"I honor every woman who has strength enough to step out of the beaten path when she feels her walk lies in another; strength enough to stand up to be laughed at, if necessary. That is the bitter pill we must all swallow in the beginning, but I regard these pills as tonics quite essential to one's mental salvation." -Harriet Hosmer Harriet was a very wise woman! Fortunately for me, I have yet to find the rule, stating an age limit for stepping out of said beaten path, a maximum number of out-steppings, or a ceiling on failed(?) quantity of attempts to blow up the proverbial box. And should I come across these rules at any point in my trudges, travails and travels, I shall, happily as ever, break them. In keeping with my contradictory life and self, it begins (again) now, with a sexy-ass BigSteelBox. ~Marcela; moving off the beaten path, coming un-boxed one more time, in a BigSteelBox. March 02, 2019
As I watch the squalls bend the fir and cedar behemoths surrounding this house,
see the lake pound the log booms, docks and boathouse into the most bizarre angles,
I am struck by the thought that while I yearn for straightforward, low-maintenance,
I repeatedly choose complicated, convoluted, even, for that thing we call home.
As I navigate flying tree limbs and floods driving the scary highway for the umpteen-millionth time,
curse the road-warriors recklessly passing logging trucks to beat all of us to the same place by 2 minutes,
I am struck by the thought that while beautiful; this place, metaphorically and realistically speaking,
is so far away from the peace and solitude I so desperately crave, that it is indeed, its antithesis.
As I gaze upon my storied-face, decorated with the lines and ridges of a life well enjoyed, and suffered,
pick up electronic and figurative stylus, to scribe chapter six in the book of my nine(teen) lives,
I am struck by the thought that while spectacular in appearance at first glance, like the lake it abuts,
below the immediate surface of this home, looms the deepest dark of high-maintenance and very little peace.
As I rest on this, the final day before the next enormous learning curve in the profession I hate to love,
play many games of solitaire and look out upon the best vista eVer from my beloved, flannel bedecked bed,
I am struck by the thought that while I am as restless a spirit as the scary-wild weather patterns of late,
I am urgently compelled to settle into, a life of less (everything), in order to enjoy, a life of more, me.
And as the gusts move on and we dodge the next wind-storm-blackout-bullet,
so I dodge my own impulsive need to bust the next big move,
and I cancel the viewing of a beautiful, beautifully low maintenance
domicile, in another community.
And I whisper to self: patience Grasshopper-Queen, patience!
One big move at a time! For while we know, you and I, that you
‘can deal,’ with more, it is not an advisable choice at this this juncture.
For to simplify, to conquer the goal of less,
requires a practice of restraint. So do not obfuscate, with more.
First, conquer self.
January 06, 2019
Image & writing: All Rights Reserved.
I sat on the plastic blue chair, stared down at the green dots on the floor which designate that area of the hospital as the medical imaging department. I have worked in this hospital, I do not like this, other role, here. I thought about how I ended up here, waiting for a CAT scan of my head, and reminded myself of my Dr’s words, that she’s not expecting to find anything of concern in there, but we’ll do it just to keep ruling things out, or to find something, an explanation for the current bizarre and frightening set of symptoms my body is manifesting, a body that has mutinied for a while now, in various ways, in an effort to show its disdain for how I have driven it, used it, over-used it, for 3 years short of 60.
I cannot help but notice the two women occupying two other plastic blue chairs, directly to my right. A 40-ish daughter is supporting a my age-ish mother, from what I can gather by their conversation. As we wait, mom is asked to guzzle a radioactive cocktail prior to the scan of her innards, and told that the tech will be back for her in an hour, she is free to leave and come back, if she wishes.
They had been laughing until then, attempting to make light in an obviously heavy situation, and then mom breaks down. She is sobbing, and I see the terror in her eyes when I look up at her. She says, “it’s not funny, I wish it was funny.” Her daughter says, “it’s not funny at all mom, not at all. I love you.” Mom laughs and says, “how do I look”? I look toward her, and say, “you look fabulous,” to her child, I say “and you, are a very good daughter.” Mom says “yes, yes she is! I am blessed.” And then she adds, “the lady says I look fabulous, we have an hour, let’s go buy a New Year’s ham.”
We all laugh a little, cry a little, and the two of them walk out of the hospital to buy their New Year’s ham, before coming back, to their heavy reality, in an hour.
I am called in for my head scan, and my heavy reality feels lighter. Validation, to feel seen, heard, understood, in a world where we are all so terribly caught up in self, it’s all most of us need, to be OK in, to lighten, the heavy times.
