It’s rarely a time where I can say I’ve had great success.
But tonight, I’ve made great strides.
That’s right, I sat my ass down in a group of two and I fucking talked and I had a conversation and my anxiety was at an all time low!
I shared ideas like your average Joe!
I know the two people I sat with usually sit with another girl, so at first I felt I was invading. I reveled in humiliation for the first ten or fifteen minutes of class but when we all turned inward to share the quotes we’d collected from this weeks book, I ignored the pounding of my heart and the flushing of my face and jumped over the first hurdle by saying one of the quotes I liked and explaining my idea behind it. It sparked a conversation between the three of us and the flushing got worse and the heart beat palpitated and I ignored it all because I was determined to make this night a success and dethrone my anxiety.
A little tiny piece of my personality shone tonight and that’s a huge accomplishment. They laughed with me and I could tell they were surprised I spoke more than five words and backed up my idea with concrete facts.
At the end of it all, I sat there in my chair and found myself thinking: It’s this easy? Are you fucking kidding me?
That’s right, I called talking with people EASY.
I don’t know what’s sparked this confidence. I’ve been reading so much about my native ancestor’s culture, I’ve been learning more about who I am, and I’ve been so amazed at how all the native traditional ideas I’ve been learning in this class were things I was taught as a child from my father that my father probably never knew were native traditions. They were always loose ideas, general rules for life I was taught, and I’m certainly not like the natives on the reservation, but I identify more with this culture than I do the others in my family lineage.
Coming to these realizations, identifying with a people who base themselves on community and giving myself a reason for my social anxieties other than “family troubles” or “genes” or “chemical imbalance”, and realizing that I can heal has given me this confidence, I think. I didn’t even have that much trouble forming the words in my brain as I usually do. They just came and I said them and I stumbled a bit at the beginning, but once I got going I couldn’t stop.
This is the first step of a very, very long healing process. I told you all at the beginning of this semester that this class was going to change my life and I wasn’t lying. It has. Tremendously. It’s reminded me of myself and my spirit. I thought I lost them in the hustle and bustle of puberty and homelessness, and addiction, and the transfer into adult life and the depression, but I didn’t. They’ve been with me this whole time, just hidden, covered, blanketed.
I remember watching documentaries on “gifted” children as a teenager. I was always amazed at these toddlers doing calculus and growing into teenagers who graduated college and worked in laboratories and were sensations in their scientific and professional communities. And I followed some of them into their young adult life and I wondered why, if they had such a large “IQ” and so many opportunities, why they didn’t tackle politics. Why they didn’t tackle government or worldly affairs. Why they huddled in isolated in labs in a corner of the earth.
I don’t think it’s because they realized tackling the world was too arduous of a task. There are many ways you can effect the world without being some magic savior.
I wondered all this because many claimed their gifted children sat in front of the news and cried over wars and poverty and all the sad things in life. They’d cry for hours. The documentaries had specialists claim that feelings for the whole of humanity were indicative of spectacular genius.
Is that another way to separate a love for humanity from the average population? As a child I was always sensitive to such things. I didn’t cry over these events because I was sad for the world, I didn’t cry because I should be sad for the world, I didn’t cry because of the horrors, I cried because I could feel the pain of those people. Not in a shallow way, not in the way we feel pain for others everyday. Not the way you sympathize with someone when they fall and break their leg and you recognize that hurt. No, this was a special way. This was a spirit to spirit, human to human connection, I knew this at age 5. If I told the average psychologist growing up that I was feeling others pain through the television, that I was connected to those people in a way they didn’t understand, they’d get wary of my mental state.
WATCH OUT, IT’S ATTENUATED PSYCHOSIS SYNDROME, QUICK A MILLION MILLIGRAMS OF THORAZINE, STAT! GO, GO, GO!!!
Anyway, my professor and guest speakers often speak on this type of feeling and that’s how I learned I wasn’t alone.
