We may have gotten sober together, but he's a fucking male chauvinist pig and I was done making excuses for him. And it was over. He's still a goddamn fucking dick, but I pity him, because he doesn't get it. He has NO idea why I don't enjoy his company anymore. I've told him in so many words why, but his brain is incapable of understanding it. He has no idea how much he hates women and puts them down in every breath he takes. And I won't stand for it.

And I like that I don't stand for it. I like that alot. The heretic is reborn. She may scare me, but she's real. She's so fucking real.

17 comments:

melissalion said...

I know that trembling Diet Coke person. I am her sometimes. We're always regrouping, right? Always moving forward?

BrianAlt said...

But one day, I finally got it.

See, it's still there. It may be lurking, but it's still there. It doesn't have to be your every day voice, it can be your protective voice. It can come out when it needs to and hibernate the rest of the time. Did you feel angry "back then"? You were angry at something. Something sent you from drinking one day to drinking too much for too long.

You're finding out that it's okay to be nice. Nice isn't anti-feminism. Keep that voice, cherish it, but it doesn't have to be the only one you have.

Sweetly Single said...

not only real but rock the real world! u go gurl!

lacochran said...

I'm with BrianAlt... embrace all that you are and live it boldly!

Daisee579 said...

You go!

You can be nice and still get what you want and stand up for what you belive in! (that's easier said than done for me, but I gotta believe it's true!!!)

buffalodick said...

I have made it a point not to label groups of people into catagories- I take everyone as an unique individual. Putting them into specific groups is nice and neat, but it ain't right...

Summer said...

I "heart" you!

Bob said...

recovering your "feminist-self", I think, is just a vestige of your overall recovery. It doesn't matter that you find strength in feminism, to me it is merely you liking yourself enough to stand up for yourself again.

Way to go.

MilesPerHour said...

Despite our active using there are still parts of our pasts that serve us well. We just have to find out what they are and use them in a sober manner.

Sparkling Red said...

That's awesome. Every woman who stands up for herself helps and sets a good example for all other women. But in the end what it's about is a better, more fulfilling life for you. Enjoy the rebirth of your firey self!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I love that you're finding your voice, both inside and out. And I cannot wait to hear what that voice has to say!

justjp said...

Say it loud, say it proud!

Dingo said...

One of my favorite quotes:

"A natural response is to change the word feminist to a word with fewer stigmas attached. But inevitably the same thing will happen to that magical word. Part of the radical connotation of feminism is not due to the word, but to the action. The act of a woman standing up for herself is radical, whether she calls herself a feminist or not."
~ Paula Kamen, feminist

Change "radical" to "heretic" and there you go!

Julia said...

Good for you to have the courage to embrace that voice even if you do have some fear. We need all the strong, outspoken women we can get!

G said...

I wish you were closer. I do believe we'd have so much to share.

Twinkie said...

An asshole by any other name smells just the same... sober asshole or drunk asshole... you can't change that. Well, I mean, HE can. But you can't. Good thing your spidey senses resurfaced just in time to realize he is just plain and simply put.. an asshole.

blakspring said...

yay for re-finding your inner heretic. i too had lost a spark and am finally getting it back. such an amazing feeling.