December 28, 2018
Where do we run to Sister? The noise on the outside, the noise in our heads, where do we run to Sister? May we find a place to rest our minds for the noise all around is building prison walls with no means of escape, where do we run to Sister?
I run no more Brother, I run no more. I find solace in my mind for I know it to be aware and fertile. I find peace in my heart with self for I know me better, now. I seek peace and solitude in my personal environment for my public environments are loud with others’ pain. I run no more Brother, I run no more.
Be still in your heart my Sister, for it knows the true meaning of truth & tranquility. Run no more my Sister. Be still in your heart…
My heart breaks my Brother, my heart breaks. It breaks or us, for them, for me… and I understand, why Vincent cut off his ear… .
I understand as well, we are here for other reasons, not to gouge out our eyes or cut off our ears. We are here to witness and listen. We must give credence to those who cannot do for themselves… he says as he carries his 20 year old dog outside, because he can no longer make the journey alone. Along with the fear in his eyes I see much love and understanding as he holds on knowing that he is safe in my arms. Soon I will have to let go, where do I run to sister?
I held Gloria’s hand, for she had no other, when her eyes saw no more, and I had to let her go. I understand. I seek Brother, and we run no more, we run no more.
Gloria was honoured to have held your hand, she moves on knowing that some one cared and now she too, runs no more. I love you sister…
We have battled over our differences, only to find, that we are so alike. I love you brother.
We battle no more my sister, we battle no more… we took different paths to get to the same place. One can only fight with one self for so long before the futility becomes evident and it is evident to me that we are ONE my sister, we stand together as one, and we run no more.
I cry tears of joy my Brother, I cry tears of joy. And I laugh my Brother, I laugh aloud! For we are cut from the same cloth, and our seams are crooked, but they tear no more Brother, they tear no more!
Yes, they are crooked and you know we wouldn’t have it any other way, the straight path was never meant for us… we are adventurers of sorts and must stray off the path every now and then. It is what makes us feel alive. Walk the crooked path my sister for I am behind you sewing up the seams and filling the potholes as you do for me.
Where do we run to sister, where do we run…? We run no more Brother, we run no more.
This poem is the literal and direct outcome of something I posted to my personal Facebook page. It is the ensuing thread of comments/replies, to the original post. In it, I was expressing my dismay with others’ disregard for their neighbours. The post occurred in a moment of significant emotional, physical and psychological fatigue and pain. The unwitting poem began with the heartfelt words of my brother Tom in response, and took us somewhere quite unexpected, or is it… that? Out of current and more long ago struggles and battles, individual and mutual, we created something deeply meaningful to me, and I am thunderstruck by its depth and the reverberations still going through me, hours later… I am beautifully blind-sided, by its acuity and by its power to break me down, in the most beautiful way, though not without some anguish, to the core. This could not have happened, without his input, which only serves to underscore and demonstrate, the entire point of my original post, and what I am challenged with on a daily basis: what we do (good/bad and all points in between), matters, has impact, good/bad and all points in between. We are connected to everything and everyone, and we live a world which increasingly diminishes, denies and destroys, that. The words of my brother are his heart, my responses are mine. The continuing love and loyalty of my one and only ever best friend Sue, the immediately raw responses of my friends Collie and Carol to the thread/poem, are theirs, and I am profoundly moved by and grateful for, the presence, in my unruly and precarious life, of these women, and my brother Tom. You have done good work mama Marcella, you have done good work. All of your toil, sacrifice and pain, have not gone unnoticed, have not been in vain. And we love you. This poem is yours, mama, it is of your making, word for word.
~Marcela & Tom, with Sue, Collie and Carol.
November 03, 2018
Writing and photographs: All Rights Reserved.
