First off, thank you all for your wonderful comments to Grey. I sent him each and every one and the discussions that post has sparked between us have really been interesting. The post was very cathartic for him, but all of your comments on top of the news this week about the disaster of an episode on the Ricki Lake show has really pushed a new level of insight. I'm still gathering my thoughts, and promise to post soon, but in the meantime, you can read about it here, here and here.
This past week has truly been an exercising in herding cats (hence my absence). Work has been all consuming, between fellowship applications, teaching and mentoring. One of the things I've noticed, though, is that despite the stress I've been more calm. Moments where I use to been easily frustrated, particularly towards the individual causing the stress, have been spent instead asking questions and trying to drill down to the root of the "why." Grey has noticed it too. During our meeting with David, he talked about how I've been validating him more, being more open to explore thoughts and feelings vs. shutting him down. When he told David this, I found myself shocked and confused: I guess I always assumed that he understood that I was hearing him in the past, but apparently I wasn't sending the right cues.
All of this has spurred me into digging deeper personally, exploring thoughts and feelings about myself. Why am I so angry with Lucas? Why do I feel I deserve this lot? Why do I live, knowing the hell of infertility is far from over? The answers haven't been forthcoming; a lot is still hidden from me behind a wall my subconscious built. But in my quieter moments and even in dreams, the answers have been slipping out. The gatekeepers are finally talking. Or maybe, it's that I'm finally listening.
Part of the realizations have come after watching two series: the first being Tin Man, an adaptation of the "Wizard of Oz" and Once Upon a Time: a series about fairy tales transported to our world. Before you criticize me too harshly about my choice of entertainment, let me just say that two characters from these shows have helped open the lines of communication with the gatekeepers. And it's not at all surprising who they are: the evil queens.
I wrote in the past about how villains are created, reflecting on how the difference between the hero and the villain is success. As I've explored this idea more, though, it's become clear how off I really was. Though most certainly the formula for the creation of an antihero, a true villain is someone who has become corrupt along the way. Suffering some great hurt, they've gone down the slippery slope of incorporating elements into their lives in hopes ending their suffering. Honestly, who can blame them? When living with abuse, chronic pain or loss, who wouldn't give part of themselves to no longer hurt?
In Once Upon a Time, the evil queen is portrayed as someone who is power-hungry and filled with malice. Blaming Snow White for ruining her life, she banishes everyone to our world, stripping them of their memories and subjecting them to her eternal rule as the town mayor. She's also an adoptive mother, adding perfect commentary about how our society views adoption. As the series progresses, the writers begin to the evil queen, showing her childhood with an abusive and controlling mother. How she is continually punished for her chooses as a young woman (mother kills her soulmate after Snow White reveals their plan to elope, her being forced into a loveless marriage, etc). It isn't long before this character makes the decision to kill her abuser, pushing her through a mirror during a moment where she feels she has no other choice.
In Tin Man, the evil queen is the sister of the heroine. It is reveal she is possessed by an ancient evil witch when the younger sister breaks her promise and leaves her older sister the be taken. So much pain and hurt comes from this one act, with a whole land living in fear due to the tyranny of the evil queen.
As I've watched the character developments of these evil queens, I've found myself drawn to them; drawn to their pain. Both of these women hurt immensely, having been betrayed by those who were meant to love and protect them. Both of them have been abused, with others forcing them down paths they would never have chosen on their own. And both of them simply need to be loved and acknowledged for their pain.
The messages from the gatekeepers has been loud and clear since viewing these shows: the rage and sadness that exists inside me stems from feeling abandoned by the world. Grey has been the exception to this, but my anger with Lucas has come because I perceive him striping me of the last bit of support I have. Yes being a parent is hard and yes a new baby will require work, but it's clear he's clueless to our lot (at times willfully so). Hence the hardened exterior, the anger and the snapping. All defense mechanisms of a wounded animal.
The messages about why I feel deserving of this lot, though, have been veiled and scattered. I've tried on the ideas of destiny or fate, neither of which really ring true. What has, though, is a realization one came from a song called "The Merry Minuet" by the Kingston Trio, written in 1959:
They're rioting in africa. They're starving in Spain.
There's Hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man's been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa. There's strife in Iran.
What Nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man.
In other words, we need villains. We need them so badly that we will create them. As fearful we are of evil, we as humans see nothing wrong with this practice, justifying it as "destiny," "bad seed," or even "G_d's will." That we are willing to destroy someone simply because they are different or strange to us. This truth makes me so sad, yet ring so true because I feel like a living example.
I'm struggling with all of this, trying to process what the gatekeepers are telling me. Trying so hard not to reject what is being revealed, instead being curious about it. It's hard and I continue to fail, but it's slowly coming out.
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