My Absence

So, I’ve been gone from here for a while, and with good reason. Shortly after my last post, someone who I’d cut off long ago popped into my life. This person has harassed me in the past, and decided to try to get me into legal troubles. I got scared, and abandoned this blog, even though the name that I blog under isn’t the one he knows me by. I was terrified. It shook me, because all I could think is that this man is a danger to my child and me.

I decided to come back to get that out, and to say that I’ll be blogging here more often, probably adding another entry tomorrow. But for now, I want to talk about the fear that comes when male entitlement turns obsessive.

The person who has now ended up harassing me twice within a 3 month period has escalated since the last time. It had been a couple years before the first incident this year that I’d heard from him, and I didn’t speak to him.

It. Is. TERRIFYING to know that there’s someone out there who is capable of violence that’s apparently become obsessed with me after I rejected him over a decade ago. I rejected him because of his capacity for violence that only began to show when he started showing interest in me.

I live every day in fear now. If I leave the house, I don’t leave alone. I  end up looking over my shoulder, keeping an eye out for him, worrying that he’ll find me. I’m scared of running into him. I’m scared that he’ll find me and hurt me and hurt my child. And there’s nothing I can do. I’ve checked with the police and without a direct threat against me, the harassment and stalking isn’t enough to get a protective order against him.

I hate that this is my life. I hate that I have to fear for my safety and my life because law enforcement has lax laws in my state in regards to harassment and stalking unless you’re dating someone or they’re family. It’s sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and depression. I don’t know what to do, other than to meditate to try and calm myself, and that’s all I can really do.

Male entitlement, even when not taken to the extreme, alters life and causes damage, and I’m sick of nothing being done to fix it.

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Pushed Aside

There’s nothing quite like the pain
Of knowing you’ve been forgotten

A promise of support, thrown away
A promise of deliverance from hell

Broken
Shattered
Turned to dust

Because when you live in Hades
And you feel a cool breeze caress you

Only to have the flames close back in
It’s not just a carrot that was dangled

It’s hope, torn from your shaking hands
Sandpaper tissue that wiped your tears

And you’re not sure what’s more raw
Your cheeks or your heart

Friendship shouldn’t be conditional on
Convenience or personal gain

But that’s
Just
My luck

Late Night Reflections Part I

I’m doing the part 1 thing here because I know this is going to happen more than once, so here goes.

I’m having a LOT of trouble with anger and letting go. I know it’s a matter of finding the right perspective to allow me to let go and find compassion, but dear god, it’s like pulling teeth sometimes. There’s so much injustice in this world, and I’m someone who feels the pain of others deeply, which leads to anger at the maltreatment of others. It’s hard to see something like the news coming from Chicago (which boils down to “if you don’t have a job or college lined up, you won’t get your diploma”) which harms marginalized communities more than privileged ones and not be angry. The line of thinking that says “They’re pushing their suffering on others” doesn’t work as well when it’s someone in a position of institutional power causing mass suffering (see the majority of the US government at the moment).

I know that I’m supposed to let go of anger. I know that I’m supposed to help where I can and to let go where I can’t help, but something like this is hard. I look at my child, my sweet, innocent little one, and it angers me because I know, statistically speaking, he’ll have trouble finding a job when he’s older thanks to bias against people with autism not only in the job market, but in school, too. And that’s provided he can work (this isn’t a judgement on anyone or to say that autistic people can’t work, but I refuse to place value on whether or not one can work, which is what this policy does, and some autistic people can’t work for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t make them less worthy of graduating) or go to college (see the last parenthetical and insert the appropriate phrasing for higher ed).

I think of other parents, and what this is going to do to their children, and it hurts me. It hurts to know that disprivileged children are going to suffer for elitists’ policy. It hurts that there are people who lack any shred of empathy, sympathy, or compassion that they would condemn children to a future that virtually guarantees poverty. And I don’t know how to let go of that right now.

It’s not just that situation, either. It’s the entirety of the world and its atavism toward others. Between wars waged on ideological differences and extremism, hatred of others based on differences that are nothing more than constructs, and myriad other things, the world hurts me on a deep, visceral level that’s hard to navigate to work through without feeling overwhelmed.

As a child, I would look at pictures of the earth from space and think “Why do we divide ourselves up? We’re all people of earth, why can’t we act like we are?” I miss that innocence, because as I grew older, I realized the only reason we do so is to maintain supremacy over others. Who has the most land, the best land, the best technology, the most money, it’s all essentially a pissing contest for lack of a better phrase. We kill, attack, hurt, starve, lash out against one another because we want to prove we’re the best, and it makes no sense.