This day has rolled around once more, and almost 5 decades, in this moment, feels more like 5 seconds, for I will always, and forever, miss you. Forty seven years are but a breath, a single thought, a single wistful tear rolling down my cheek. Forty seven years of reaching in to find you, forty seven years of letting you go. The contradiction of you/me, is ever present. This apple never fell far from your tree, just as I see in my own sapling, and for better or for worse, some bits are still hanging on. I get my rebel, my power, my wisdom, my intense and sometimes impulsive from you, as well as my ability to see the truth, and my stubborn-never-give-up. The fragility and dandelion fluff inside, the stuff that we both hid/e from the rest of the world, so that they cannot damage our oh-so-vulnerable human core(s), are also saplings of the gnarled old apple tree I see, the one that represents you in my visual mind, in my heart,in my very core. It never changes for me, this day, when we lost you. And I know, that it has never changed for her, you were the one and only love of her life. Time does not heal all wounds,it simply grows scar tissue over them which dulls the ache,sometimes, allows me to think about you with some clarity,remember the entirety of your being, and how you still,47 years later, teach me, guide me, help me keep my rebel on,with some measure of grace and dignity. So here we are, July 7th 2018, and I want to tell this story again. The evolving, always newly told story of a hero, my hero. The day never changes, but the story does, as I do. Through the never-ending process of growing up. He, my hero, had to be seen, by me, as human, before he could be my hero, for real for real. He was my first and biological father, Tomáš Mrnka. He was born in the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia on October 24th 1935, and died, under extremely curious circumstances, in a mine shaft in Stewart BC, on July 7th, 1971. It was 12 days before my 10th birthday. He was 36 years old, and when he died, everything I ever hoped for, and dreamed of, died with him. For a while… a very long while. I held him hostage on a pedestal of my own making for many, too many years after his death, and only ever thought about him in a haze of golden glory and undeserved persecution. I only ever told stories of his heroic actions: his undeserved imprisonment in the old country for a democratic cause, his valiant battle to get us, his children and wife, out of the clutches of communism following the Soviet invasion of our original home and native land, and into the country that he wanted more than anything to provide us a new life in. I knew this story so well I could recite it at the mere whisper of his name, and expound at length on his virtues and sacrifices; for his beloved country, for his beloved family. The parts I left out of the story, the human bits, are as important a contributor to the true nature of his hero-status as his me-created perfection. He was the first man of many, to hit me and tell me he loves me in the same moment. He did not do this because he was evil, he did it because that is how children were disciplined; it is what he learned in the environment and culture he grew up in. He was unfaithful to his beloved wife, my beloved mother, and considered somewhat of a Casanova. He was a catch: he had one of the few motorcycles in the country at the time, and a full set of leathers, a rebel with a chip on his shoulder, but he had a cause. He had attitude and the inimitable grin, wit and charm of Rhett Butler, and all the girls wanted him. My mother got him, and forgave him, over and over, to keep him. She had endless discord and conflict with her beloved mother because of him. He was not only imprisoned for voicing his political beliefs against the status quo, he was imprisoned for shooting a law officer. I tell you all of this not to be-smudge his memory; I tell you this to illustrate the full context of his humanity, he was so imperfect, so human, but still a hero not despite it, but because of it. He worked very hard to redeem himself when he brought us here, to make it right, to atone, to take responsibility for the things he did not do well, those things which caused harm and pain. I tell you this because we all have a dark side, a side that side which requires constant work and effort to keep in check, to make certain that it is not given more priority than the hero in all of us. The side that makes poor decisions based on fear, the side which is driven by the outside, all the world’s influences, rather than the inside, the core of our humanness, our hearts and souls, the piece of us housing the belief that we will get through anything, not necessarily with less suffering, but through, if we are diligent and ethical in our work. That piece, the hero in all of us, lets us know that love and abuse cannot co-exist in one environment, and is the piece which informs every act of kindness and compassion we have ever given freely because that is what gives us the most true happiness.It is the piece that would die for the people we love, and sometimes for those we don’t even know, but feel true human compassion and empathy for. That piece, is the one we must nurture, nourish, and encourage to grow and empower. I could not see my father, Tomaš Mrnka, as the authentic hero he was and is, until I could see the full extent of his humanity, without judgment, or the childish notions I carried about the perfection of a hero. I tell you this story because I have experience with imperfection and humanity, and because I miss my hero today, because even 47 years in,this day, is the day that informed the rest of my life, like no other. Back to you dad: Despite myself, my atheist and anti life after death beliefs and world view, I could not help but feel your presence, when my own off-shoot and I visited the places from which I have some of my strongest and fondest memories of you in 2014; Karlovy Vary, Boží Dar, Plzeň It was one of those trips, the journey of a lifetime with your widow, my mother Marcella (with two L's ;) and my son, your grandson Thomas. We told him stories about you that he has likely heard a thousand times before, but it was different, for you had walked these streets that we were walking, you held my mother’s hand there, you held mine, my big brother Tom's. You came back to life for us in moments of memory so vivid that they caught our breath, and we all got to know you, and ourselves, a little better than we did in the days, the moments prior. And then 2015: I waited 44 years to go back, to the places we had you last. The place we loved so very much. It was so wild then, so gloriously out there in the mountains between BC and Alaska, it still was 3 years ago. Just like you, just like me. Rest in peace my beloved dad, and know that the lessons of your life, your imperfect self, and your true heroism, have followed me, taught me, led me, often astray, but always back, to the true hero inside me. Forty seven years ago, my life and world changed in a way that I spent too many years trying to numb, to feel, to figure out, to forget, to remember; and 47 years later I come full circle to face my own imperfection and humanity, in a way more painfully profound, than ever here-to-fore. Thank you for the continuing lessons. We have done well. And although my dark side comes out to play and wreak havoc in my heart and life periodically, I believe that my hero generally triumphs in the end. I miss your person every day, but you live on, in me, every second. Always yours, and with all the flawed humanity I have, ~Marcela. July 07, 2018. Writing and photos: All Rights Reserved.