In this way I am different from the people around me. I say it’s different because when I feel these things I don’t ever forget. I don’t move on with my life and forget. I don’t set out an annual day to take a moment and remember and “respect” what happened; I’m always aware of them. I’m always aware of the grief others feel because I feel it beside them. I believe it disrespect to think you can take horrible events, traumatic events, set a day aside or a moment in time to mourn them, then go on with your life like nothing ever happened. That’s not recovery; that’s the shallowest form of sympathy.
To me that’s barbaric. You learn to carry those horrible events with you and you remember them because in remembering them, you remember yourself. Those events that happen around you, that happen to you, are apart of you and your community and this giant spinning ball we all inhabit. If you act like they don’t happen then you’re ignoring part of yourself.
I choose not to ignore the pain in my life or the pain of my ancestors. I’m not going to “let it go”. I’m going to learn to carry it properly and I’m never going to forget what it’s taught me.
No wonder we can absentmindedly start wars and absentmindedly put ads on television for you to join an army that fights for a purpose it doesn’t even understand.
Don’t be blind. If you can’t see with your eyes, feel with your spirit. It never lies. Your eyes can deceive you; they only see what people want them to see. With what I’ve experienced, your spirit is connected to the Earth and the universe, two things humans will never be able to manipulate as well as they do Google Ad Sense.
Do I sound like a loon to you? To some of you I might. And that’s okay. Just remember that science and math and western philosophy and all that fancy stuff has spent the last few hundred years proving native beliefs right. We’re all in the same boat here, we just have different grasps on the same concepts.
Some sooner than others.
Sorry math/science geeks. I’m one of you as well, but I can’t deny the facts. You were all a little late.
But anyway, while you’re reading about the latest Celebrity Botox and Butt-Lift and watching the latest music video of Taylor Swift singing about some dude no one gives a shit about, or video of rappers telling you to fuck bitches and get money, take a little moment out of your day to think about this:
One in three native women are raped on reservations today.
Ninety three percent of those abusers are non-native.
There’s a court case underway right now that you know nothing about because Nicki Minaj’s ass is blocking your vision. You want the full explanation, you can read it here.
But basically it goes like this: Dollar General is a chain on a Choctaw Reservation. Reservations are outside of federal court jurisdiction. People within Dollar General have been abusing workers. The story in that article is of a boy who, when he was thirteen, signed up to get work experience and ended up being sexually abused. His parents sued Dollar General in a tribal court because their son had been violated sexually by a grown man. Dollar General said fuck you, you can’t sent up a civil case against us for sexually abusing your son, we’re not part of this reservation, we’re within federal jurisdiction. Dollar General then took the family to federal court and sued the family for trying to sue Dollar General in a tribal court because their son was sexually assaulted several times by the store manager.
Why the emphasis you ask? Because a kid was sexually assaulted! And what does Dollar General care about? JURISDICTION.
People there are afraid of the U.S court ruling in favor of the corporation (and they have historical evidence for reason to be afraid) and allowing any non-native operations inside the reservation to never be tried in a tribal court.
So if you want to commit a heinous crime, go work for a non-native corporation on a reservation and you’ll never see the walls of a prison in your life or the sting of a punishment on your wrist.
Or become a priest and snatch you some young boys.
People adore blindness. Nicki Minaj is much easier on the eyes than men of God dicking and breeding and bleeding innocent asses of young, crying, flailing, alter boys and corporate retail staff shoving their grimy, fat, sausage fingers into the virgin holes of little girls, don’t you think?
So go ahead and forget what I just told you. It’s okay, it’ll be easier for you.
This class has not only given me a few tools to take away the power of my anxiety, but it’s helped me realize there’s a cause for my anxiety. It’s historical and generational and environmental and biological and genetic, it’s everything you want to call it. And I don’t want it to leave me. I want to embrace it and live with it side by side.
I’ve never complained over my depression or my anxiety or any other mental health issue. I’ve grieved over it and I’ve felt the pain and it’s sucked some royal ass, but I’ve never cursed it or wished it away because where the fuck would it go? Where am I supposed to wish it away to? It’s got no where to go. It’s part of me; am I going to rip myself in half and throw myself into the atmosphere?
What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do other than learn and live?