I HAVE NO PROBLEM admitting issues. Not any more. The last few years of spending lots of time in Bronx Family Court, my life laid open for the world to pry into, has pretty much cured me of that.
There's an enormous amount of freedom when you admit to issues. That's not to say you should use your issues as a shield: "You're always late!" someone says and you reply "Tough! That's my issue, so handle it!" thereby making them feel powerless to express their frustration at the fact that you've jacked up their time. I think that when you "own" an issue, it actually behooves you to try even harder to either a.) correct the issue b.) learn to work around the issue c.) be uber-cognizant of the fact that your issues can have some major impact on the world and people around you. And if it impacts people you love, you are even *more* responsible, in my opinion, for trying to do something about your issues.
It took me a while to own up to the fact that I had become afraid of The Fucker, because I'm not the type that scares easy. And I do hate it when people say "Ugh. That could never be me. I would have done x, y, z and it would be over" as if saying "You're weak because you're in that situation, and I'm better than you." But um, it ain't that simple, people, and I can tell you that from experience. When I was in my very early '20's, at the height of my "know-it-all-ness," I knew a chick about 3 years younger than I who had a psychostalker of a boyfriend. He beat the crap out of her, held her hostage, made her walk 3 paces behind him. She ran one day and hid in our apartment, till the Professor--A Social Worker From Birth--took her down to Covenant House for her safety. The Chick then apparently called psychostalker on the phone, and told him where she was, whereupon he came and got her and beat the crap out of her some more. Someone, and I shan't say who God-Rest-His-Soul took it upon himself to take the law into his own hands, and shot psychostalker dead right in front of our friend freeing her. She went on to have a pretty decent life, all things considered.
But I remember thinking at the time "shit, that could NEVER be me, and if it was, and I ran away and hid, there's no way I'd call him to let him know where I was." Well, 15 or so years later, I found myself in a similar situation, though decidedly not quite as bad, (and no, I never called him to come get me so he could beat my ass--matter of fact, I started putting things in place the minute I suspected he might beat my ass) but still. I was, where I swore I'd never be.
That was the beginning of becoming the Bear Maiden, I think, because I began to truly understand the phrase "there but for the Grace of God, go I". Because "it", whatever "it" is, CAN happen to you, given the right set and combination of circumstances.
Poppy used to say "The True God doesn't keep you out of trouble, He gets you out of trouble" and over time I've sort of modified that phrase down to the more human level; if you find yourself in trouble (because you weren't listening to God/your inner voice/your sixth sense/your "older" sister/etc) what matters the most is getting out. And so I try to not to look at other people and think "Idiot! How could you let that happen!" Because I've learned that anything can happen... you can find yourself in all kinds of strange places. Now, granted... there's a point where you think "OK, that was funny the first 400 times...." meaning... at some point people need to wake up and take care of their shit. And I *do* lose patience with people who keep repeating bad patterns for years on end. Seriously; at some point you've GOT to "grab ahold"!
I hope I've managed to grab ahold... I think I have, for the most part, though it took me 5 fucking years to free myself from TF. And I'm still not completely free since we have a Child In Common (how the Sun is referred to in the Good 'Ol BFC). Five years to get out of a situation I should never have gotten into in the first place and certainly didn’t take that long to get into. But I've no regrets; the Sun is the single greatest thing that's ever happened to me. I was very reluctant to let him go with his dad, one being that sperm notwithstanding (and cleft chin and fiery temper, too) the Sun is MINE. But, I was ordered to let him go... so off he went, and I've missed him tremendously. And have openly stalked him on the internet.
Let me tell you, that GPS thing rocks. I forsee all sorts of issues with it, and ladies, if you have a psychostalker of your own, and Child(ren) in Common, I urge you to reconsider when DumbAssDad offers to buy your child a cell phone so that they can "talk to daddy without mommy interfering." Cuz Daddy could be tracking your ass. If he does buy them a phone cuz you can't afford it, make sure you instruct your kid to turn the phone OFF until they are home (unless of course your home is in an undisclosed location) and ready to talk to him. Of course, that means you could set your kid up to receive ranting messages a la Alec Baldwin. Also, if you drive check your car for tracking devices. They make them real small these days. I found all this out when researching GPS for the Sun.
But anyhow. When used properly, it really gives you peace of mind. And it gives the kid peace of mind; so far the Sun has kept that phone on and charged his entire trip. He knows I can "see" him, and it's sort of our little joke. And I think his knowing that I can "see" him has helped him to navigate this week. I spoke to him yesterday morning; they were on their way to Disneyland. GPS revealed that at 10PM CA time last night, they were still there, so I'm guessing they had a great time.
