Tag: relationship

updates. updatez. more writing.

I’ll start to post more and be more active once at least one of two things happen. 1) I get a web developer. 2) I take the GRE and free up some daily time to maintaining this organization. Priorities are blog post at least once weekly with Twitter and (coming soon) Instagram publicity AND (this is the bigger priority) full-scale curriculum development that allows me to both launch and share (pitch?) the in-person support group / healing program to appropriate entities.

For now, something I just wrote (completely un-edited except for one comma):

(Untitled).

(She was with an addict because she was an addict. I am with abusive men because I am abusive / it is what I do / it is what I know).

I’m looking for substance and not style. I don’t know what to write about, I constantly say. My abortion, my pregnancy, my rape, my body, my hunger, my fear, my shame – how it echoes – how we all echo each other. How I’m looking for an echo. Haven’t found an echo yet. I can’t trust my judgment in an echo chamber, where he echoes him and him echoes you and I don’t know if its a real echo or just your voice re-finding me. You always find me. You always find me. You always find me. I wanted to tell you, never speak to me again, when you asked me what I wanted. That was the first. The rest of it is in the past. There are desires locked up in those six months of moments that can’t be speak without breaking through broken vocal chords and echo chambers of tears. And you don’t want that. I know you don’t want that. You don’t want that. What I want from you is isolated and crystallized – so far gone – I was going to say, but it isn’t. It is preserved like pickles in a jar of glass. Like a fetus in a membrane. I want to connect the two images, but that’s not how it happened to me. That’s how it happened in a sci-fi movie when she really waited for me. I had her on the shelf one, two, three – it’s been three years. And she’s still waiting. And you’re still here. I told myself, I don’t want anything now. I said that to you, I don’t know, I said, I don’t think I’d want to be with you now. I said that. I said that? I said something like that. But I said, I would’ve been with you back then. When I said it, I was thinking of my abortion, rather, my pregnancy – I think of the two, mostly the first one, with you. But those are lies that I tell. I wouldn’t have been with you; otherwise, I would have been with you. I wouldn’t be with you. I won’t be with you. I chose not to, I choose, not to be with you. This pain doesn’t break or crackle on the surface of my brain. It’s not pain anymore, just honesty. But in those moments, the ones before you lied, the ones before I was with you, the ones in my journal entries, deeply hidden between the lines, tucked away even from myself, the truth of how I loved you. You were a fixation. And it wasn’t a million miles deep. It was eons. Decades. Generations. Four years. I loved it. I loved you. Something changed; maybe your personality or my tolerance for it. There were too many lies. Too many times I didn’t get what I needed, I kept writing. Too much ambivalence. Something didn’t feel right, maybe, I presume, but I kept chasing you. Sex was fun, I wrote. I like the attention. I want to see him, but I’m not sure. There were so many weeks I had to wait in between. You made me do this. We couldn’t build anything. I made you wait first. Maybe this was punishment. You were never with me. You reminded me that you were never with her. The truth was that you were with both of us and I was your secret. And I was just learning how to say, I don’t want to be a secret keeper anymore.

-Inspired by the practice of writing everyday and by Kassi Underwood’s May Cause Love.

Him.

This post is a part of a series that explores relationships in the context of abuse and abortion, entitled, You Become Her.

this is a portrait.

He is tall. 6’3″ if i remember. his body is supple and muscular. his skin is soft and it has a healthy sheen. i remember when he would laugh and look beside me, so that his face seemed different, incredibly cool. and his voice was ocean bottom deep.

he took my car one night as i fell asleep. i was irritated to wake up constantly with the room dimly lit and the sound of him eating Fast Food. it was the last night i spent at his house, and i remember the irritable details of it vividly. but that cannot explain why.

He lived in his mom’s basement and when I came over she wouldn’t see me, or I wouldn’t see her. The one time he took me through the front door, I met his stepdad and felt ashamed when looked he at me with one eyebrow raised and said, “You don’t have any kids?” His stepson would be able to correct that. But the intention was actually to verify that I was indeed a ho.

this is a portrait.

