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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Loyalty

Researcher has talked to me a little bit, but it's strictly business. So it goes. I wait to see what happens and carry on. The hole inside of me isn't her doing. It's from everyone before her: people at the dinner theater I worked with who treated me like an idiot and used me for a scapegoat, or others who pushed me away, and lastly the folk singer who acted like she wanted to have a conversation while peppering her statements with things like, "Can't you go make friends somewhere? Go make friends, get out, do things!" and finally telling me she was breaking contact.

I'm not the most astute person when it comes to social nuances, but it seems to me that if you carry on a conversation with someone you're not exactly encouraging them to go away. And this folk singer... I love her stuff, and I still listen to it from time to time. But when I hear of some protest she's making or some statement she has to make about the state of the world, I no longer believe it. She apparently doesn't know what it's like on the other side - if she did she'd have understood it when I told her I couldn't afford college classes among other things. But she didn't. She just kept on. And so her credibility with me as a "revolutionary" died.

My first husband left me and my two small children in utter poverty. He never paid child support, and I was alone. I didn't qualify for food stamps because I made too much money, being as I worked at McDonald's 20 hours a week. My only line to the world back then was the telephone, and when it was lost I was submerged in an ocean of overwhelming loneliness. I had only one friend.

So one day I walked the miles down with the kids to the payphone to call her and talk. The payphone was in the parking lot of a closed down business; there were no cars or anything driving through. Which means it was safe for me to stand there talking a little while with the kids there playing.

While they played tag - not going far I might add - this woman drove through with her car glaring and staring at me. I watched her as I talked because I wasn't concerned about her blame. She was just one of the many who didn't truly give a shit except in spite and thus was unimportant.

After a while the kids were getting too unruly. "I can't take anymore," I told them exasperatedly and made them sit down politely by the phone.

They were sitting there being good when the police car came. Seems that woman made a phone call. "You're letting the kids play in the street," the cop had told me.

They had been playing near me in a vacant abandoned parking lot. Hardly looked like a street. I told the cop to give me his badge number and told them go ahead and call child welfare. They'd find out what a "spite call" was and like all the other times the case would be closed.

It never went anywhere. But I never forgot that woman's hateful eyes. She probably regarded herself an upstanding wonderful mother and good loving Christian. But I'll always remember her as a self-serving bitch with plenty of rocks to throw into other people's windows.

All sorts of incidents happened like that while I lived in Georgia. I couldn't even take my son to town and have him scream because I couldn't buy him a toy without some hag crawling out of the woodwork to yell at me and tell me how I should do this or that with my children. Not one of them offered to buy the toy I couldn't afford, or the food, or help with child care, or even to get back and forth to work when my car died. (There were no buses there,and I lived 3 hours walk outside of town.) Everywhere I turned there were people pointing fingers at me for not staying in my abusive marriage, for being a single mother, for not qualifying for welfare, for not having any money, for him not paying his child support, and for simply breathing.

And the gods know all I did all of the time was my best. I was tired and I still did my best. Even to the point I sold my body to buy the children food: I couldn't do any less than my best. I had to provide for the kids, that was all I knew.

And through it all is this echo of how horrible it felt, to be the villain without knowing why.

When I moved away from Georgia, the sheriff there was soon shot and killed for selling cocaine out of his barn among other illegal scandals. Which just goes to show who the villains really were. Pointing fingers at impoverished single mothers only works so far.

While taking a shower the other day and these thoughts ran through my mind the way they want to constantly do, I thought of my childhood. My mother's sister never let me and my older brother into her trailer, and when she had her house built she would only let us in the back door on the back-porch like we were servants or less. She yelled at me all of the time and I never felt welcome over there. Is it any wonder I grew up to hate her?

And I realized, Oh. That's why I looked forward to being picked up, to my fantastic dreams, that overall sense of belonging I was given when I went on a mission after the System found me. They didn't yell at me. They told me I was special. Even when I was a single parent abandoned with two small children, there was still that element of "The outside world hates you, but you'll always be loved in here."

And I think maybe that's why I'm not eager to "deprogram" the way folks say I should. Why should I listen to them? They call themselves revolutionaries and when I don't do what they say and how they want it, they throw me away.

But inside I wasn't thrown away for stealing air ships, or my daughter back. I was praised for the things I could do, recognized for what I am, and reminded that I could still be human and a worthwhile being.

So yeah. My loyalty is earned. Well earned.

And that's why if you want me to deprogram you'd better be willing to go with me into the journey of my head, to recover my memories, and find a damn good reason why I should leave them.

There's nothing wrong with my desire to remember my other life. My old handler told me so, and I was told that these memories will be the key to my survival. I'm not breaking any code for remembering who I am, to gaining a greater capacity, for expanding myself.

There's nothing wrong with making up my mind based on experience and what I know rather than following the deprogrammers blindly, either. In fact, I think those that preach about knowing the truth should recognize that me finding the truth first is the wise way to go.

It's not a matter of rationalizing the pain away or trying to come to terms with the grief in my heart. I'll do that in my own time.

Damn if you're going to get me to go back on important pieces of myself unless I feel it's right.