I am so tired of the women in my life taking care of damaged men. I used to do this habitually, so much so that on several occasions, it could have cost me everything, including my life. As it was, a few years worth of psych bills, some humiliation and I’ll be okay.
It’s not the case for the average woman of color living in BC however. I got a text from a friend yesterday telling me they were leaving, running away from their partner – this isn’t the first time this has happened, it won’t be the last, but its’ the first in “my” personal experience.
There is no word that explains the terror one feels when one of their oldest friends sends you a text message that says “I am running away…” at the age of forty something, leaving everything they know and love behind, in order to run away from something they bet the farm on…literally.
I know this happens a lot over the world, but men could you do me a favor, just one tiny favor and maybe chill out on letting yourself become so damaged that your entire purpose in life becomes about destroying someone else? I mean this seriously, yes women are gaining a foothold, yes we’re fighting back, but would it kill you to let us just…leave amicably?
I have another friend, one I love like a mother whose partner left one day to get cigarettes and never came back…sure okay fine, whatever be gone, forget that you spent more than twenty years with this person, raised children with them. Forget that when you had nothing she was there, forget that when your kids weren’t in the place you needed them to be, she gave them a safe place to exist.
Why is it that men seem to think that the only thing they have to offer the world is damage? I assure you that you don’t, and yet so many of you are so out of touch with your emotions that you lash out in anger just to play this game of “I win, because she’s hurting more.”
Nope, you lose, because that woman you beat up? the one you left alive? the one you thought would never get over you because you’re such a good catch? she moved on. She moved on proudly without you and she’s doing just fine, and more than that she’s coming into her own again.
The house is being purged of your bullshit, drama, emotional distress and the crap you forced her to accumulate in your presence. The world is shifting as a whole, and individually I am seeing so many of my amazing powerful women folk picking up where they left off before these abusive men came into their lives, I’m doing the same thing, and it’s why I am so fascinated with being a woman in my thirties.
There are a lot of things to complain about, a lot of things that I could worry about, a lot of time to sit and wonder how it is I am going to get to the places I want to go – as if I haven’t already figured that out – and then it hit me when I woke up this morning. I don’t care.
I don’t care if I end up in a relationship with a man or a woman, I don’t care who it is that ends up being “my person“, I don’t actually need to know or to guess, because it doesn’t matter. I’m actually quite content by myself without anyone bugging me or asking me shit I don’t want to answer. I am not currently interested in being accountable to anyone else and I will be damned if anyone tells me to do their laundry – except for my mom cause well…she’s mom.
Sitting back and listening to the stress and pain that these women have gone through in their relationships, reminds me why I am so gun shy. I totally understand that people are delicate – as Avalyne would say – I understand that trauma is lasting, but what I don’t understand is why I have to accept that “your” trauma, has to become “my” trauma.
If I hadn’t had to deal with the world around me, I’d be a Nobel Prize winner by now, because I am actually smart enough to have a standing chance at one, and had I had the chance to go to College and then on to University I might have had the opportunity to prove that.
Instead however I was deliberately isolated, abused, broken down and torn into this shell of myself that I had to rebuild from the ground up, and I still say I am not yet cookies. Largely because saying “here I am world, I’m ready to take you on again,” means having to explain to people why it is I fucking hate relationships, and the men that come with them.
I have a lot of men in my past that swear to this day I am utterly “in” love with them, and what men seem to forget – what a lot of people seem to forget – is that saying “I am in love with you as a human,” is not the same thing as loving someone to the point of wanting to wake up to them every single fucking morning.
I have a lot of people that I care about, that I love, and a lot of people who make me glad that humans are a thing that exist in this universe – I have a lot more people however who remind me every day by the sheer fact that they existed in my life – that I am in no way what so ever in the mood to be vulnerable with people.
I think first and foremost that’s what this digital book is about, it’s a place for me to warn potential daters that I am fucking crazy. I mean like bat crap crazy, “Hi I’m Devon, the loud mouth brown girl” really means “if you haven’t googled me you should, this is a complete guide on how to date me. Step one, admit that you agree I am fully aware that I am nuts and I am totally okay with it.”
To prove that fact I call Rapists Vampires in this book that I am writing (what book? you’re reading it.) I call Child Pedophiles Zombies, because they are too fucking stupid to function. Living Dead girls – that one comes from Rob Zombie and Bill Gaspari – girls who have been raped and haven’t woken up to that reality yet, who haven’t yet decided to deal with that. I used to call myself the Living Dead Girl a lot…because it pretty much explained my behavior.
It took me the better part of this year to convince every person I know that I absolutely do not want to be in a relationship with anyone but myself and it occurred to me that I have finally hit that point where people in my life are focused on nothing more than me settling down and becoming a housewife.
Holy shit. I’m writing this post – do you know how many of these posts I’ve read? How many times I’ve sat here and wondered why the hell it is no one wants ME to settle down?
I’m finally at that place where I either hate all men or are completely disgusted with what I am seeing in the “pool of fish”, that I want to be alone and not one person in my life will leave me alone about changing the way I am doing things.
