• jess

Letters to my sister: Projections

Che Doanya - outside the lines

https://www.facebook.com/doanyaoutsidethelines


My sister, yesterday, out of the blue... from my perspective, I received a text from you offering to bring me some of your homemade chili.


Of course my mind starts looking for the angle. Why? Why are you offering free food? Is it a peace offering? Is it a trick to get through my gate? I briefly recall the last time we spoke face to face, the day before Harold’s funeral. You were telling me that I was never a “true Christian” with no awareness of how insulting, degrading, unknowingly harmful it is to say such things.


I got upset and told you that we were told “once saved, always saved” and I had been saved… (oh, by the way, not just once, but repeatedly, over and over, offering, giving, dedicating my life, rededicating my life, but never any real relief from the shame of being born a human.


I got upset and told you that we were told “once saved, always saved” and I had been saved… (oh, by the way, not just once, but repeatedly, over and over, offering, giving, dedicating my life, rededicating my life, but never any real relief from the shame of being born a human.

I briefly thought back to my attempted conversation with our mother in which she acknowledged her own sexuality was just an inherent part of her identity and not something she chose, but when I told her that the same was true for me, mine attractions were inherent, just a natural and normal part of who I am, just different...and she couldn’t even allow herself to hear my words.


After she had just laughingly admitted it took her a whole six months to say the word “lesbian” out loud…. She would not allow a different idea to even be contemplated without throwing up that wall between us, muttering her prayers out loud for me to hear as she prays for strength as she hangs up on me.


My own mother discarded me, my identity, my difference seen as wrong, unacceptable, shameful…. And I guess I’m supposed to want to keep coming back in for more…. More dismissal, more invisibility, more denial of me as a whole person, wounded, hurt, but not broken; I’m fully human.


My own mother discarded me, my identity, my difference seen as wrong, unacceptable, shameful…. And I guess I’m supposed to want to keep coming back in for more…. More dismissal, more invisibility, more denial of me as a whole person, wounded, hurt, but not broken; I’m fully human.

You want to bring your chili to me and I think that after ten months of my journey attempting to heal from my religious trauma, find safe spaces and safer people to call family… I tell myself I can handle it, it will be a good opportunity to practice some S.E….(which I don’t think I have the temperament to practice successfully while my anxiety is starting to amp up anticipating threats and danger)... sure, I’d love to see you and have chili, come on down. I tell myself it will be different this time.


I write up a message to other traumatized fuckers in the discord, and a quick text to my son. We are finding ourselves having the same difficulties and challenges trying to have a relationship with our closest sibling. He reminds me to not try to instruct or teach, but listen. Good advice, too bad I suck at following advice.


It started off pleasant enough. She sat in her car after arriving to ask if I would prefer having the goodie bag dropped off or … so I put on my mask and walked outside and kinda snuck up on her as she was looking down at her phone and we laughed when she was startled.


I told her she could come inside if she wore a mask. I had a new mask in a sealed package in my hand to offer in case she didn’t have one. She acknowledged it was my house. She would follow my rules and stepped out with a... what to call it... a nearly sheer piece of barely there fabric over her nose and mouth. I let it slide and invited her inside.


I told her she could come inside if she wore a mask. I had a new mask in a sealed package in my hand to offer in case she didn’t have one. She acknowledged it was my house. She would follow my rules and stepped out with a... what to call it... a nearly sheer piece of barely there fabric over her nose and mouth. I let it slide and invited her inside.

I was excited about the candy and to unpack the goodies - a feel good moment. We settled in for a visit and my guard, what guard, yes exactly, was gone.


I was engaged in an honest attempt to just talk. You shared your video of your grandbaby chattering and making baby noises which is always so fun to see and hear. I was smiling, you were smiling and we were laughing.


I was engaged in an honest attempt to just talk. You shared your video of your grandbaby chattering and making baby noises which is always so fun to see and hear. I was smiling, you were smiling and we were laughing.

I remember vaguely flipping through my last ten months looking for a safe topic, through my mental rolodex and my life, my focus, my attention and activities are all around learning how to be a better ally to other marginalized humans, I’m learning about how we have been socialized, educated and indoctrinated to uphold white supremacy and idealize the patriarchy and how both are / were brought to this country and upheld by Christianity and it’s what I know about, it’s what I read and I tried to share a little bit about the hate in our own community and how freely people express it and.. And...


I can’t help but notice your mask has dropped below your nose, which ironically enough, is connected to your lungs… and you aren’t keeping it over your nose, which is now sticking out like the image of the penis flipped outside the underwear… and you are now deliberately violating my one rule… and I sigh and decide to keep the peace and not object, but it nags me and feels disrespectful.


But you thought you were being clever? Asking some questions and while my body recognized the pitfall, the danger, the traps, the pattern … I had let my guard down, you looked and sounded like my sister, someone who once loved me, and was once on my side.


