Monday, June 15, 2015
I've been binge watching ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK with my husband. He discovered it on Netflix while he was staying in Chile. He fell in love with it and was desperate to share it with me. There are now three seasons of the show. Many parts are heart wrenching. I feel raw after watching the episodes. There are too many feelings competing for top position.
There are a few points I take away from this show:
1. Everyone needs to be loved.
2. Everyone needs comfort now and again without exception.
3. Everyone needs a fixed point to focus on to get through an ordeal.
4. The thought of losing your identity, who you see yourself as, is terrifying.
I also know that you don't need to be in prison to know these things, to feel them overtaking you. Maybe it's the PTSD talking but I feel broken. I don't want to compare what I went through to what the women portrayed in prison go through.
The scene in the second season in which the inmate "V" has had her stash of heroin stolen stirred up too many feelings and thoughts within me. It caused me to remember all those times my step-father, Junior, would angrily tear up the house looking for something he's misplaced. He'd line us up and scream at us. directly into our ears. Damn it. My ears still ring. "I know one of you moved my shit! I want y'all to look for it until it's found! No one is doing nothing else until it's found. And you don't EVER touch my shit.Never move my shit!" And no one was allowed to do anything else until whatever was found. No TV. No going outside. No eating. No going to the bathroom. Find his shit. Find his shit. Find his shit.
He's been dead now for what, 21 years. But he was a strict warden. We couldn't have friends in the outside world though I did get breaks here and there. He worked hard to turn us against each other. If we disliked/didn't trust our sisters, our mother, we surely wouldn't talk to them about what he was doing to us. We wouldn't realize that he was systematically abusing us all - physically, sexually, mentally. We were strictly monitored. He was such a fucking asshole manipulator. It's taken so long to try to repair the damage he inflicted, or that we inflicted on our confused selves. And we will never be the people we were before him. Before my stepfather, Junior. Before my equally abusive asshole father, Leslie, who has been dead for 41 years now. We will never be the person we might have been before.
Oh damn it! Sweet Jesus! Who might we have been without those assholes tearing into us? Mom could have been so different. She might have raised us properly. Without fear. With more love. My eldest sister might have become a gardener at a greenhouse or a landscaper for some beautiful place. My second elder sister might have been an amazing scifi writer and an antiques/kitch items dealer. My third eldest sister might have been a great artist with her paintings or she might have become a vet assistant with her love for animals. Her rapport with them is astounding!
We might have all been so much closer to each other. So much more loving without their abuse and violent interference and manipulation (anger, pain, mistrust). We would be able to get together and love one another without memories, deep undercurrents of emotions, complication everything.
My family also watches Game of Thrones but after this season I think I need to just swear it off. I can't take the seemingly endless brutality which has been focused mostly on women. It has also set off my PTSD. It also brings up memories that I want to forget. I don't want to remember the lock downs, the beat downs, the humiliations, the loneliness, the isolation. I don't want to remember not having a future to focus on to get through the fear and the pain because I wasn't sure when my step-father would kill me. Not if. When.
I hate that 21 years after my step-father's death and 41 years after my father's death that their imprints on my psyche still affect rather or not I can enjoy watching a TV show with my husband. My husband watches the show with different eyes. The emotions I feel aren't the emotions he feels. And, thank God, they are emotions that my children don't feel. Will hopefully never feel.
Everyone deserves love without pain. Everyone deserves comfort and compassion. Everyone should have something in their future to look forward to. Everyone should have a core identity - to be able to find, and know one's self. Everyone needs these things as much as food and water and shelter from the elements. Everyone deserves to feel safe.
Safe like a comedy movie. Movie. Maybe a RomCom. Maybe I'll just put something light on the TV. Background noise that stealthily salves my wounds until I can function like a normal person again. Until I feel safe again. I'll stick with black. I never looked good in orange.