The Mirage of Playerdom September 13 2015, 0 Comments
It's been a couple of days since I posted this video, and I've already dealt with some of the local fallout, which I expected. Sadly enough, the women I referenced do not believe me. They are completely outraged, and now defending their poor, "victim" boyfriends, whose accountability suddenly vanished without a trace. I am not surprised at all.
But more importantly, why do I care? I'm not saying that sarcastically. Maybe I need to check where I'm putting my attention. Why do I care so much about a small group of people who do not care what I think? And probably never will.
I didn't want the video to focus too much on specific characters, but I did want to show my true colors in case anyone else felt I was a target for their mischief. I think I pulled this off successfully, and I don't expect to deal with this problem again. Otherwise I can reference this video and I'm sure it'll clear up any confusion.
I also wanted to offer a resource for anyone else out there who understands where I'm coming from. Maybe it helped someone. Maybe it will be part of a series of signs that happen on the journey towards freedom from a lifetime of abuse. That's what happened to me. It came to me in a series of signs, and then I started researching. This book was one of many, but I remember how it stood out. It was the kind of book that freaked me out as I read it because the author described my relationship exactly!! It was almost spooky, to see it written down in a book that was published some years ago, by someone I had never heard of. Seriously, that freaked me out. I saw my friends' relationships described to a tee as well, although they always prided themselves with claims that their situation "wasn't as bad" as mine. We would hang out together, confiding in our troubles, so I know. But somehow my role was to take their terrible advice while being "pitied" behind my back, for pretty much the same circumstances they were living in (if not worse, in reality). So, it's no wonder I cut ties. God, what horrible mistakes I was making, and what terrible pain I was in most of the time.
Abusive relationships are often products of the societies they breed in, and I had to leave an entire social circle behind in order to escape, and keep my mind clear. "He's only like that sometimes" is STILL abusive!!! A partner is either abusive, or not. This can be emotional or physical. More often than not, if there is emotional abuse there is also physical, only most people in these types of relationships don't recognize it. For me, this was the case. Blocking exits, slamming doors, damaging or being rough with objects, being rough with you or the children, driving recklessly while angry - these are methods of intimidation used to assert control. This is the root of physical abuse. My friends' relationships had these problems too, on top of myriads of emotional manipulations. Since it was so common and tolerated in my familiar surroundings, I did not know know it was abuse, or how severe the situation actually was.
Posting this video has been a challenge. It was way out of my comfort zone, and I'm uneasy about all the drama certain local peeps continue to perpetuate. The whole, entire entanglement has grossed me out. And it's been intense holding onto my courage to speak my truth, especially considering what I've come out of, and how conditioned I was to stay silent whenever I saw blatant grievances.
I am not concerned about losing "friends" over this. Their situation is unhealthy, and anyone who is temporarily charmed by the lies used to hold their front together is not someone I want to associate with. Huge regrets getting so involved in the past, but I do know what to avoid in the future.
And I also learned a lesson about hiring help. If you want a successful outcome: always work with people who already have their act together. More together!! The more together, the better. DO NOT GO CHEAP!
Below is a picture of me with my ex-husband and 10yo little sister, who was visiting at the time. I was 22, and had just given birth to our second baby, literally earlier that day or the day before. My ex-husband had just cut off another round of his dreadlocks, but he kept his beard dreads. Those were "sacred" or something... I have very few pictures from this era of my life, and the babies' lives. He was very against anything "materialistic" which included a camera or anything that had to do with too much vanity, outside of his dreads. Cutting them off was his display of shunning vanity, yet somehow how it was a big topic.
Move forward 2 1/2 years from this picture, and you will find me trying to figure out how to file for divorce from this man, and file for a restraining order. My mind was so clouded I wasn't even totally sure I would be allowed to leave him. He contested the order, demanding that I return to him. He literally wanted the judge to order me to return to my place in the marriage, and believed that it would happen. He never even mentioned the kids. Fortunately, the judge threw him out of the court with no contact allowed, not even visitation, but that didn't stop him from intimidating me for many years after.
So at age 25, I began raising all 3 babies on my own - and my first independent income came by selling batik clothing at the local Eugene Saturday Market, which was something I had started doing as a teenager (the ex-husband joined in after we met). This is the real story of how I started my batik clothing business.
These times were so hard and the disadvantages so unfair, I had a lot of difficulty talking about my past. I was burdened by shame and confusion, and felt like a complete outcast. Who else had that kind of a background by the age of 25? I was so out of touch with mainstream society, I couldn't relate to anything my peers were doing at my age, not even in the hippie/crafts community. I silenced my identity and tried to fit in the best I could.
Unfortunately, with this level of low self esteem, I continued to surround myself with misguided people who had very high tolerances for abuse, and/or people who knew nothing better but to capitalize on my weaknesses. Life was a constant battle for many, many years. And only recently I was miraculously able to wrangle free from this horrible plight. About 3 years ago, I made it out completely, and decided to transition Batikwalla to selling online. Largely for my emotional safety (that tells you something right there), and also because I believe the internet is an amazing place. So many online resources contributed to changing my life around, and I've met some seriously cool people I've had the honor to do business with. It's one of the only things I miss about doing festivals, but the same people are here too, so I have a good feeling I am going to continue to meet even more awesome people as our stories unfold.