So this is what I need to know: my feelings count. Hell, as a femme, my feelings are at the heart of who I am, and to deny them is to deny myself.
I told my sister how I felt about Friday with the car, starting with a sticker check and ending with locking eyes with my old landlord, punctuated by arguments, difficulty and a cold. She suggested that it was all just random, without meaning.
It may well be random, but the meaning I assign to it, how I feel about it, well, that still is true and real and vital. And while she may be able to pass over feelings — hell, while she may see her job at work as to get women to focus on actions, not feelings — it’s bad freakin’ magic for me.
I know the issues. My mother has always been a mass of feelings that disempower her, so we both were more like my father, thinking creatures that knew how to work around that mass. Trusting the gut seemed crazier than geting bound up in the head.
So when I get dismissed, told to stay focused and do it harder, I get very upset. I blow. I got short with my sister and let the call end. What one way has she reached out to me with warmth, tried to enter my world? Hell, we had the blitz about birthday rest– she could have asked me to dinner at one of the BBQ joints, or even just Old Country Buffet. But no, just toughen up
_____ suggests I work to understand what I am really feeling. Well this is what I understand: when I don’t do my work I feel ddisempowered. But the only way to do the work is to trust the feelings and not the fear I have cultivated into a forest to keep the feelings down.
My feelings count. My bliss counts. It’s my bliss that tells me when I am doing what God wants me to do. And Sunday, well sunday I was in the zone. Out there, beyond fear, even hazarding the women’s room at the Albany Library where Yumara was beat up, first ny two girls and later on talk radio. The black girl did her business, and I moved on.
Thinking harder, doing more sensible shit will not get me out of this cesspool. And that’s not something my family is willing to understand. But affirming my feelings and my power, well that seems like giving into the enemy to them, supporting sickness. Just ask ____ how I need to be strong armed — she’s very authoritative on every subject she chooses to pronounce on. My sister even felt the need to explain how I was not without personal responsibility. Wonder where she got the idea that I was without it, where she practiced the explanation.
So this is what I need to know: my feelings count. But when the world’s response to you is to demand that you explain, justify, rationalize, console and comfort them rather than challenging them, well, not easy. I remember a sketch where TBB and I played CDs going to an event. Her strategy was to be above it all, doing a performance, mine to rationalize, offering some credible story that people could accept.
But I am big, strong and smart, so clearly, the feelings of others who feel fear or disquiet are more important than my feelings. I need to respect and understand the feelings of others — indulge their illusions — while my big, messy, challenging & intense feelings are subordinated to the need to do what is required.
Ouch! fuck that! I can’t keep huring this way any more, internalizing all the pain. That’s what makes me sick. But my sickness is a gift to people who don’t want to face their own. If denying, dismissing and dissapearing my own feelings incapacitates me, well then I have to be tougher, don’t I?
I gave my health to them, freely, willingly — and they gave me a request for more giving. I hold onto my fear to keep my head down, and they want me to do more in this crouch, this enfeebeled shuffle where fear keeps me taut & tucked away.
The question is simple: Do I do the stupid thing and trust my heart, letting the power flow by valuing my feelings, or do I do the smart thing and keep trying to force myself to follow the rules, pushing harder to be functional while crippled with denial?