I am doing something that’s never been done before – I am literally re-writing the history of Surrey British Columbia in order to re-brand a city known for the way brown girls are treated. I am doing a website that is essentially a book, that tells the story of what could be, if we lived as if the world should be, and all people want to know is “okay so who are you going to take to the date?”
The Date? who do I have a date with? I have dates with myself. Some days I lay around and do nothing all day, I let myself cry, some days I let myself meditate and take in the information I hear in my mind. I dissect thoughts and I explore the deepest darkest places of my mind, and I am teaching myself, to learn who I really am.
And I like this person who is lazy and doesn’t do what she’s told, I like that I can ignore the voice in my head that says “clean the house”, because I am tired of cleaning up the manifestation of what I’ve been through.
More importantly than that, I am tired of the constant reminder that women tend to become who men want them to be, losing themselves, their passion and hunger, because men tell them to.
I’ve spent my whole life doing what other people told me to do and it made me completely miserable, so here’s what I need people in the world to understand when they say “Oh, YOU’RE the loud mouth brown girl,” it means that I don’t actually need you.
If and when I choose to be out in the world, around the world, talking about my life, sharing my experiences, or even smiling at you it’s because I choose to, but this whole “nodding” to recognize me thing….I don’t know who started that, and I’m not sure why but it’s strange to me.
I don’t mean that as an insult to you, but I say that because I’ve been beaten and kicked, hurt and shamed so badly that I very much am still tender in all the spots the world used to try and hurt me, and I need people to back off.
It’s okay to love someone who has experienced trauma, but when that trauma is so deeply ingrained that it takes nearly thirty years to unpack it all, you need to be patient.
Accept that people who have opened themselves up through social media, who are sharing their stories are reaching out, especially when you know that person is in a gang.
I heard in a documentary on Gang life that it takes 72 hours after a traumatic violent event for the brain to come to a conclusion about what to do with that trauma. In those seventy two hours people are vulnerable and willing to listen and hear you, if you’re willing to be there.
But you have to be willing to physically be there in the moment, in the time with them, in the same place. You have to want to genuinely help, and you have to understand when someone says “please back off and go away,” that means “just stay where I can see you, but don’t necessarily be right in front of me.”
I know it’s confusing, I know it’s difficult to know where the line is, and I understand that in this day and age we all want to be fighters, but some of us have been fighting a very, very long time and for right now it’s time for rest. It may seem like we’re doing nothing, like we’re just moping, but for the most part we are navigating where we’ve been through, making sure that we know where we are, before we’re ready to move on to the next part of the journey.
We are at a rest stop, and you can rest with us, or you can keep fighting and we’ll wave you on with a tip of our hat and a sip of our beer, Corona sucks by the way, Honey Brown Sleeman’s forever and always.
Instead of asking us why we’re not out there dancing the night away looking for Mr. or Miss. Right, perhaps consider the fact that we’re fucking exhausted, that we’ve had enough and we need some “me” time without you.
Consider that when I introduce myself, it’s because I genuinely want to know about you and I will know all I need to know in less than ten seconds flat. After everything I have experienced I know exactly how to determine how much time I want of you, and it probably won’t be much. Does that seem mean? If you don’t understand now you will one day.
Gentlemen women like myself who have experienced, traveled, been hurt, broken and abused in the war between men and women – and Jesus it bloody well is a war when it comes to some of you – don’t need a man to protect them, will never need a man to protect them, and no matter how afraid we might seem, we’re never afraid of you.
We know what you are capable of. Women like myself know exactly how hard a man can hit, when he’s in the room and long after he’s left it. We’re fully aware of how strong you are, we’re fully prepared to take you on if it comes to a fight, but what we’d love to know is are you kind? Are you patient? Are you willing to sit back and watch for awhile while we work in peace and quiet or are you going to get jealous every single time we give our attention to anything other than you?
Every man I’ve ever come across has had a jealous streak a mile and a half long, except incidentally my one and only actual boyfriend who could have cared less who I ended up with as long as it wasn’t him. Largely because he knew me well enough to know that he was never going to be the kind of man I settled down with until he got his shit together – which he hasn’t, so hope that’s working out well for you.
Then there are all the guys hoping that girls like me are going to make our big moment, just so we can turn around and share it with them. Remember when Adele got famous and her ex boyfriend sued her because he said that without him she would have nothing to sing about?
Yeah that bullshit, no we don’t actually owe you because you were a part of our journey. We don’t owe you a thank you for giving us enough shit to laugh about, cry about and write about. We’d have gotten here anyways you just stalled the process, that is not something to be proud of.
I don’t know about you but my coat tails are getting tired ladies, I got where I am today because I had the courage to ask for help, because I finally threw up my hands and said I quit and had the courage to watch as others picked up the map after I threw it down.
Your challenge should you accept it is to sit back and let yourself heal, because you’ve fucking earned it, and it’s not, I cannot stress this enough, to thank the people who set their course to destroying yours along the way.
Sending all my love,
Avalyne Badis Cavanaugh and Devon J Hall
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