To paraphrase Carl Sagan, we’re all riding around on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam, with no hope of help coming from somewhere else. Yet we refuse to act like it and allow our baser instincts to rule us instead of fighting against them and acting as if we’re a global community. We seek to oppress to establish dominance, we seek to oppress to establish supremacy, and it’s saddening, sickening, and yes, infuriating.

Maybe that’s the challenge of this life for me. Maybe I was put here because in a former life, I was one of those people who sought to oppress and I need to learn to let go. I don’t know. I can’t know with any certainty. However, I do know I need to find a way past it so I don’t bring more suffering into my own life, and into the world.

There’s no point to this post. It’s me ranting and thinking out loud, as well as talking into the void. If you find some comfort in this post, I’m glad. If it’s angered you somehow, I’m sorry. If it’s made you think or brought you to a greater realization of how to let go of anger over situations you can’t control…well, please share it with me because I could use the help. 🙂

/fin

Compassion and People Who Hurt Me

The biggest stumbling block I’ve come across since beginning my journey with Buddhism is compassion. In a world where people will hate me for not falling in with the gender binary, for not falling under heteronormative standards, for being disabled, for being a single parent, for having a uterus, finding compassion toward people who don’t like me for the sole sin of daring to live has seemed impossible for a long time. I struggle with it every day.

It seems like there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t battle with it, and most days, I lose at one point or another. I’m human, and I’m learning. I accept this. I also know that when I give in to that anger, I’m just bringing more suffering on myself by allowing that anger to consume me. But tonight, post-meditation, I had an epiphany related to compassion and the hatred toward me and people like me, and it seems so obvious now I can’t believe it didn’t smack me in the face before.

These people so filled with hate for others who are different than them, the bigots of the world who want others to suffer, are more than likely lashing out because they’re suffering, even if they don’t realize it. They choose to spread vitriol at others in order to make them feel better about themselves, they choose to inflict suffering on other people, and they do this because they’ve chosen to live a life of ignorance. It isn’t a judgement on them, it’s just a fact. They make a conscious choice to cling to hatred and ignore any views other than their own, and because of that, because they cling to their superiority, it causes them to suffer.

Rather than examine themselves and their lives, they lash out, trying to drag others who are living an authentic life down to their level, in order to maintain that delusion of superiority. And if you ask me, that’s a sad life, one devoid of any sort of happiness or peace, one that only results in them suffering more.

Granted, some of them may not feel they’re suffering. Some may even brag of their happiness. But a person who’s happy, a person who’s at peace with their life, won’t feel the need to attack others. They won’t feel the need to hurt others, or to try and cause them misery.

(That’s not to say that all people who treat others well are happy. Good people, people who seek to make others’ lives better, can be happy, sad, even angry. It all depends on the person.)

And for as angry as I can get (and hopefully, that’ll soon be in the past), with this realization, all I can feel is…it’s not sadness for them, or pity. I feel bad for them that their lives are that soaked in suffering and that devoid of meaning that they have to lash out. I can (at least at the moment, I can’t promise it’ll hold because once again, I’m only human) actually feel a measure of compassion for them, because I know what it feels like to feel that frustration with life, to be ignorant of basic things when it comes to others.

I chose to move away from that years ago, and chose to move toward inner peace a few years ago. It’s not an easy decision to make. It means letting go of all those things that you felt you were righteously angry over, and learning to let go. For someone with trauma in their past, like me, it’s an exercise in inner strength that I’m still trying to master.

But the people who never choose to take that first step? The people who would rather live with a cloud of prejudice surrounding their head to block any other views? I feel badly for them, because they’re only bringing suffering on themselves for that. You reap what you sow, what you send out comes back to you, love thy neighbor, you see it everywhere, and it’s true. And I can only hope that they wake up to the fact that, while life is full of suffering, there’s no reason to cling to it. It doesn’t make you better, or stronger, or superior. It only makes life harder for you.

Disclaimer: In the above entry, I speak only for myself, and to my view of things. I can’t promote this way of thinking for everyone, because your mileage may vary with this sort of thinking. Also, I’m not saying that everyone brings suffering on themselves. Some people just get really, really crappy hands dealt to them. All I’m saying is that if you’re awful to other people just because they’re different, you’re causing undue suffering in your own life. I can’t say that you have to like people who treat you badly, because I’m still working at that and it’s a completely understandable reaction to dislike people who directly hurt you.
I’m still working at having compassion for the people who’ve hurt me in life, and it’s something that I hope to one day achieve, but I can’t say for certain I will. All I can do is hope I do, and work at it, for the sake of not having this anger in me anymore, because that anger has eaten me alive, and I’m tired of devoting energy to people who didn’t care about me.