Quest: Disarmed

The following entry may contain triggering material ; rape mention.

Last year, I witnessed flabbergastingly compounded unconscionable callous injustice—like most of the developed world that year, but while I understood that stuff going on on the level of nations was bad, it was this awfully petty thing that I kept focusing on. I seethed. I steeped. I’d feel physically ill seeing the usernames of people involved.

And I tried to figure out why. I didn’t have any personal bond with the instigator. I hadn’t been the target, and had I truly stood by the target then I would have let it go maybe around the fifth time she’d told me to drop it. I’d try to glean by what process more involved people who were already over it, got there.

This consuming rage just had to have really been about something else. At least also.

And I swear, I searched.

— Was it too much like schoolyard social shunning for contrived and unsubstantiated reasons, that this event is reminding me that I’m not over yet?
— No, I’m well over that, I just expected more sophisticated conduct than kindergarten.
— Did really nobody else notice that this accuser was so eager to violate boundaries and control people unrelated to the original conflict(s)?
— “Specious” is too generous a descriptor for the evidence and inference: It told me nothing about the target, but a whole lot about what the accuser considered relevant to include and how. Reprehensibly.
— Why hasn’t getting spoken over about what is or isn’t racist against Asians bothered me quite this intensely before?
— So that’s how stupid I sounded complaining, about my sexual abuse by lesbians at 17, to a girl whose stepfather raped her when she was 8.
— I brainstormed a short comic to cope instead, not all that good to know what I’d be accused of had I actually drawn it.
— But sure, let’s censor survivors’ personal expression and networking, because the behavior of potential perpetrators is totally our responsibility. I’ll quit wearing skirts after sundown, too, it’s too easy to access and I would totally be asking for it. This is how to fight rape culture.
— And it wasn’t enough to say “not for me, I’m uncomfortable” and not have to do with anyone who blocked them and forgot about them. If you have to universalize your personal perspective to feel “safe” you’re probably a boundary-violating abuser, and did really nobody else pick up on this? Nobody who claims to be savvy to abuse dynamics? Really? Just stand by and signal-boost a stalker, liar, boundary-violating abuser. Who holds awfully convenient and downright unethical double standards for what extenuating circumstances of a person’s suffering should be considered (to their own benefit) or disregarded (to their targets’ detriment). Well alright then.

But the lattermost possibly unresolved issues led to one of those mindscape quests where I reunited with a shard of me probably, that took the form of an arrowhead and kept voicing a depression script that I thought I didn’t have anymore. One of the pirates returned it to me in the form of a necklace, which I wove into a glove on my hand to keep away from my heart. The glove became a spiked gauntlet welded to my hand, and eventually I had fizzling bolts of black lightning instead of one arm.

Whatever I got out of this event was metaphysically eating me alive.

“Put another glove over it,” my therapist suggested.

The moment I did, a spiked gauntlet appeared on the opposite arm, no additional mindscape questing needed—it was just here for the food. (But that it was on my dominant arm now, which I purposely kept the first one away from, and I couldn’t get it off.)

So I left the metaphors alone and started venting far more directly and publicly—A real inner alchemist wouldn’t have resorted to that. (Theoretically, anger has value because that’s what sets boundaries but really—nobody wants to live there, like this.)

Whenever I think I’m okay about this, something comes up and I’m not.

My therapist, unusually, became less concerned about where this disproportionate outrage truly came from. Instead, the question that session was, “What is this anger calling you to do?”

I thought it was to start speaking out against unsubstantiated accusations, and especially against underlying belief systems that made disseminating misinformation so easy, so commonplace and destructive.

This morning, I woke up and my arms had become arms. I felt okay: contented but uncomfortable because all that anger was gone.

Which just happens, sometimes. As I said, I’ve thought I was past it and then was not. This was suspiciously sudden and easy. But I could pick up on that rage, distantly, like a nudge somewhere—but there was all the rest of that space to occupy with what might bring happiness today instead.

If I get off the rageholic train here, permanently, I wouldn’t miss it. I wouldn’t wonder about that calling I thought was so clear. I wouldn’t look back.

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