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that the single fiercest battle you will ever wage,
the only one from which you must emerge victorious,
is the one against and with,
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that the only human behaviour,
which you ought critique in any great depth,
the solitary one you possess any capacity to revise,
is your own.
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that in order to live a life you want,
you must tune out the auditory barrage of the box and masses,
ignore all but one voice,
that, of your deepest self.
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that to err is the essence of humanity,
and risk is the singular path upon which you must tread,
in order that you become,
your truest you.
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that failure lies not in mis-steps,
but in lack of trying,
and that success is yours to gauge and judge,
yours, and yours alone.
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that we occupy a world laden with the land-mines of our own, and other’s planting,
that detonation will pain you but you will suffer less,
for you will have learned to navigate,
the rough patches.
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that ours is a culture cancerous of spirit, and bereft of critical thought,
that no action is benign and the choice of impact,
as detriment or contribution is yours,
One fine day, child,
you will know,
that love without labour is something else,
that joy cannot be known in the absence of sorrow,
and that contradiction is at the core,
of a life well thought.
One fine day, child,
you will, of-a-sudden realize,
that our time here is indeed finite,
that procrastination is a drug as powerful as heroin,
tempting as a sea siren and equally deadly,
heed not, her call.
This, is one fine day, child!
Happy 27th birthday Thomas, I love you more than life, and we know that’s a big-ass bunch, because even in the middle of life’s biggest bitch-slaps, I have a fairly healthy love affair going on with her, crazy bitch that she is… I still love you more, there can never be enough, or the (w)rite, words… Thanks for your limitless patience with my human folly, a loyalty defying description, and for providing me with that most ubiquitous of concepts, hope, for our species…
Fully yours, with every ounce of everything I am, and always with some awe and madd gratitude that you turned out to be you, despite me.
March 22, 2018
Your chainsaw voice has dismembered the last vestiges of sanity in my human shell severed the final tendon connecting compassion to my heart Your rusty-grater words have shredded the final ounce of patience in my once limitless hoard corroded beyond salvage the walls containing my desire to be your ally Your atomic bomb behaviours have irradiated the remaining molecule of hope for your salvation jaded this now impermeable spirit to anything but its own voice.
It is a brutal irony, that as my desire to exit the work-world I so grindingly (yes, that is a word!) and lovingly built grows with a vehement vengeance each day, the place and space for which I pay such a hefty premium to escape to, has been anything but peaceful in the oh-so-limited time I have to enjoy(?) it, of late. The level of human disregard for others in some of my neighbours runs deep, the ridiculous human folly of my most inglorious work-folks, along with our culture’s obscene systems and structures, follow me home for longer and longer stays, and the gargantuan contradiction that is my life continues… on the flip-side, I have, without fail, only ever built anything meaningful, to me, on the foundation of strife, struggle and/or suffering… it appears that a skyscraper is in the making here…
~Marcela: corroded and unchained
March 18, 2018
Writing and original images: All rights reserved.
Chainsaw image from google search.
This is not a pretty story; you should know that up front.
Have you seen that meme floating around out there, the ‘Unfuckwithable’ one? A number of folks who love and/or profess to know me have sent it my way since it first made its appearance in our social media worlds, but I receive it most during times of personal human struggle. It is always intended as a compliment of course, and to remind me of how ‘strong’ I am. I appreciate and know the intent, but as a rule, I do not allow it on my social media timelines/feeds/profiles, for I cannot buy in.
My friends, my family, the folks I serve in my social-worky worlds, other professionals, often call me things like Warrior Woman, Rebel, Superhero, even, and I repeat: I appreciate and know the intent, but it has all sat rather un-well with me, for a good long while now.
All of those same folks are the most diverse group of people you ever want to meet, and for all their diversity and difference, they have two things in common in regard to who they think I am. 1) most of them believe I was/am, in many ways Unfuckwithable, and 2) they could not be more wrong.
