December 31, 2011

Tiny, tiny people

Our cat is being neutered next week. 

This evening I attempted to gently explain to five year old Darius what "neuter" means using words he already knows.  I said, "Just like you, Freddy has a penis and balls.  We'll take him to the doctor and he will perform a surgery that removes Freddy's balls.  That way, he won't be able to make baby kitties if he meets a girl cat."

I was trying to tread carefully here, as he is not my child and it is not my place to have his first birds and bees talk with him.

"Why doesn't he want to make baby kitties?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know if he wants to or not, but we don't want him to.  That's why we are taking him to the doctor," I answered.

He looked thoughtfully at Freddy's rear end.  "His balls let him make baby kitties?"

"Yes," I explained.  "Just like humans can make baby people, cats can make baby kitties."

His eyes widened.  He reached down to his Batman costume pants, lifted up his own testicles, and said, "You mean there's tiny people in here?"

December 13, 2011

Two brown eyes

I had one of those moments. One of those moments where it's a certain kind of day and you're in a certain kind of mood and a certain kind of song comes on. Suddenly, you're 15 years old again and in the middle of the frantic 5 minutes between 5th and 6th period and you seek out those two brown eyes. Those brown eyes that--on the rare occasions when they catch yours--have the power to warm you to your toes. For a moment you are lost.  And then the stoplight changes to green and it's time to go but your eyes have misted over and you've been punched in the gut. All because of the memory of two brown eyes.

December 10, 2011

Where I went and why I stayed

I imagine most people think they know how they would react in a given situation.  I know I did.  I always had a bit of feistiness in me that led me to believe I would fight an attacker tooth and nail.  Plus, I was smart.  I was educated in sexuality and gender issues.  I taught classes on those subjects fer chrissakes.

In the back of my mind lately--in spite of all the other things I have going on--I have been processing some of the issues that kept me from fighting back, from speaking up.  The list is incomplete.

1.  Though I struggled, I didn't scream while it was happening because I didn't want to make a scene.  I get made fun of for being overly dramatic; I always have.  And when I reported a molestation to a trusted adult as a child, I was told that I had misunderstood what had happened, and that it had not happened the way I said it did.  Because I misunderstood.

I thought maybe I was misunderstanding this time, too.

2.  Admitting to myself what was happening put me in danger of panic.  And if panic set in I felt like I would lose all control. 

Better to keep quiet and calm and alert.

3.  He didn't beat me up.  Didn't pull a weapon on me.  Didn't even say a word, in fact.  He just held me down with his own weight.  Despite the pain and the powerlessness, I kept telling myself, "It's just sex.  That's all it boils down to.  I've had sex plenty of times.  I can survive this."  Though I couldn't even allow myself to think about the word "rape" at the time, looking back I know I felt I wasn't "raped enough" (i.e., raped violently enough) as others I knew had been in order to be seen as having been "legitimately" raped by others. 

They wouldn't believe me--wouldn't take me seriously.

4.  I know you're not supposed to shower.  I've seen enough Law & Order episodes to know.  But the idea of going to a doctor or a police officer dirty and unwashed was unthinkable to me.  I just wanted to wash his presence off and forget. 

The shame and humilation were unbearable.

December 8, 2011

Sine curve

"Go put on your brave face and do all that stuff that you do. This day will fade into the next and then again into the next. Just pretend you're a machine."

Note:  This was not written by me and is not my current state.  But I loved it because it accurately describes so many of mine for the past 3 years.