Staying In The Present Moment: I Won’t Be A Victim, I’ll Overcome.
I’m not writing sweet, kind words. I’m pressing the pencil on the paper harshly, until it rips apart.
My jaw hurts with the pressure, tears coming out with no sadness or sorrow, but with fury from the bottom of my heart.
I’m empty of gratitude here and now, and contacting this part of me, this side showing its face with a tongue of fire, with waves of blood and pus. Disgusted, unsettled, unwell, ill. It feels like the earth is trembling to the insane rhythm of the violent beats of a drum.
You know me damn well, it says out loud in many tongues. It is hard to distinguish from the language I know, but at the same time I understand perfectly its meaning and all it expresses.
If not a welcomed visitor, it’s not a stranger either, but this time I’m fully opening the door, showing it the way to the rooms it already knows, where it has hidden silently many times, leaving a rotten scent in each spot, startling me with its presence at unexpected moments, with the wrong people and at the wrong situations and places.
It has been with me since the beginning of who knows when, but this time it is not wearing a veil, numbed, or in a lazy state after being ignored, repressed, concealed and stuffed with a cloth in my mouth. This time it is alert, ferocious, in its natural shape, strong, strikingly powerful, intense.
I’m letting my mouth foam if it wants to. I’m letting it work its savage, vicious ways. It’s just the two of us, and I’m not looking for a mediator, protector or a victim, I’m taking the bull by its horns. Within me.
As of now, I’m not caring for anyone’s feelings, and I won’t get distracted, and be vigilant and attentive dealing with my own pain, the one that comes like burning heat out of injustice, unfairness, corruption, cruelty, tyranny, repression, exploitation, prejudice, discrimination and intolerance.
You and I know those well.
That aching pain when you or the one you love have been maltreated, when your verbally abused parent is hidden in a corner in tears you are so young to understand, when you hear the sexual offender has been released after raping that child, and about the travelers to disadvantaged countries taking sneakers or gifts to barter for sex with impoverished children, undeveloped lives that have never heard they are beautiful or they are worth it or looked after.
When the labels and judgmental comments hit home, or the images of mature, older men looking at your growing breasts pop up in your mind’s eye, and you remember the time you said Stop and he didn’t listen, or a No was taken as a Yes just because you were too young or you are a woman.
Or the daily verbal abuse of a loving man who lives with a castrating woman, whose friends would just laugh if they knew he is being put down or beaten by the weaker sex.
The times you accepted that was the way it was supposed to be as you believed in or belonged to another, or were tied in Heaven by a God who has a leader on earth who lives in a house made of gold, who preaches the truth of it all.
When you realize the sexism, the masochism, the objectifying of your body and looks are more important than brains.
When prejudice, paradigms and stereotypes are part of your culture, and you have followed them too, sometimes requiring a lot of effort by your brain to ease and accept the differences that don’t come naturally, because you have learned well the twisted, hatred lessons of the system.
When some governors are a joke with pockets full of the richness of the countries full of poor people with no voice.
When you understand that your dream of a relationship based in trust and honesty is just that, a dream, as your lover or friend lies to your face, and you know she will say only convenient words from now on, and you know the shared intimacy you felt in your hearts will never be the same.
When you are cheated on, laughed at, abandoned, left out, and you also realize the times you have cheated on, laughed at and abandoned yourself.
When you live under the shadow of comparisons to other human beings, the pressure of expectations you just can’t fulfill, or know of videos on the internet of people torturing their kids, their pets. When you see the limits people set to not give or share, and the length greed takes.
The bombs detonating among innocents, the refugees running away from hell but stopped at the gates of a blessed place. When you get lost in that sea, and come to terms that there is so little you can do to control those waves and most of the work is only to be done in yourself.
When you feel your hands are tied, but at the same time realize the responsibility you have and the role you have to play when you feel already tired and about to surrender.
I’m not staying up late at night trying to ease the pain with another spoon of flour or sugar. I won’t numb my emotions with distractions, substances, addictions or nonsense. I’m staring at the sinkholes.
With my hands in a fist and a locked jaw, in front of the mirror, no judgment against that reflection, I will listen to the desperate moaning, the distorted voice that’s coming out with intensifying volume. I won’t humor it, sweet-talk or take a pill to let it go.
I will let it be, let it exist in me, acknowledge what was reprimanded before, no reproach to my expression. This is the part of me not painting birds and trees and talking rainbows, but destroying the canvas to start it all over.
This is the child hurt like an animal in a corner, the one saying This wasn’t supposed to be this way as she licks her wounds by herself, because she is too shy to share or thinks her voice won’t be heard since it doesn’t makes any sense.
This is the part that speaks of the darkness, won’t turn a light on, won’t hold a candle, will welcome it by listening to its horrifying sounds, and will sing back and lecture it with acceptance, honoring the time, place, and moment it decided to reveal itself.
This is my present, and it is what it is. I’m staying in the now, without going back to depression or trying to fast forward through it with anxiety or desperation.
I’m acknowledging it without criticizing the latent part in my inky heart, the grays and blacks, the darkness, the sweat, the tears, the furious beast of anger. I won’t be a victim, I’ll overcome. I’ll fight my battles to reach for personal freedom.
I’ll liberate what is needed, until I’m not carrying anything but my light, grateful, divine soul. Because all of this is me — raw, vulnerable, unvarnished, beautiful me.
Adriana Arzeta is a passionate Mexican artist and community worker, who was adopted by Canada 11 years ago. The culture shock, the experiences in a less sexist and a more free life, and a loving and fantastic Universe, gave her the chance to finally own herself and play the main role/protagonist in the story of her life. She is growing older and wiser, and is a crazy dancer, mother of two humans and two canines. She surfs the waves of life with enthusiasm, compassion and acceptance, and avoids any judgmental tides to keep away from drowning as she knows that’s just her own insecurities floating around. She paints every day, loves, plays and works hard, and fights against depression in Kamloops, BC. You can contact her via Facebook.