Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm the Monster Here

I wrote about my abortion because I needed to tell that story and the timing seemed right. Some of you will see me as the murderer of a person. You might think I have committed the ultimate sin. I'm sure I have, and have been sinned against. There are many details I left out of it, but in so many ways, I was a monster. I was crazy. I have always been crazy. It was a crazy time, the mid-sixties. May I remind you all that there are details in that story that might have alerted you to my carelessness and reckless behavior without apology or judgement. And yet there have been so many times and ways I tried to imagine a better ending.

By the time I was twenty-three I was clearly nuts. I was a magnet for the wrong men, every bit as damaged as I, men who wanted to manipulate and own me. I had not been loved as a child and had no idea how to love. Almost every man in my family had sexually abused me as a child. I trusted no one. I looked picture perfect but I was batshit crazy, coiled too tightly, barely able to breath. It was said of me I was high strung. That was an understatement. I worked every second to hold myself together, to appear calm and in control of myself, but I was an anxious mess. I was a monster. I aborted my only pregnancy. I knew I'd be a terrible mother. I had never been around a good mother.

I hated myself so profoundly I knew I carried a monster just like me, just like my mother, or worse, just like my father. I did not want to spend the rest of my life continuing that tradition or connected in any way to the man who impregnated me. He was delighted when I told him I was pregnant. But I was so furious at that moment because I also had to tell him he needed to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. And in the end when we both knew that he hadn't given me syphilis, I still didn't want to have that profound connection with him.

One of the Indian women who worked in the sewing room at Satpurush asked me one day as we were all having lunch together, "Why don't you do what you're supposed to do? You're swimming against the current of your life." I was stunned by the question. I've been pondering that one all my life.

This isn't an excuse for my careless desperate foolish life, but I was emotionally damaged by it all. I was depressed and reclusive, living in a life that always seemed to put me in intimate contact with people I'd rather not have known. Nothing was planned or thought out. I was also bipolar. But if you believe in God then God has been testing me. Have I failed the test?

I don't believe in God. This in and of itself does not make me a monster. But it does let me see that the agenda of all Abrahamic religions is the subjugation of women. So this makes religious strictures completely political to me. And I set my jaw against it. I will not be chattel. I will not be dominated.

And in the end I might be liked; I do have friends. But it will be hard for a man to love me. I'll always need to live alone.

In many ways I am still my dreadful mother. I look like her, I sound like her, I have her taste in so many things and a such a bad track record with men. You probably wouldn't like me. I barely like myself.