Friday, June 19, 2009

A woman holds her tongue...

I was having a decent day today. Interesting conversations, dinner plans, talking with GV8 on the phone on my way home from work, laughter with my coworkers, and finished one of my books.

Nothing spectacular, but good.

Went out to dinner with one of my guy friends, an ex-coworker who I used to find attractive due to his alpha nature at work and our ability to work together almost perfectly... but once out of the office, he turns semi-beta... which only goes downhill if I can't keep him comfortable. As long as I'm acting like one of the guys, he's cool. As soon as I start acting like a chick, he becomes awkward. Very awkward. I try to save him from that.

Ran into some friends while we were out, said our hellos, exchanged hugs.

Stepped into Borders to check on two books that I haven't been able to find. They had one. The Surrender by Toni Bentley. GoneSavage recommended it to me, looks decent. Also grabbed a copy of Exile in Guyville. That guy can write like whoa. Finally snagged Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I've never seen a Monroe flick, which will be remedied tonight.

So everything was fine.

Then I get home.

I moved back in with my parents a few months ago, on their offer that I could go back to school for my Master's and live rent free. In this economy... yeah. When I was working on my Bachelor's, I regretted so much not being able to be a "college student". Not being able to live that life, to be on campus during the day, to actually focus on my education as opposed to working the insane job I was, where school ended up being an afterthought.

When they offered, I turned them down. Five months later, as my living situation continued to worsen, I finally agreed.

I did not want to. School would be wonderful, but living in a house with my father when he's in an extremely stressful part of his life is a receipe for disaster. I've been here since the end of February, and I'm still waiting for the blow up that is bound to happen.

So I get home. Forgetting the lazy, I-need-to-do-laundry, shirt I put on, I walked into their bedroom to tell them I was home and talk to my mother about grabbing breakfast tomorrow.

That particular shirt is... something that tends to stop people in their tracks with embarassment or laughter because it's pretty vulgar. I've had grown men blush at seeing it, which I think is hysterical. I walk into their room, take about a step and a half, and my mother looks up from her book.

"V!" frustration is evident, "Will you please go back out into the hallway and turn that shirt inside out before you come in here?"

"What? Oh, crap. Sorry. I'll go change."

"No, no, it's fine. Just come in here and wish us goodnight."

"Nah, I'll go change. I need to anyhow. Be right back."

Grab my bags, go upstairs, grab the shirt off my bed, toss it on, grab my dirty laundry, go back downstairs.

"Does that shirt say 'FIST'??"

Crap. "Yes."


"Yeah. Like when you ball your hand into one."

"What does the back say?" I wasn't going to turn around, but then with her, "Oh my God, V!" I remember that there's a mirror behind me. "M, can you see what her shirt says?!" to my father.


"I can't believe you're wearing a shirt that says that!"

Which launches into a mini-lecture of how crude my shirt was and how I must've done that on purpose (I did, but I didn't actually expect her to read the thing. It's a men's extra-large, making it a tent on me, which means it should be hard to read.) and if she liked a shirt like the one I was wearing she wouldn't like herself very much and jesuschristetcetcetcshootme.

My mother and I are very close, but it's her constant judgement and viewing me as though I'm still 15 that sticks a wedge between us.

Which is odd. You think me not living at home for all these years would get it out of her system.

What am I supposed to say?

"I wish you accepted my humor."

"How could I accept something so crude?? I bet your father even thinks it's crude."

Yes, that's right, drag my father into this. Fucking wonderful. How long do you expect him to allow me to live here if you do this? I don't want to get a year into my Master's degree and have him boot me out of the house because you freaked out over a shirt. Not to mention, I didn't even buy this shirt. This shirt came in a NIN boxed set that I inherited from a friend. I think Reznor is a whiny little drama queen, but I still find this shirt amusing enough to wear it to bed.

I could say,

I wear this shirt because I'm comfortable with my sexuality. It's something that I've had to do a lot of work on, something that has caused me a lot of emotional pain over the years, but I grew in a way so many girls don't, and established myself in a way so that I would be healthy and strong, you should be glad that I do not allow my sex to be used against me.

I could also say,

You're encouraging your husband, my father, to go into a rage right now by freaking like this. You may not know it, but he has made it directly clear to me that if something happens, he'll always choose you over my sister and me, and that if I make you too upset, I'm gone. So you're jeapordizing my education and economic well-being right now.

I could also say,

It's a shirt. I'm sorry that it bothers you, this is your house and I should pay more attention to what I'm wearing. I'm grateful that you allowed me this opportunity to go back to school, but please realize that I am in my mid-twenties, that I have lived outside the familial house for several years now and I'm used to being my own person. You are exercising bad habits by laying into me like I'm a rebellious teenager.

I could also say,

Whenever you do this, it wounds me. I know I am not like you, I have known for years that I have been different, outside the rest of the family. But I still love you, still value your opinion and would wish for your support. I'm happy, healthy, and strong. Why can't you let me retain these things in the way that I've found works best for me? Why can't you support me in finding out who I am and what I want out of this life you've given me? You create such internal tension in me by telling me what I should want, who I should be, how I should feel, that when I actually acknowledge what I want, who I am, and how I'm feeling... I become fractured. You're damaging me.

But I don't.

I say nothing.

I say nothing because my father is there and I don't want to move again. I just want this next year to be calm.

Later, I apologize for my inconsiderateness, then request of my mother that she not freak out like that in front of my father unless she feels like watching him eject me from the house.

I feel in pieces. I feel that, by staying here, I'm jeapordizing my mental integrity. I'm going to lose myself to their pressures and expectations of what happiness is and who I should be and how I should go about achieving it.

But... with the opportunity of going back to school, of focusing on my education, of doing something I love...


I don't even get a break this weekend. Well, I do. I have no dates. None. I've finally managed to retain a free weekend. I don't know when this happened last, it has been so long.

But I'm going to be here. At home. With a family that will never understand me, and will never support me if they don't understand.

Alone again.

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