Dangerous Compassions

my preferences

I feel so angry, the only correct thing to do would be to go out into the desert wilderness and howl.  Howl, scream, curse humanity, maybe hit the earth with my pathetic fists.  Maybe hit some rocks.  Maybe yell at God in a language I don’t even know.

I messaged my cousin this morning, the only relative I speak with at all, on the white side of my family.  I hadn’t heard from her in a month.  I invited her to the street medic training Ming is doing at the beginning of July.  I wanted to ask her if she would attend.

Then I called my aunt, to see if my grandma is still alive.  In a happy, normalish family, probably you would know if your last remaining grandparent was alive, wouldn’t you.  Well, I wanted to check.  Because I don’t speak to anyone on that side of the my family, I’m not in the loop.

So I asked this aunt of mine, on the white side, for her phone number.  I found out, when I talked to her on the phone, that my grandma is still alive.  That was good to know.  When I pray to her, whether to send my prayers to this side or the other.

My aunt asked how my mom is doing–I mentioned my mom died at the end of January.  It’s been five months now.  Wow, almost half a year.  I’m doing the thing–I’m surviving.

My aunt had a strong reaction to that news–I will spare you.  After that conversation portion was over, my aunt mentioned my cousin so and so was dead.


It’s been ten days or so.

But, but…I just messaged her this morning!  I didn’t emote much.  Ming was on an interview.  I freaked out inwardly, on my own.

I feel angry beyond angry.  I feel rage.  I feel so mad I could curse the God I love.  I feel destroying shit angry, light it all on fire angry, walking away forever angry.

I feel angry because–my relatives seem to do one of two things.  Either they are capable of pretending normal, working, having kids, buying a house, having dogs and cars and BBQs.  Or, they are batshit crazy, such as myself, and go to jail a lot, use drugs a lot, have extreme moods and behaviors, and commit suicide and  / or overdose.

The part that makes me really fucking mad is how it’s one or the other.  Does it need to be one or the other?  I would prefer if we could all, all of us. without exception, talk about what’s happening to us, be honest about our lives and experiences, care for one another in a helpful actual way, listen, not be totally selfish pieces of shit?  How about that?

I have mine, which I deserve, because I worked hard for it.  So I will hoard it.  You, on the other hand, make poor choices, so you deserve nothing.  Die in the gutter, unfortunate one, while I shop, watch movies, and cry myself to sleep, due to the meaninglessness of my stupid empty life.

Everyone makes mistakes, right?  Not just addicts, crazy people, teen moms, fat people, queer people…  I notice it’s so easy to be disqualified.  The real people are over here–the non-people are over there.  We don’t have to love them anymore.  They are messed up and don’t matter.

These are my preferences.

1.  Please either be on your own, or form a family where people are kind and honest, with one another.

2.  Don’t abuse your children or allow others to.

3.  Please communicate, about everything, but especially about relationships, sex, race, body stuff, what you actually need, what you’re willing to give.  And create a family where everyone is allowed to talk about that stuff, not just the king.

4.  Care about people other than yourself, and actually be there for them.  It doesn’t have to be everyone.  You could just pick a few people–maybe start with two of three.  Be there for them, know what’s actually happening in their lives, and stick with it, unless you have a really good reason not to.

5.  If you are traumatized by what you had done to you a long time ago, or what you did to people a long time ago, or even not so long ago, please heal yourself.  It’s a lot of work, but denial is a really crappy strategy, and working a lot so you don’t have time to do anything else–in the long run, it might not serve you well, to avoid the reality of your body and soul.  I’m thinking you’ll pay for that later, and your family will too.

My cousin didn’t have to die.  I didn’t much speak to her, for a long time.  Lately I decided to try checking in with her and seeing if she would be my relative.

It’s good, to check in with one another.  If ten people were checking in on her, maybe she would be alive.  I couldn’t do a ton for her, but if ten people were all doing something, maybe she would have had her needs met and could be ok.

Or my dad, my cousin who committed suicide, cousins in jail, confusing early deaths.  So much jailtime, kids taken away, jobs lost, the fuckton of weed and pills, anesthetizing Christianity, guns, breaking shit, drug dealing, restraining orders, attempted murder.  Pretending ok while living with hardcore violence every single day.

Thank you for considering my opinion.  I’m trying to love.  If not my actual relatives, my community members, chosen temporary family, Ming, other people I live with.   I try to heal my trauma, ignore what’s petty, communicate with the people I choose to engage, listen, care.

It’s too hot to go scream in the desert.  I’m sitting at my desk in the half-dark, a fan blowing on me, an ice pack on my lap.  I said I’d do a ritual for my cousin who died.

People are horrible to one another.  Thanks for not being horrible, if you get the chance.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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