Underneath my yellow skin

So what?

In the last post, I was talking about rules and why I don’t give a shit about them. I learned a new word today: contumacious. It means to be stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority (usually in a legal sense). See also: anarchy.

I don’t believe in anarchy, actually. I think it’s good to have rules that benefit the general good of the community. Like, imagine driving if there were no rules about who had the right of way. And I believe in rules that protect the most fragile members of the community. Minorities often need to be protected or they will be exploited (see, also, service workers during the pandemic).

But, yeah. I will question rules that don’t make any sense to me. I didn’t use to do it willfully–it was just me not understanding how to be normal. I still don’t, to be honest. Things that are self-evident to others make no sense to me. The marriage and kid thing, for instance. I mean, yeah, I get why people want to do it (in a theoretical sense. I don’t get it personally because I have never wanted either, but I can see why people might want it. Barely), but for me, it just wasn’t ever a thing I felt I needed. Or wanted. I assumed I’d get married and have kids because that’s what everyone did back in the day, but I was very gloomy about it. I was like, “Oh, yeah. I gotta get married and have kids one day” and felt as if a collar was tightening around my neck–and not in a good way.

I didn’t want it; I just felt I had to. My mother pushed it relentlessly until I believed I had to do it. Same with college. I had no choice in the matter–except where I wanted to go. I chose places next to my then-boyfriend, and he got accepted at all of them (Ivies) because he was fucking off-the-charts smart. Like a literal rocket scientist. (Well, not quite, but an actual astrophysicist. Literally.) He told me that if we didn’t go to college near each other, we’d need to break up. Which, honestly, was where I was heading, anyway. He was a good guy, but we were young. I was ready to move on. I did not know how to say that, though. There was a cute guy working in a different shop in the mall I was working in, and I wanted to date him. Not because of him (he turned out to be a jerk), but because I was trying to break free. I was eighteen, just started to descend into a severe eating disorder, hated myself and my body, and felt as if I was being forced to do something I had no interest in doing (college).

My mother: You have to go to college, get married, have kids, and have a professional career. Oh, and go to church on Sunday. And be a perfect size 2. And never say no to anything your mother (me) asks from you. Oh, and have I mentioned giving me grandbabies? Because, grandbabies are definitely the most important thing in this list. DID I MENTION GRANDBABIES????


I did not want any of the things on that list, but that did not matter to my mother. Still doesn’t. My whole life has been me disappointing her by not being what she wanted me to be/thought I should be. I’ve said it before, but part of the reason I started questioning my gender was because of the highly rigid expectations she’s held for me all my life.

For example, when my brother divorced his wife, my mother asked me if I was going to his house (he lives 20 minutes from me) to cook and clean for him because he’s “so busy”. Uh….um….uh….

There is so much wrong with that, that I don’t know how to unpack it. Let’s start with the fact that my brother was the one who did the majority of cooking and cleaning during his marriage. Then, add to it that he’s a much better cook than I am. And taht I don’t cook for myself, let alone anyone else. And that I have a cleaner come in every other week because I don’t do that, either.

Putting all that aside, that’s not my relationship with my brother. If he were a woman or I was not female-presenting, there’s no way she would have suggested that bullshit. It’s only beacuse he’s a dude and she thinks of me as a woman that she even thought it at all. Generic man and generic woman, as if she didn’t know me! Or my brother.

I told her that wasn’t what my relationship with my brother was about (mistake. Never justify or explain), and she snapped in a nasty tone, “What is it then?” Which took me by surprise because I don’t know which nerve I touched–though clearly, I had snapped one. My mother wasn’t usually overtly hostile–she usually kept that on the DL, being a quintessential passive-aggressive person.

I should have just said nothing, but I felt the need to defend myself. I said I was his therapist, which, unknowingly was the perfect thing to say. I was that for her as well, so she couldn’t very well complain about it. Well, she could have, but it would have been massively hypocritical of her. It’s my role in the family in general–being the therapist. I don’t mind…much.

Anyway, why should the woman in a het couple be the one to clean and cook? Why should she be the one to look after the children? Or want children? Or or or….Once I started asking the questions,I couldn’t stop. And I couldn’t go back to ignorance or oblivion. Once I started questioning the status quo, I was lost to the normies.

It’s like when I had sex for the first time. I had been told all my life that sex outside of marriage was horrible and would send me to hell. In my fundie church, it was portrayed as the absolute worst thing you could do. You can see where I’m going with this.

The first time I had sex, I was blown away (ha) at how amazing it felt. It was the best feeling in the world, and this was what was going to send me to hell? I never really believed in the Christian God, though I tried so hard, but that shut all that shit down. Such a big lie at the core of the religion, that it could never recover from it. Nothing else they could say would make up for the fact that they fucking lied.

That’s how I feel about societal norms. It’s all a fucking lie. What a person should and shouldn’t be. Once I realized that, I felt free to ignorem much of it. But it gets me down now and again that people still give a shit about things that are none of their damn business. Let people live their best lives, even if you don’t understand it. It has nothing to do with you, so just let people be. I  don’t get why someone else should care what I do with my life as long as I don’t intrude upon theirs.

 

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