He is a bundle of genes that perfectly outweigh mine. they fix everything that my makeup gets wrong. yes, mix medium brown skin and my wrinkles fall away. add long, lean limbs and my proportions lengthen and become more attractive. combine a bouncy, young athletic quality and my rigidity and propensity to age and sag vanish. blend thick, hydrated hair and big white teeth and replace what is fine and minor. as the years and months pass by, i think of him this way. like high quality DNA in a sperm bank that i desperately want to re-mix with my own and make another baby. another you.

he pulled me over when i was pulling away in my car, face shining with smooth attraction. my own hair was matted sweaty to my face but it looked casual, sexy. i wore a summer t-shirt, hoops and black leggings. i felt myself pull toward him, and then i pushed away.

After it happened, I told him that I couldn’t go back to the way things were. I couldn’t sleep with him again. There was a boundary of terror that I would not cross, but I needed his attention and approval. He told me from behind the meat counter to fix my hair and I did. He wanted to tell me one on one at a party that I was a bad girl and I stood there and listened.

this is a portrait.

I only write because I have something to say.

This is a part of a series that explores themes of motherhood and abortion as well as intergenerational trauma. The series is entitled, Bloodlines.

Growing up, instead of mandatory church on Sundays, I was required to attend dance performances (at least two shows per season) and offer my well-informed thoughts on all of the pieces immediately afterward. “Take your child to work day” often meant being pulled out of school for three weeks to travel the world with a modern dance company. And unlike my friends in the suburbs, we knew a lot of gay people and were never discouraged from going downtown.

My mom was Linda Andrews; her company Zenon Dance; and right now, despite myself, I’m back home in Minneapolis, fulfilling a child-of-the-artistic-director-requirement: I am attending the final season, the summer intensive, the last show. People from choreographers to dancers to dedicated students who have known me since I was a baby look me in the eye and tell me how good it is that I travelled to be here to support my mother. I look them back and think about how I didn’t have a choice.

***

The language of no choice is interesting for several reasons. 1. It applies to my abortion. 2. My mom also uses it about Zenon closing. I wonder what she really knows about not having a choice, when she says it. I wonder if it is caused by the same energy that caused my pregnancy outcome. I wonder why we don’t claim agency over our own lives.

***

As I sit in the audience on the premiere night of Zenon’s last performance weekend, my mind races. It is not that the dance isn’t captivating. It is. My favorite feminist piece is being performed, as well as the work of Wynn Fricke, my favorite choreographer. But I am here in the audience for the last time. My mom’s career is actually ending. Finally, I think, mine might be able to begin – and I take off.

***

I spent pretty much all of the weekend obsessing over this idea – and trying to control it. I’ve always found it hard to exist as my own person in my mom’s formidable shadow. It feels like if she or anyone else has hers, I can’t have mine. Through friends of Zenon, I sometimes find validation for this. A man gave a speech describing my mom before Saturday’s show. Everyone who has met Linda knows her for her red lipstick and “unshrinking gaze,” he said. Yes, I thought, I grew up under that gaze. I know it well. That was the gaze that met me after every Zenon show and asked me what I thought about the pieces. I would hold myself to the question as if I was giving a speech, or answering an important test question in school. Looking back, I’m not sure that that was worth so much of my energy.

Still, something underlying was fueling it. Similar to how, hidden beneath all of the noise that my thoughts were generating in the audience and thereafter, was a really loud silence, feeding it all. It was the silence of not having told anyone that I didn’t want to – couldn’t, wouldn’t – come to Minneapolis because it was my abortion anniversary weekend. This is a familiar silencing of myself, especially when it comes to my deepest experiences.

***

Driving up, somewhere in Kentucky, I considered making a different choice. I considered, in a last-minute effort, not going. I thought of visiting North Carolina instead, without a plan.

Still driving north, though, I again made the decision to not choose what my body and my heart so viscerally wanted. And I went, despite myself.

It was the same choice I made three years ago.

And I’m still working to figure out why.