I have always known it to be a fallacy. For a never-give-up mindset, plain old attitude, an indelible will to survive, thrive, make lemonade out of those proverbial life-lemons, and Unfuckwithable, are not even remotely related, at least not to my mind, and not to my heart. My attempts to live up to the other-created image known as Unfuckwithable came with a very dear price; a 3 year odyssey which cost every last shred of self-esteem I have worked to build over decades, every penny in my bank account, and damage to every relationship I hold dear. It harmed me in a way that very few other experiences ever have, which speaks volumes given I have lived a life fraught with lemons the size of tanks, literally with the tanks, and metaphorically speaking. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a very long time ago that we do not live in a benign world, and this is not about whining, and it is not a poor-me story.
The odyssey of which I speak is to date, the thing that has hurt me most, changed me most, jaded me most, aged me most, and grown me up most. And in keeping with my contradictory self, it is the thing that has led me back to the amazing kid inside me, the one who has always grasped the value of contrary stances: wisdom and innocence, knowledge and naiveté, normal and crazy, intelligence and ditz, boxed and creativity, power and fragility, even love and hate. I’ve never really let go of that kid, but too often I have hidden the ‘real’ her from view in an effort to live up to a lie. A lie that sounds and looks good on the outside, but is damaging beyond words to my inside, and quite likely, a great many other ‘strong’ women, just like me.
Let me be clear: I am not holding those who deem(ed) me Unfuckwithable responsible for the harm, it was me, partially trying to live up to that image, but it goes deeper than that, much deeper. The depths of that darkness is what I will endeavor to throw a beacon on in this tale, which is really a story of abuse. I cannot tell the story without also analyzing the Myth of Unfuckwithable, because to my mind, they are closely related.
Months ago, I wrote these words: “I have to, absolutely have to tell you the story of abuse, the vile, vilest abuse that I partially co-signed, until not that long ago. My recovery from it has been one of my longest, toughest, darkest, loneliest trudges, to date. His name rhymes with Peter (which he has also used as an alias), and I don’t give a fuck if you know him, tell him I said so. His actions were deliberate, planned, cruel, and I repeat, Vile. It is a story that MUST be told, over and over again, so that none of us, not a single one, ever start believing it’s OK for other humans to treat us this way, in the name of love, no less. And more importantly, so that when we do fall prey to his ilk, we get out before, way before, I did. I will tell the story soon.”
Fast-forward to October 24th, what would have been my original dad’s 82nd birthday, had he made it past 36, and I find myself working up the courage to tell it, this story of abuse, with some clarity, and without the agony of months past, more than an entire year, in fact. It is only in the organization of preparing to leave the space and place I literally, hindsight being what it is, escaped to from the tyranny of his ‘love,’ that I am finally able to do so. So hot is the fire in my brain and heart to put these words on a page, that I cannot do anything else until I am, literally, done with it.
Done with him. Done with abusing myself for having let him, touch me, in any way. Ever.
And I laugh aloud as the hot tears flash to my eyes and roll down my cheeks, again… but this time, they are the hot tears of joy, at knowing a new self. You can read about her here: As is… Finale.
But let me digress back to unfuckwithable, which in this story of abuse, starts here: manipulation, the art of the sociopathic con. It is not my default, not how I function in the world, not my expectation. Therefore, I am con-able, manipulate-able, fully fuckwithable.
Trite little platitudes the likes of ‘you’re too strong to be fucked with,’ are fallacious at best, and damning at worst. They often serve to set up powerful women (like me) with the unrealistic expectation (internal and external) that we are not impacted when people treat us badly, or worse, that we are too smart to let it happen, so when it does, and it does, all the time, we suffer in silence. We do things like gouge holes into our arms in the privacy of the shower, or in the woods, when hiking, running, posting pictures of our adventures, our ‘love affairs’ with our tormenters, to our unsuspecting friends and family, because to them you see, we are Unfuckwithable, and not being that way, will bring victim-blaming judgements, opinions, and most tragically, has created deep-seated shame, because we have chosen to be with this person and brought it upon ourselves. When I say we, it means me. It means I did all of these things. It means I felt this way.
If you know anything about me at all, you will know that I quite despise our culture of DSM-diagnosing everything and everyone to death, but if the box fits, get the fuck inside. In this case, I have no other way to describe his actions toward me (and people around me) than Gaslighting, and to tell you that he was/is an absolute genius at practicing his self-described Narcissistic Sociopathy. Why oh why did I not believe him when he said so??? I really thought he was being funny. That joke, was on me, so big!
The thing that has come back to haunt me most often during the time since my escape from that hell, is the palpable memory of a really wise intuition, of sinking feelings, gut-wrenching doubts, which I experienced shortly before I literally moved him into, and allowed to take over the life I had so painstakingly, so grindingly, so manically built over the past 35-plus years, out of rubble, over and over again. He was pushy in a way I interpreted, (partially because he convinced me I should), as his mad, passionate, love for me. Please read that with the sarcasm and irony I intend. In my defense, I repeat: he was damn good.
