Submitted by megan on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 16:57
As the intake appointment pointed out afresh, I've been in some bad situations and had some bad people happen to me.
Anyone who reads this blog regularly already knows that I spend many an evening sitting at my archipelago in front of my computer. While I'm fucking around on the internet or with words, usually either the stereo or the radio is on. Wednesday night it was the radio, and I wasn't paying enough attention to turn it off when Outfront started.
Generally I don't like Outfront. Not that I haven't heard some good ones, but more often they grate. They often seep the things I dislike about the CBC, in particular a kind of white-bread mawkishness that an acquaintance of mine once described as "the colour of band-aids."
The reason I noticed the radio was on at all Wednesday night was because the woman's voice was grating that band-aid grate on me, enough so that I zoned in and actually heard what she was saying. She was describing a horrific childhood, filled with physical abuse and terror.
It was a good reminder for me. Because people don't often talk about their trauma, it is easy to feel singular in it. Alone, yes, but also the flip side: special. Both are dangerous in their own ways.
In the grand scheme of things, the bad things that happened to me weren't so bad; or at least, they could have been much worse. My parents are decent people, nice even, and they loved me and were proud of me. Us kids never wanted for anything real. Both my parents had tempers that were hot and quick, which they took out on each other and us with regularity. Though my brother, sister and I grew up in a house that I would classify as angry and unpredictable, it was not without love.* Between 17 and 23 were not so much fun, but I don't feel like going into why.**
When your afternoon starts with a shouldn't-be-but-is startling reminder of how awful your story sounds when even the matter-of-fact redux version is the one hanging out there in the air, it is good to hear the story of someone else's. To feel not alone, not special: just is. Is what we live with. With lesser, and sometimes greater, success.
*Which would, and you may be shocked by this, also perfectly describe my two 4 year long relationships.
**If you're good with the searching, you can dig up why. And rest assured, I'll write about it more later.