We dream for our babies, our children, nieces and nephews, those we teach, and those we heal.
We women are used to things that do not make sense. I struggle with this myself. I know I spend much more time trying to unravel the knots in logic that are fed to me by various data-streams from the world at large into my little corner of the world than most women I know.
Some say I do this because I have more time than they do to do this. I have 24/7 just like everyone else. Some say I do not work. I will not even honor that with detailed debunking. I do all the work that women have always done, plus I have three other primary jobs. Yes, I am a researcher and anthropologist by nature, but I learned and studied how to do these things toward which I was drawn through my 18 years of schooling and through another 20 plus years of work in institutions of higher education. I have set out on my own exploration which I share through my writing.
My opinions most often are based on research and have value. I have references for things I say or cite. Just ask if I do not list them.
I have been knocked down and dragged through the mud and excrement more times than I can count. I was born dirt poor, a chicken-raising, egg-selling farmer’s daughter, on a small, mixed-crop farm in Indiana. My mother raised me to believe I was sickly, that there was something wrong with me and this led to isolation, loneliness, and depression as a child and which has moved right along with me as I age.
My stubbornness and tenacity kept me alive. Literally. I did not do the #metoo disclosure, but I support others who do. I am not a joiner. I have dedicated myself to a group trying to achieve an end at a couple points in time. I was a successful person in these endeavors in that I achieved my end, but I did not work and play well enough with others to make many close friends. I just never got the hang of close social bonding.
Imagine being born to a mother, as I was, who told me that she never asked for me to be born, and that whose comforting of you as a teenager experiencing suicidal self-doubt and fears of be being ugly was to say that I was not pretty, just plain, true, but that wasn’t all that bad.
Imagine being thrown in to the nasty world of the teenage social milleau without the preparation of real peer interaction through school immersion in grade school. I was absent as much as I was present in grades 1 through 8. I did not have the slightest idea about girl/boy relationships as I entered high school. It did not go well. During the next 15 years I was sexually assaulted and raped several times. My first time was rape. I was assaulted again by another older male within six months of that. I withdrew from that world and lived in social isolation until I found a boy who was slow moving and predictable a couple years later.
During those critical late years of high school I was being groomed for seduction by an adult male who taught and had other roles in that school. I turned 18 and graduated from high school the same month. Within a few weeks of graduation he had convinced me to have sex with him. It took me a couple of years to get him completely out of my life and realize how it was sick and abusive to have sex with him.
I moved in with the slow-moving smart guy and live with him for 13 years. It was an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. It was not physically or sexually abusive at first. I was probably a common law spouse, the state had common law on the books, so the next rape I experiencesd was marital rape. It took me a few years and a couple of moves, the last one across country, to escape from Mr. Slow.
Of course there were other chicken-shit or usurious guys in my younger days, but nothing with them that approached rape. Inappropriate workplace behavior is another story. I ran out of fingers counting those. I left the university after a boss told me as a way conveying condolences after my brother’s death, that “he had so many things he wanted to do before he died; he’d never slept with a black women.” I was cornered in isolated library spaces by supervisors. A trusted mentor suggested we travel to a professional meeting together when there was no reason for me to attend and when his marriage was on the rocks.
I swear I have seen most of the sleezey ways in which society can treat women. Yes, that includes unfortunate specialization in dead-end professions where I worked for, and had to fight to get to the upper end of, the $20,000 a year range at the very end of the last millennium. That was when I quit working for anyone other than myself.
It took about 10 years for healing to occur through counseling, learning to trust my instincts and my knowledge, after I left the university. I also had to to repair a marriage in which my husband thought he was supporting me through a very turbulent time and severe depression but in which he was neutral at best and downright destructive at other times. This was during some of the absolutely hellacious teen years of my vivacious daughter.
This was when my mother and another brother passed away and my remaining two brothers developed dementia. It was also during that time that I realized my mother and I were in a possible Münchausen-by-Proxy relationship and definitely a factitious-by-proxy relationship in my early life which lead to other factitious relationships through my twenties.
The past eight years I have written publicly about personal things. From this I learned even more about healing myself. I will never give up on learning until I reach an old age filled with dementia and drool.
I try to apply what I learn to the world at large. As a social scientist I see patterns of behavior across culture and how I also am a part of creating and being created by those patterns.
This past year has been no different and I am now ready to talk about dangers I see in political communication and societal constraints that have shifted dramatically in the country in which I live and the democracy in which I participate. Yes, in many ways this is the same old same old, but I see some areas in which I can find hope.
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