But you thought you were being clever? Asking some questions and while my body recognized the pitfall, the danger, the traps, the pattern … I had let my guard down, you looked and sounded like my sister, someone who once loved me, and was once on my side.

I honestly didn’t expect to have to educate you so thoroughly. I mentally skipped several times... trying to start and realizing it requires some foundation, and not just some foundation. It requires a shit ton of education to understand the nuances and complexities of our indoctrination, the sheer amount of education you lack was astounding and overwhelming...


Seriously, there’s so much you don’t know and before we can put the roof on the building, the foundation must be laid, the building must be framed and supported… before getting near the roof… and I realized there was too much you didn’t know and I couldn’t figure out where to start.


While I’m stuttering over how to provide the information... You chose to act out behaviors learned from Harold, our common abuser, the head perp of the house, the gaslighting, the “after all your mother and I have done for you girls” smug superiority as he would start whispering his twisted logic in our mother’s ears until she was triggered, angry, unhinged, violent and he would sit back with his calmness appearing to be the victim of her insanity…


While I’m stuttering over how to provide the information... You chose to act out behaviors learned from Harold, our common abuser, the head perp of the house, the gaslighting, the “after all your mother and I have done for you girls” smug superiority as he would start whispering his twisted logic in our mother’s ears until she was triggered, angry, unhinged, violent and he would sit back with his calmness appearing to be the victim of her insanity…

There’s no way you escaped that house, that family without your own trauma.


How does it show up in your life?

Following rigid doctrine and dogma?

Not thinking for yourself, but rather doing what you were told to do, believe what you were told to believe, accept the abuse as love,

fear as love,

control as love,

shame as love,

violence as evidence of love…

living in a place where words don’t mean what they mean and yet blind to the discrepancy

In denial of the dissonance


Once the trap was sprung and I jumped in with both feet, anxiety ramped up, anger stepping in to defend us against the mistreatment.


And you jumped on that,

my anger,

my emotion,

my reaction became your excuse to shut down any further comment from me,


I asked if my anger scared you and you admitted it,

then immediately turned around and denied it…

in nearly the same breath,

but you used it

to pick yourself up

and shut me down


In case you forgot, a few days or weeks ago I pointed out to you how you are always... and I really try not to over generalize, but you are always either dismissive or defensive… and shutting down the dialogue because you were uncomfortable? With my emoting,

my anxiety,

my reactions…

Like you can’t talk to people unless they are robots? Is another way of defending yourself and dismissing me. You might want to learn about the ad hominem fallacy.


Yes, my angry teenager came to life to communicate we weren’t putting up with that shit anymore, and yes, I started letting that rebel have free reign, you weren’t going to walk out of here without knowing what she thinks about your shit… so yeah, fuck you, fuck youuuu … FFFUUCCCKKK YOUUUU, didn’t hear me? I’ll show you, so I’m flipping you off with both hands, you see unhinged crazy and demonic while looking at me…


Yes, my angry teenager came to life to communicate we weren’t putting up with that shit anymore, and yes, I started letting that rebel have free reign, you weren’t going to walk out of here without knowing what she thinks about your shit… so yeah, fuck you, fuck youuuu … FFFUUCCCKKK YOUUUU, didn’t hear me? I’ll show you, so I’m flipping you off with both hands, you see unhinged crazy and demonic while looking at me…

And I see Harold leaving with his smugass sense of superiority…

because you may not remember saying it,

you may even deny saying it,

but you seriously said out loud... to me,

just like he said to us

“after I tried to do a good deed for you” ….


I don’t recall the exact phrase, the exact word and word order, but I heard the message… YOU see yourself as the tireless, generous, morally superior adult, shaking your head at how broken you think I am, how much you think I need to get back in with your abusive narcissistic god.


I don’t recall the exact phrase, the exact word and word order, but I heard the message… YOU see yourself as the tireless, generous, morally superior adult, shaking your head at how broken you think I am, how much you think I need to get back in with your abusive narcissistic god.

So since you won’t stay to hear what I think, I'm gonna make you read my words, or at least make sure I communicate what I wanted to say in a more effective manner than I’m able to do in person while I feel threatened and endangered.


Thus begins the message chain:


ME: I’m glad you get to leave here telling yourself you were “the bigger person”, that your calmness equals superiority - that your closed minded, lack of understanding somehow makes you morally superior, that you can tell yourself you were right all along. Doesn’t make any of it true...you get zero points for a “good deed” yo


What you did here is called gaslighting...it’s a learned abusive behavior


Also tone policing is not only rude, it demonstrates a significant lack of understanding and empathy for those people who are marginalized by Karens like you


Harold like… act like Harold and … that’s exactly why


The sad thing is that you have no idea how your fears have locked you into copying the same narcissistic manipulations that traumatized us as children


If there was a god, I’d pray for you <--granted, that was a mean dig, but there it is...I’m not morally superior, I’m just as traumatized as you are… I’m just trying to see it and I think you don’t want to know.


