I’ll no longer be publishing with WordPress after this post. (I’m moving to Squarespace.) I’ll leave the entries I haven’t deleted. I heard some devastating news about the author of the Harry Potter series today. I’m stunned someone who possesses the keen mind that created the Potterverse has also decided to use the resulting platform of wealth and influence to abuse people who don’t share her privilege.
Like so many other things in life, gender is not a zero-sum situation. Transgender people do not erase the concept of gender. If anything, they add to it. Their self-awareness is not a threat to anyone, especially not someone so fortunate to have vast wealth and power. I’m a cis female who has always identified as a woman.
It’s a fact and not subject to opinion. The same goes for transgender women. We share a gender while also possessing some differences because we’re individuals, not clones. I’m privileged because my birth anatomy happened to align with who I am. It’s vile to try and erase a specific group of people from existence; period.
I understand being rich and famous doesn’t mean you have a healthy mind and self-esteem. We’re all humans who have acquired scars along the journey of life. Sometimes those scars, if neglected, can fester. It’s so easy and basic to lash out at the less privileged whenever one feels threatened, even when it’s completely irrational. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to things like therapy and time for self-reflection.
With great power comes great responsibility. – most recently popularized by Stan Lee. (origin?)
I hope J.K. Rowling grows beyond this destructive behavior. It’s an incredible disappointment when people who have power and wealth use it to harm. Many people state they want to be like Bill Gates. But what they truly mean is they want to have a massively disproportionate amount of money and resources, but have no intention of using it to help heal the world, which is what makes him praiseworthy.
So few recognize money is a tool, and think it’s a savior from whatever makes them feel powerless and invisible. Money isn’t magic. It doesn’t heal insecurity. It can do many things, but you’re still going to die one day. It can amplify both good and bad intentions. It can trick you into thinking you’re no longer subject to morality, ethics, etc. Many believe wealth is an escape from accountability for their actions.
There are plenty of examples of people who acquire power and wealth to bypass the law. It seems to me it’s a crapshoot. Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein come to mind. It’s disgusting and pathetic. Of course, there’s always the option to shut the fuck up and not hurt people who are already being murdered damn near daily just for existing.
I’m so tired of people who use their power and privilege to amplify hate. Enough already. Human life is more valuable than money, stuff, phony reputations, etc. Stop adding to the pain and suffering of those with enough on their plates, trying to eke out an existence from what trickles down. Time is up. Do better and grow or get the fuck out of the way.
To those who are also devastated by this revelation, please know you’re loved and seen by me. I value you and admire you for having the courage to be yourself. You deserve a better world where people treat you with kindness and respect. We’re all imperfect and make poor choices sometimes. What we do after matters. Brave and sincere people apologize, adjust, and get back on track to being the best person they can be.
All the feelings are valid (sad, angry, disappointed, etc.) Just remember, you can feel all sorts of things at the same time, and none of them means you have to do anything. If, like me, you were profoundly moved by the story of Harry Potter, and finally felt understood, know we can continue to embrace it. It’s part of our story now.
I deleted 595 posts from this blog today. I saved a copy offline with the rest of my journals, going back to age four—forty-six years of attempts to put my thoughts into words. To exist in some form outside of my head. To insist, I’m a whole, real person in a world that consistently begs to differ. Being transracially adopted at birth and raised in a virtually all-white community affords a distinct perspective.
My (adopted) family were blindspot-bigots when I was born. (This is essentially the default state of humans, in case you weren’t aware.) The only black person I knew was my younger sister until I was twelve. Many of the parents of my peers were racist assholes. It sucked so hard as a kid who had no adult like me to talk to about it. Their children treated me significantly better, though. I’m still proud of them as they had so few good adult examples, yet still managed to choose decency. 💜
At seventeen, military people saw me as a whole human with a right to contribute and thrive. (It was heavenly.) I can immediately tell when someone sees me as less than. The energy is fugly, and my body goes on red alert. Being a soldier was like taking a decade long break from the constant hateful onslaught of racists. Tolerance for racism was nonexistent when I served because it’s divisive, destructive, and fraudulent. It allowed me to develop a healthier self-esteem and excel.
I don’t look at people until I’ve sensed whether they’re an immediate danger. I don’t know the logistics of how I do it. I just know I must be good at it because I’m still here. I regularly encounter people who, for whatever reason, decide I’m not a person. It still hurts more when the perpetrator is African American. I’m working on killing off any remnants of my proclivity for putting unrealistic expectations on people merely because they look like me. My bad.
I’m embarrassed by how many times I’ve been burned by the brazenly insecure before I recognized the mythology of black unity. The unity was annihilated by colorism and blackness definition police long before I existed. I don’t think I’ll ever stop crying (on the inside) over this painfully ironic revelation. I spent so much of my childhood anticipating a joyful reunion with my culture upon adulthood, only to find out I’m too often not black right. Fucking ow.
(I still fall for it because I’d rather be wrong about how I initially perceive someone and get my feelings crushed than tell anyone they don’t matter. Also, change is reliable.)
I love meeting black people from other states who immediately ask me to pronounce certain words, then belly laugh. They see me and recognize I had a different experience and want to know how it went. They want to discover if it would make life less painful for their children if they moved here. (Often yes, unless you can afford a bubble, but may the universe help your kids if they ever leave that bubble. Prepare them for reality at least as much as you shelter them from it, eh?)
My parents adopted me at birth, and they loved me, raised me, shaped me, and did their best to prepare me for the world. They both evolved into even better people before my eyes as I grew up. I understood these things at a very young age. I grasped the lack of malice behind accidental jabs made them forgivable. (I told Jesus in my head.) I loved my parents, and I am glad I had them. They were terrific people.