You should know, it is not that I cannot live without a man that I continue to date. It is not that I am desperate to be in a relationship, for I quite enjoy my own company, and prefer living alone. It is that I spend my life caring for others in the nastiest human follies imaginable, and sometimes, I just really fucking want someone to give me something back that I cannot get from family, friends, or friends with benefits. He made all the right noise, and I repeat: manipulation is not my default, so I don’t automatically look for it in others. And that’s the last time I will defend myself in this story.
So here’s how he got me: he presented me with enough ‘real life’ evidence for who and what he was, how/where/with whom he had lived, and how he ended up in his current life, including in terms of money. The ‘evidence’ to prove my ill-feelings about it, about him, was so vague in comparison, nothing to ‘sink my teeth into,’ so instead of doubting him, I doubted self: exactly as he had planned, exactly as he intended, exactly, I learned later, according to the minutia of the agenda he had painstakingly laid out.
And it grew. His deliberate, meticulously planned and executed manipulation of my very core. He picked apart every.single.thing about me, about my family, about what I believed in, about my emotional, psychological, creative and intellectual capacities, about what my money was for, about my physical appearance, about his distaste for me sexually, and he did it right after expounding on how I was all that and then some. And he did it all so insidiously, so covertly but in plain view, so contrarily in every way, that I really started to believe I was truly THE problem in this ‘relationship,’ while that same intuition kept trying to yell muffled screams that I was being played, in the most sinister of mind games.
It all grew inside me to the point of a physical, emotional and financial ruin that even my serious bout with drug addiction many lifetimes ago, cannot touch, when compared with this ‘broken.’ This fractured, was simply easier, and somehow more necessary, for me to hide from the worlds I occupy, than that other battle, because at this juncture, I had become Unfuckwithable to so many of the people I care about, who care about me.
By the time I started to put it all together I was so plagued with anxiety and self-doubt, which of course was part of his plan, and which he used as weapons against me. He purposely incited doubt in the minds of my family about me, and hurled all of it like so many grenades when he threatened to ‘take me out for good,’ in the four walls I was trapped in with him. The ones I paid for, along with everything else in his world for the better part of two years.
I began to think that not seeing another day sounded like a good idea, so I reached out. I called a helping professional. Someone I thought knew something about me. It didn’t go well. I got a bit of a psychobabble-platitude and words like ‘you’re too strong to let him get to you, Marcela,’ and of course the famous, ‘why don’t you just leave’? Well, I had no money left to leave with, nowhere to go, and no-how left to get there. You should also know that I know something (too much), about the statistically proven reality of women (and men) dying, after they leave abusive spouses, partners, whatever word you wish to call them, at the hands of said spouses, partners, whatever word you wish to call them. I will use the word perpetrators; of physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and financial manipulation, abuse and violence.
But I digress again, sorry, no I’m not, this is not a neat and tidy story and I cannot tell it truthfully, in a neat and tidy package, in any orderly fashion, for it was a nasty, messy affair. So I come back to the falsehood of ‘unfuckwithable,’ and the words of that helping professional and the painfully invalidating (m)utterings of others, however well, or jokingly-intentioned.
Such a conversation was born of a post from me, which reflected my sarcastic truth, when someone I know was liquidating their clothing store, and selling off the remaining accoutrements of said store. It was a powerful example, at that point in my process, of what I am attempting to articulate in these pages.
I really wanted what I named the Good(Man)nequin, yes, I anthropomorphize, and play with words, among other things… in any event, I really really wanted it, for so many reasons, including that I just like odd things, things that speak to my creative (some say eccentric) sensibilities, but alas, she had already sold it by the time I saw her post. So I posted the following, along with the photo she had in her ad:
“A friend of mine was selling my potential next boyfriend and I missed out…. quite sad about it, he’s so reminiscent of many a past suitor and both ex-husbands… no head and no balls… …he would’ve made the perfect addition to my oh-so-stylish and eclectic home decor… multipurpose too, I could decorate him at Christmas, use him as a clothing rack in my closet-room… the possibilities would have been endless… ”
My friend GR, a woman I have the utmost regard and respect for, made the following comment, which at that time, felt more like salt in the wound, than anything else. Please note, I own that feeling, her words did NOT ‘make me feel.’
She said: “What a cruel tongue you have my friend.”
