Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shrouded not Shielded

(Journal on 3/23/11)

It hurt to be invisible. I was shrouded by my silence, but not protected, though others were safely cloaked by me. I punished myself for the choice. And why shouldn’t I? I wasn’t worth noticing or advocating for, surely that was why nobody acknowledged me, not even when I was hurting. But wasn’t I silent because nobody had space for me? How then, did I have space to accommodate everybody? I was as destructive and distant from everyone and myself. Time passed and warped. I became needy and unrejecting, a black hole. Without matter. Didn’t matter.

If perpetrator and victim can’t coexist, why survive? One or the other has to be excluded from the community, so I thought. I chose to leave and survive, to be included abroad like I wasn’t at home. NYC worked, kind of. Everything was new, I was being renewed.

But constantly hitting the refresh button was also deleting my history. Which was fine—I wasn’t seen before, I might as well not have been there. But the hurt remained, proof that I had been there. So it was not fine. I had to keep moving, erasing, outrunning.

Mama Shiou was my traveler’s rest. In many ways she was telling me you’re not invisible. I see you. you’re safe here. you can be home. The world was not too far gone; I still felt real in this corner of it.

She died a year ago today. My safe place imploded. The only person who noticed a hurting child, and let her stay a child, stay and rest, was gone. I needed her. It wasn’t ugly as long as she was still in it. I needed to see her.

I thought I needed Mama Shiou. She knew I didn't. She wouldn’t have wanted that. She wasn’t telling me I could only exist in her presence. She was trying to free me, not bind me.

Mama Shiou. And Franklin, Sung-Ha, Josh, Michael, Irene, Rachel, Norman. I crouched and made a living in their shadows; harbour me. They’re not telling me to need them. They’re telling me I am safe in the world, or at least that I can be. And that the world isn’t too unbearable, as long as I can remain in it. I must let myself stay, in order to survive the ugliness.

She was telling me to rightly belong to and appropriately own the space wherever I went. To make it, if only a teeny bit, more beautiful and safe by simply being present.

I didn’t die with her. Here I am, see me. Hineni. Now, finally. I’ll tell you how I see me, how I believe my Father sees me, and you can decide what you do with it. But. I’m here. Deal with it.

This happened. Historically, it did. I happened. I won’t edit myself out anymore. Each of you who saw but ignored, and all of you who didn’t see when you should have, will now have to reckon with illusion and reality. Because, really, I’m here. I will be acknowledged. We’ll meet halfway as long as I decide to stay.

I’m sorry for letting you minimize me. I shouldn't have. But shame on you, for diminishing me to augment yourself. I won’t let you anymore—so that we both can fit into the community of humans. Maybe you aren’t to blame, maybe I exiled myself. Maybe I invited and enabled your monstrosity. Well, I’m going to find out which fears are real and which are imagined, and I’m going act as safe and seen as I am and have really always been in my Father's house--though I knew Him not.

If you refuse to listen, and I don’t think you will—I don’t think you’re the monster I feared. But if you refuse to open your eyes, that doesn’t make me invisible. And you will have failed me, not the other way around. I cannot count you a loss, because I never gained you. And I won’t concede space for you anymore, even—especially—if you would prefer I disappear.

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