Both my parents’ parents were racists. We visited my dad’s parents once. Heather and I were not allowed to get out of the car because “the dogs didn’t like black people.” I was four, and I remember some things about this incident. I remember refusing to look at my dad’s parents. I remember the ground where the car was parked was muddy, and telling Jesus (in my head) I didn’t want to get out of the car anyway, because it would make me dirty. (Also, my crayons melted on the dashboard.)
My mom’s parents disowned her for adopting Heather and me. Her mom died a racist as far as I know. When I asked my mom why we didn’t have grandparents like the other kids we knew, she explained to me the difference between my family and her family. I can’t recall how old I was, but I’ve never forgotten. From that day forth, I knew my authentic family consisted of my mom, Heather, Steve, my dad, and the foster kids.
Her dad evolved, and guess what? We had a grampa as teenagers!
The rest were my mom’s family (I’m the sole survivor of my reciprocal family.) The children she had with her first husband were my mom’s family, too, but it took a while for me to recognize. Her youngest two children grew up with us adopted kids. There was a clear separation between the adopted kids, the birth kids, and the foster kids. I never felt like my (adopted) parents didn’t want me. But I quickly learned I couldn’t afford to invest emotionally in familial expectations beyond my clearly defined, smaller than advertised, family.
No matter how much money you have, you’re still absolutely going to die. Please act accordingly.
I believe transracial adoption has the potential to be traumatic for all children involved. If asked at any point in my life so far, I would have opted to be aborted rather than born and transracially adopted in a heartbeat. Preborn fetuses don’t have options. I think anyone who lived my life so far would heartily agree. (My mom’s youngest birth daughter concurs, and told me so on multiple occasions, most significantly, right after notably and most shadily securing $15k right after Heather passed. Please pray for her if you do that sort of thing.)
Growing up unvalued by most had a tremendous effect on my self-esteem. Being undervalued happens to POC, regardless of who raised us because we exit our homes to experience the world. It happens to people in the LGBTQIA community, and the emotional abuse begins younger than you’d believe. It happens to disabled people and neurodiverse people. You’re within 4 degrees of a child who was killed by a parent for existing while being neurodiverse. (Have a look at just one basic search.)
I think transracial adoption is more sustainable in 2020 than in 1969.
There are a lot of people who, at first glance, may appear to be valued by most but are not. They might have white skin or wealthy parents. Your eyes don’t tell you much truth about people. If you let them be the sole basis for how you judge others, you’re not experiencing life; you’re peacocking. You’re wasting precious time trying to figure out who and how to impress, rather than building yourself into who you want to be. Hopefully, you have time for the universe to reveal your worth from within, (despite the legion of loud assholes* sharing the planet.)
When I was initially recovering from PTSD, my mom got diagnosed with colon cancer. I was there, and she made me promise not to tell anyone else. (I didn’t.) When she began treatment, I think she divulged to her youngest surviving son, too, but that time is blurry in memory. It wasn’t long after Steve died. I remember taking her to treatments and cleaning her house, but not much else.
The news instantly sent me into a deeply dissociated state. I was still raw with the grief that owned me 24/7 for a solid year. Steve was my anchor to this world, and losing him left me reeling in space. I could barely comprehend the concept of losing my mom. Worse, I couldn’t imagine existing without her: no fucking way, man. I was in my early 30’s, and my mom was my foundation in life, period.
I could only function like a robot operating my avatar from a fortress miles away. Even my vision felt pulled back; I was so numb. I remember going to Target with my mom while she was in treatment, and a woman bumped into her with her cart, injuring my mom’s finger. I had to fight off an overwhelming urge to kill the woman on the spot for daring to bruise my mom’s finger by accident. (I was fiercely protective of my family.) I think she saw it in my eyes because she very quickly turned her cart around and moved away.
Not even a twinge of guilt over that behavior. I’m not going to talk myself into recognizing it’s a little scary, either. Don’t fuck with my mom.
I tried to kill myself when I was six because I didn’t want to live in a world full of adults who were overtly offended by my existence. I still mostly only talked to Jesus in my head at that point. I tried drowning myself but was grossly ignorant of how it worked. I thought repeatedly submerging myself underwater until my lungs felt like they would burst would end me. I kept coming up for air, believing a few more times would do it.
I don’t remember how long I tried, or even what I concluded when I stopped. I just remember I didn’t want to be black anymore because it hurt too much. The only way I knew to stop being black was to stop being. I never told anyone about this or the other time I attempted at twelve. The second time, I had a much better concept of death and how to achieve it (phenobarbital overdose with meds stolen from the foster kids’ medicine cabinet. It was close enough to be memorable.)
It upsets me to remember that time at age six because I was too much a child to understand death, but not too young to long for it. At twelve, I still wasn’t mature enough to consider the aftermath of offing myself. I was in so much pain and didn’t have anyone to speak with about it. Even if I did, I didn’t have the communication skills or words. I had novels, and they held me until I could find my voice. And all the times it disappears, since.
I died a little inside every single time someone stopped my mom to congratulate her on being so holy as to adopt two black babies.
*loud assholes are insecure people with no insight who aren’t yet brave enough to work on healing their wounds, but insist on helping create them in others; and have the means to read this. The internet is a tool. Use it to heal and grow. The information is there if you put in the work at applying it. 💜✌🏽
p.s. If anyone treats you like you’re less than a person, call them on it if you’re brave, but let them go (away.) Your value is purely intrinsic. External sources are like an illusion: Fleeting, unreliable, illogical, unbelievable, etc. You can choose authenticity instead. For the most part, life is generally worth experiencing, even though it seems none of us get to play without paying in tears.
p.p.s. The inability to recognize others of your species as a human ever so strongly resembles an inability to recognize one’s reflection in a mirror. Just saying.