I responded with the following:
“I will admit that my tongue is slightly more acerbic than usual, even for my unfiltered self. However, I fail to see the point in extolling the dubious virtues of, or worse, staying silent about, men who thought it was necessary or even OK, to resort to violence of every ilk and variety when they realized I was not on this earth to do their bidding (sexually, financially, emotionally, psychologically), and while I’m up for almost any adventure, using and abusing me is not OK, ever. The level of male violence and abuse I am party to in my work world right now, and have been subjected to in my own life, in further and more recent pasts, is beyond anything I am able to filter, co-sign, or even forgive in some instances. And I believe I am finally done and done trying to be compassionate about everyone’s ‘context.’ With the exception of deliberate thought about their actions, there was nothing brainy or ballsy in the actions of both of my ex-husbands, and my most recent longer-term-live-in-liaison. Cruelty to others is the epitome of cowardice to my mind, and the acidity in my words rings more of truth, to me, than cruelty. Coates and Wade have a significant body of over 2 decades of research on this and related topics, and I have written an academic paper, or twelve, on it myself. The sharpness in my words speaks to those individuals only, who have used manipulation, control and violence, and by no means reflects my thoughts and feelings on all the men in my past, long ago or more recent, and most importantly, is not a generalized descriptor for all males of our species, from my viewpoint. My recent and current dalliance with the Sailor included, I know, have known, and loved, many a beautiful man.”
Today I would add, I have also raised one.
That comment/conversation was the beginning of the turnaround, but their initial impact, much like those of the helping professional, felt at first as though they just broke me more. It’s called Negative Social Response and there’s a huge body of research on it as well. Slowly though, those same words became the fuel to provide the flicker, which eventually (re)lit the fury of that little girl inside me. That child who learned more than any child ever should, by way of life’s most vicious and dramatic, yes, dramatic slaps, about how to a) survive, b) rebuild and c) fucking thrive not despite, but because of, those very bitch slaps, and the humans(?) and systems we choose, or end up around/in, who deliver them.
And as life will, she presented my then 25 year-old son with a bitch-slap of his own, which in turn presented itself, in the form of him, as my salvation, again.
It was his temporary presence back under my roof, which helped me find enough of the strength I am so often credited with, to make a move. A move I knew I was now safe enough, literally, in the physical sense, to follow through with. For the sociopath could not fuck with me, through my child, but especially not with that beautiful soul of a young man, in my immediate midst. For months before ‘Sunny’ came to stay, I no longer considered the roof over my (and the sociopath’s) head our home, and in the safety of my own mind considered myself single, long before I told him I was, long before I busted that all important move. But I could do it now, for this hu(man), my son, has always given me a courage and will that are not my own. Fret not at this statement, I am deeply and profoundly aware of the pitfalls of making other humans my strength, my power, and as such that is not what I mean.
And while my son’s presence in my home did not prevent the sociopath from attempting to continue his manipulations, what a narcissistic sociopath cannot possibly know, is how real love works, the kind my mother has always had for me, the kind I have for my child, the kind he has for me, the kind I have had and received from other men, and ultimately, the kind I have grown for myself over decades of hard core personal work, and the sacrifices I have chosen to make in the name of that personal work, and for that child.
It is all that, which his presence in my home, brought me back to, and while perhaps not back to my senses right away (see above under ‘trudge’), I remembered who the fuck I am, and that it was NOT, what and who the sociopath had worked so diligently to make me, and others, believe, in order to serve his own ugly ass and heart. Yes, he has an ugly heart. And perhaps someone will dig far enough into that dirty to uncover something else, but it will not be me, not even in ‘pretend-friend-land.’
This is how I became unfuckwithable (by him) in a recent, the last, text communication:
Him: “bla bla bla bla bla”
Me: I would much prefer it if there was no further communication between us. After all, I don’t even actually like you.
And then I blocked his ugly ass number.
Fast-forward to December 31st, 2017 and it is pushing 11 p.m…. I do not put much stock in New Year’s Resolutions and the like, but I have been sitting on this, with this essay, for far too long now, and while it may not be wearing its best and final edits yet, I feel a burning desire to be rid of it, the way I have exorcised myself, literally, of him, the sociopath.
On December 31st, 2014, I started an essay called ‘The year of Fly.’ Turns out, I made a series of decisions shortly thereafter, which when combined with some lifey-life-slaps, and (too) many bitch-slaps from a conscience-less-sociopathic-bitch, dressed in lover’s clothing, turned my anticipated ‘Year of Fly’ into ‘Four Years of Flop’n mop – up the tears and other messes.’
So I will press ‘publish,’ while in my head and heart, I hear and heed the words of that same glorious friend who noted the cruelty in my tongue, GR. She recently reminded me that:
“You are in possession of a cast iron Spirit, and a matching mouth… I’m sure you will prevail, after all, you’ve conquered your own demons… “
So with my well-dented but solid, and beautifully seasoned cast-iron spirit, and clad in super cozy lounging attire on this Eve of another New Year, I sense that I might actually finish that ‘Year of Fly’ essay, this day next year.