I'll admit; part of me was hoping I'd have to "push the red button" and get him out of there. Knowing that he is probably having a great time means that I am probably going to have to deal with these trips on a fairly frequent basis. But that's my issue and ultimately what matters is that The Sun can handle his dah. And that he has a relationship with his dah. I have a dad... eccentric, yes, but I love him dearly and appreciate him in my life. The Sun should have the same. As long as he isn't too psycho....
In the meantime, I can stalk him over the internet. And it's been fun, too, cuz it's almost like being there. I find his location, and then I go to Google Maps and put in the location, and I can hover overhead like a bird in the sky imagining him walking around down there. Sometimes I send him messages, either from the GPS site or by text message, and let him know I'm thinking of him.
The other day, the little locator icon said that he was IN the Pacific Ocean. YIKES! Of course my heart jumped; why would he be *in* in the ocean? Was he on a boat? The phone wouldn't work if it was IN the ocean and if he were moving in a boat, he probably wouldn't be "locatable." So, I "Google" the closest highway intersection, and voila... Huntington Beach Municipal Pier is a looooong pier that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. *sigh*. I see my sister has renamed me stalkerbarbie, but THAT'S OK. I'm good with that. I'm actually a pretty good stalker (all it takes is putting your mind in the other person's body, and thinking like they do. I've done it before--ONLY out of curiosity, I assure you, and it's an awful lot of fun. Modern day technology helps tons, too. And if you think you can hide by not putting info in on the internet... WRONG. But I digress).
I realize too, that part of this latest obsession stems from my own Control Issues, which I freely admit to having about certain things and which clearly stem from my father. A little bit of therapy a while back helped me to begin to admit to a certain amount of things, though I never "came clean" with my therapist. I think revisiting 1977 is helping me--and all of us in the family--despite the Professor's discomfort. It was probably one of the biggest things to ever happen to us as a family (another being the Prof's accident). In hindsight, 1977 is the last time any of us were clearly in control of our lives. As far as I was concerned, up until the "beastly men" came onto our porch and told Poppy we had to leave, I was in control of my own destiny.
I could be anything or anyone I wanted or imagined. There was no one around to tell me any different. There were no "race" issues because the few people we ran into pretty much looked like me and Poppy (BigBear always stuck out, though, and the Prof confounded Jamaicans who thought she might be “Coolie” because she had that weird hair that "didn't jibe" with her skin tone); we were taught at home so we didn't need to compare our "progress" or grades to anyone else’s; we each had a voice in the day-to-day family dealings, and there was no television to show us what the world was "supposed" to look like. We read plenty of books, and in your mind's eye, the pictures reflect the world you know and so all worlds were utterly familiar.
The Parents--Poppy in particular--had set up Utopia In a Bubble... and so long as we were in that Bubble we had complete freedom. There were things you shouldn't do of course... my sneaking out of the house into the dark night was one of them, but I snuck out because I didn't think it was dangerous. I had no concept of fear. When I realized that it could be dangerous, I didn't sneak out. As much.
I suppose the Professor thinks that as the baby she had no control... but I venture to say that the ensuing years has put a kind of film in between then and now, because I can vouch that sis was very much in control of herself at the time. Poppy repeatedly said "As long as the baby is happy, the family is happy " and so there was an awful lot of weight given to the Professor's feelings. As the older sibling, I never felt that because she was the youngest, she was *supposed* to be under my control--although I was "responsible" for her. And when she was being "obnoxious" it was generally because she had "planted" herself somewhere, or declared her feelings about something and wasn't budging from her position. The family joke was that the Prof could "root" herself into the ground, and refuse to be moved. On occasion (OK, several occasions) the only way to move her from her position (physically or otherwise) was by brute force, and this is why she and I had fistfights. She was a formidable fighter, though I never let her know it. (So now, I'm telling you, sis, that you easily could have kicked my ass from early on; it was merely your fear of me that kept you from doing so.) I learned the power of manipulation and persuasion simply because I found those skills to be necessary when dealing with her, at times. Sometimes it took far too much effort to kick her ass.
The Sun comes back tomorrow at about Midnight. When I spoke to him yesterday he asked quickly (probably the minute his father had stepped out of sight) “when I come home, can I sleep in your bed?” “Of course you can” I said, “I got your spot all ready for you.”
Oh, P.S. We just got word that the Diva will be in a Japanese magazine called LUIRE. Never heard of it till now, but it seems to have been around a while, and quite popular. The photographer stopped her and PITA on the street early this summer, and took a bunch of flix:
If any one knows where in the Big Apple you can buy this mag, please let me know.