I’ve been victimizing myself since I was a kid, since, when at 7, the fist attached to my mother’s wrist that uncoiled toward me in the afternoon light of the laundry pile with a snap that said you put me in her hand because of your choices, bit into my face and injected a shadow of losing myself that would tighten around me for decades so tightly my self-esteem would slowly shed itself.
This new me I asked to follow me through fields of my wanting to please my babysitters, and hold my father until he came back to life, each time he looked down at the ground after coming back to the same sick woman, himself, only to end up consoling his anima with his own fragile ego when he should have been picking his self confidence up by the ball sack and swallowing it pain bubble first,
a hyperreactive and weak propensity for self-harm and the prisoner-mind honed to survival, every kid and later adult who thinks they have it tougher than anybody else, and they might, must learn to grow out of, if they are to stop remaining a victim of their own cold-blooded hand and put down the concrete slab of self-imprisonment for good.
And I’d be willing to believe that reasonableness about myself and how I self-destructively failed to constructively navigate repeated variations of child and adult abuse, only to spend most of my life neglecting to learn how to tell the difference between being and remaining a victim while continuing to blame certain aspects of American culture for my tragic chronicle, if it weren’t for the fact that
I’ve hoisted myself out of my own asthmatic throat too many times to count, only to realize it’s how I stop myself from remaining a self-fulfilling prophecy that sometimes victimizes others who’ll be sure to remind you of this when it’s convenient.
In fact, just the other day the victim archetype squeezed its tiny, turtle-looking head out from between a friend’s set of teeth when she said to me try having children and a husband, after I told her this childless bachelor was too tired to stand,
an event that retreated back into the awkward silence it came from just as soon as I realized I wanted to nail her denial shut by telling her try having nobody to be pissed at but yourself for decades.
That aggressively styled truth would have really been my undoing had I snapped it back onto her, because, though it may have been partly true, it would have suggested she didn’t know how to be accountable for herself with compassion and validation, never mind anybody’s family,
and that in her pursuit of not being a loser victim and denying the outer villain component of victim psychology, she’d actually closed herself off from ever having a shot at a point of fact supportive relationship with any kind of healing change encircling it,
when in fact she didn’t get that way by not caring about someone.
It’s why irreconcilable survivor moments like these I tell to my stuffed bear who I’ve named Barry, just before I call it a night and pull him tight to my hairy chest to feel what it might feel like to touch someone who can’t speak to me about anything, being emotionally absent, while looking like they are trying to be “close to my own heart,”
but while ultimately knowing that, being both a victim and a victimizer, it’s really the medicine of harmonizing these forces that naturally oppose one another to a fine point within the idea that there is actually a self to discover, that I want to be both contained by and remain close to,
even if that sometimes means I have to be broken and unfixable and open enough to be victimized again in order to remember that.
If you want to know what I think, it’s not self-victimization to merely survive, when the choice to not be a victim anymore has proven, proven itself to be less survivable, and not everybody knows how to stop denying themselves just yet.