With all of my Maddest Madd love and appreciation for those of you who continue to follow me here, and support me in any beautiful way, anywhere in the worlds I occupy,
~Marcela: Not fully Unfuckwithable, but so much smoother and more non-stick.
PS: Please feel free to do your own research, I have, and continue to do mine. The links are added for your convenience only and intended as a starting point, if you feel inclined to look further.
And as the waves crash onto the shores of my beloved bay on a blustery-warm, almost end-of-summer day, so the wind blows through away the remnants of the havocs and hatreds you wreaked, upon every square inch of my world.
It is not that I still writhe in the agony of your countless and sundry tyrannies, it is my astonishment at the brilliance deceitfulness and deliberateness, with which you so expertly executed them, that prompts me to waste my words thoughts on you again.
And as the last of the summer-people roll up the dirty mats outside the glamping monstrosities they rolled into this tiny bay on, so I endeavour to roll up the dusty track upon which I have trudged, in my efforts to expunge the dirty, self-hating demons that set up camp in my person, when I realized who what you were are, and what your mission was is.
It is not that I am regretful of my suffering over these 14 months, for it has brought me to the wisest, fiercely-softest incarnation of me to date, it is that I am bewildered at the calculated depravity with which you pursued orchestrated the demise of my core, in order that you could take from me that which you came for: my stability, my worth; emotional, psychological, intellectual and economic.
And as I pack up my favourite things and sort through turf the last vestiges of you from my being, my home and my worlds, so I prepare, with peace and gratitude, to leave the place and space I escaped you to, for one with nary a trace of your existence… and I leave dispose of you, for good.
And as the Maples and Cottonwoods drop their riotous fall colours, and frost and snow hit the tiny Bay with the same vengeance with which you collided slammed into my being, so I drop the frozen weight of your revile and it shatters on the ground into a million tiny ice crystals.
It is not that they are sharp, broken shards; it is that they have landed on my new ground, formed created frozen images, beautiful, like the hoarfrost I marvel at, fragile, powerful, and vulnerable to the thaw which inevitably occurs, at the end of a period of iciness, frostbite, even.
It is not that you held me hostage for the 14 months since I fully uncovered your sociopathic duplicity imposture and ran limped away, it is that I held myself captive, with self-reproach and other useless recriminations, and it behooves me to end the ‘As Is…’ saga with this, my final message to you:
Your dirty, narcissistic misdeeds have backfired, for I am the exact opposite of what you so purposefully endeavored to tear me down into.
And while I have very little but pity and the DSM diagnoses I normally abhor left for you, I hold myself, in the highest, kindest, esteem.
November 29, 2017.
Images and Poetry: All Rights Reserved.
As I pluck, the stray hairs from my face, I try to ponder with some grace, this crazy thing, called Aging. As I take my locks, from gold to dark, With silver strands just for the lark, I smile, for I have Lived. As I view the lines on this visage, every day is vernissage, and mostly, I care Not. And as I judge this culture, youth obsessed, no more couth do I possess, than (T)rump-a-dump, himself. In this world, where absurd is King, I wag and wonder at this thing, the phenomena, of Stupid. We're teaching children, to regurgitate, are raising mindless reprobates, in bubble-wrapped, Entitlement. I yell at them, to read a book, get your brains back off that fuckin hook, you call a life, on-line. And as I sit, with 56.5 I rejoice the years I am alive Live(d) and Love(d), with frenzied fire’n Passion A youthful spirit, in its tweens the wise chick in me hears’n gleans that this body, doth Protest! In recent words, to my well-(b)read child I spoke of this my big wild ride, and uttered this, fair Warning: If tomorrow, I should die, know that my life was not all pie, but holy fuck me, what a Ride! Lose no tear, for my time lost here, I sped through akin to Buzz Lightyear, had no time, to sweat the small Stuff! No such burden, as regret, for NO dull moment did beget, a single breath, I Took! And so I enter, this next phase, In a blur of crazy-dayz, and with electrifying, Verve! I ought to warn, you faint-of-hearts, my new grand plan will have no chart, to map out how this goes! So if you love me, in all my glory, you will know that this next folly, will be, of proportions Epic! BOOM. FALLOUT. AFTERSHOCK. SPLASH. SMILE’n WAVE, like the Queen I am. Quack-a-fucking-doodle-dizzy and with a brand new energy, for an old(er) chick! ~Marcela. October 21, 2017 Photos and Poetry: All Rights Reserved.