I know it’s difficult to be around someone’s anger. It feels threatening and dangerous because mom wasn’t able to control her anger when she was triggered. I do appreciate the goodies. I do want to be able to have a real relationship with you. I appreciate the opportunity to see another piece of the puzzle of how we were indoctrinated and socialized and traumatized


-------------------------------------------------


You: (black cat image) It was NEVER my intent to have any discussion regarding politica (sic)

You: I am of the belief those things are better left unsaid. I truly

You: hope you enjoy the goodies!! :-) Yum!!

You: For what it’s worth, I really enjoyed seeing you and your kitties.

You: l matters. Knowing we have very different views on certain subjects


-------------------------------------------------------------------


Me: If you ever want to sharpen your critical thinking skills, ask better questions, learn about fallacies and biases, so that you can become more aware of how sloppy thinking leads to sloppy questions and sloppy arguments I can direct you to resources, but until you become safer I will just keep the boundaries in place.


And the longer you go without talking about the lives of those people who are marginalized or listening to the experiences of those on the margins, those people who are being harmed - you will be part of the harm and not the solution


(red sparkle heart and white cat face w/ heart eyes) the chili is delicious


Do you remember how calm Harold could be as he whispered his twisted logic in mom’s ear and get her riled up, to the point she appeared unhinged and he appeared to be a sympathetic victim of her crazy… the more worked up she got - the calmer and more smug he got


---------------------------------------------------------------------------


There were several other things I wanted to say to you, but I ran out of steam, ran out of hope and energy that anything I say will ever get through to you, so I stopped.


It was somewhat validating to see how much fun Shannon Q and Heather were having together on The Line, (one of the many YouTube shows I wish you’d watch) see how they drew the lines between what was worthy of contemplation and that which was more like, “oh come on with this, you surely can’t be seriously suggesting you believe this nonsense?”


When you can be confident enough of your rational mind and critical thinking to laugh at the absolute absurdity of some claims even while these absurdities are being defended with more absurdity. The sad thing is, while some folks may present absurdity as a troll, there are no doubt people who sincerely hold these absurdities sacred. How do we tell who is who?


When you can be confident enough of your rational mind and critical thinking to laugh at the absolute absurdity of some claims even while these absurdities are being defended with more absurdity. The sad thing is, while some folks may present absurdity as a troll, there are no doubt people who sincerely hold these absurdities sacred. How do we tell who is who?


Does it matter? Either way, absurd ideas are absurd no matter who spouts them or holds them close.


I won’t close the door to you, my sister.


I know who you are under the bravado, the assumptions, the arrogance, the confidence, the assuredness… I know who you were and still are deep deep down inside. I know what you had to choose from in order to get your needs met, the options weren’t plentiful and they weren’t even options. It was a role we were forced into and I resisted and became the scapegoat. You didn’t have to get beaten, shaken, hit, touched to be controlled, you only had to see it being done to me and you became the good parrot and I was the black sheep.


I know who you are under the bravado, the assumptions, the arrogance, the confidence, the assuredness… I know who you were and still are deep deep down inside. I know what you had to choose from in order to get your needs met, the options weren’t plentiful and they weren’t even options. It was a role we were forced into and I resisted and became the scapegoat. You didn’t have to get beaten, shaken, hit, touched to be controlled, you only had to see it being done to me and you became the good parrot and I was the black sheep.

Do you remember watching how Harold and mom sat on the couch and how they used their words and their power to force our brother to hit himself in the head with the buckle of the belt Harold removed from his waist and handed to his son and how he insisted if you say you hate yourself, show us, hit yourself…


But you don’t want to talk about these things. This is in the past.


What is actually... in the past.. When your body is remembering something right fucking here and now… that past is fully present and actively causing harm when we don’t learn from it, it will just keep playing on repeat, same words, same message from different faces…


What is actually... in the past.. When your body is remembering something right fucking here and now… that past is fully present and actively causing harm when we don’t learn from it, it will just keep playing on repeat, same words, same message from different faces…

If you don’t learn from and heal from it, you pass it on, the same fucked up behaviors, the same fucked up reasoning, the same sloppy thinking leading to the same traumatic fuckery imposed on the next generation.


If you ever decide you want to understand

Our childhood, our trauma, our roles, our indoctrination, our past …

So we don’t repeat it

If you ever become willing to consider the facts

I will always be willing to share my story

But until you decide to value truth over dogma, and wellbeing over conformity

I am not willing to share my space

I will not subject myself to your doctrine and closed-minded bigotry.



Traumatized Motherfxckers

Not doomed. Not damaged.

Not dead yet.

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