Friday, May 21, 2010

Failure to communicate

 This has been a frustrating week for me.  It started out wonderfully.  My beloved sisters and my niece Nikki spent Monday evening with me at dinner, followed by a fabulous pub quiz.  Tuesday, I was able to spend a little more time with them and with my niece Dawn.  I love these ladies.  They make me laugh until I hurt.  We talk about important stuff and silly stuff.  We praise our children and share our griefs.  And I teared up trying to explain to my sister Judie how I am at a loss of how to tell my beautiful daughter how proud I am of her.  It just doesn't seem enough to say, "I knew you could do it.  You are amazing.  Your gift is to be the light of my life."  I don't know what to say.

After a stop in at Papa Haydn's for a light nibble and a tasty dessert, I opted to take mine home.  Chocolate Truffle Cake.  And I couldn't finish it.  I thought I was past this hurt.  I thought I was ready to move on.  But I thought wrong.  After all, it's been nearly three years.

Three years ago, after traveling from Portland to Boston in a Budget moving truck with my daughter Bridgete and her cat Severus Bartholomew; a journey detailed here Expotition to Boston ; I returned to Portland.  A man that I had been dating for about a month prior to the trip was displaying decidedly possessive and controlling behavior.  But I was in a very emotionally exhausted place and not sure how to tell this man that he clearly didn't get me and we needed to move on.  I was naturally disappointed that once again, I had failed to see the real man beneath the show, and that once again, in spite of my openness, honesty and refusal to settle, I was being asked to give up myself in order to have a relationship.   Labor Day weekend had arrived and I was intending to take those days to clear the air and start fresh.  Instead, we went out for dinner and dancing.  I ordered a piece of chocolate cake for dessert.  I hadn't had real chocolate cake in ages.  And I felt I deserved it.

But apparently, I was mistaken.  The following morning, for 3 hours, I was raped and repeatedly told that my yearning for chocolate cake was disrespectful, contemptuous, impolite, unladylike, and not to be repeated.  For the rest of that day, I was ordered to starve and walk 5 miles to work off the disgusting poison I had put into my body.  But then, I didn't understand that my body wasn't my own, it was his.  Everything I did and said with it was a reflection on him and how I honored him.

Clearly, this man was not stable or rational.  And once I got him out of my home and fell apart, I was blessed to be surrounded by dear friends, many of them men, who talked me back to wholeness.  Or to something resembling it. 

Yet, I still can't eat chocolate cake.  I have a few bites and as soon as I start to enjoy the delectable chocolate on my tongue and feel just a little bit hedonistic, I am taken to a place of shame and fear and loss and pain.  

So I spent the days since Tuesday angry at him, angry at the fools who cry and scream that they want their America back - yet they can't even be bothered to participate in the election process, angry at myself for eating bad food and then shoving more bad food on top of it. (Because I really am dishonorable and disrespectful and unladylike and deserve to be alone and fat.)

There does seem to be a failure of communication these days.  Ironic that we are so connected and yet we still aren't able to communicate to those who really need to hear.   We do a good job of stirring up emotions especially fear and hatred.  We do a good job of telling other people what think they should do.  We do a good job of speaking in 140 characters.  But do we really communicate?

Clearly we don't know how to write anymore and if the T-P-arty is anything to go by, ignorance is bliss.  Is there hope for a country where a 30% voter turnout is something to celebrate?  Democracy demands participation and participation demands education and education demands communication.  Not manipulation, propaganda, and deception.  But open, honest, true communication. 

I'm no longer angry.  I'm just sad.  And I'm saddest of all that I can't seem to find the words to tell the one I love more than any other - how very blessed I am to know you.  I love you Bridgete.

Failure to communicate - The Boston Globe

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Bridgete said...

I love you too. And I hope you can someday finally eat chocolate cake again.

Bert said...

I hope I am not out of line if I say that it is time that you realize that you are a wonderful , amazing , strong woman . Eat that damn chocolate cake. I love you.