Friendless and Forgiveness

Recently I experienced a rash of bad luck. You could call it less of a rash and more like a spread of incurable, flesh eating diseases. I bombed a premier performance, I have lost my drivers license, passport, buss pass, school ID and social security card, I can’t register for classes because I have a $50 fine on my account (college!), I was rejected by someone who I wasn’t even dating, but the most harmful… I was let down by my closest friends.

On Tuesday (it is now Wednesday night) my friends and I were supposed to go on an apartment hunting trip, but I didn’t have the strength. I was lethargic, suffering from ennui and no one said anything to me. Nothing. While waiting for the bus, they had their backs turned to me, making small talk about classes but not a word to me. Not a single, “How are you?” “Are you okay?”. For context, I have known these people for years, some of them since around the time I moved to town. Some of my longest relationships with anyone in the city. I have confided, consoled, and connected with each of these individuals in a way that I thought was unique and meaningful. I thought.

I was so burdened under the mental strain of what I was going through coupled with the feeling of stigma and isolation from my own friends that I started to cry. On the bus. This led to even further alienation, no one sat next to me, no one looked at me and when the tears grew noticeable to the people around me the only person who had the kindness to talk to me was a woman sitting in front of me.
It wasn’t until I texted my “friend” who was sitting two feet away from me, that he came over and spoke to me. He apologized, half-heartedly, about what an asshole he was and how much he was too afraid to come speak to me. What I couldn’t understand was why. Why did it take me, telling him I was hurt, for him to come and talk to me, the friend he claimed to care for so much? Why did he feel it was appropriate for him to ignore me? What did he think I would do? Stop crying, cheer up and ask everyone if they were up for fro-yo?
These were my closest friends. People I trusted so much I wanted to move in with. People who left me crying alone on a bus, while they laughed.

What do you do? How do you move on from people who were so ingrained in your life that you have to rearrange your daily life? People who think so little of you and your feelings that you will never get an apology out of them.
In life, we are often confronted by people like this. People who take what you’ve given them without a single thank you or thought of what you might be going through. People who when it is their turn to return some of that, they come to you with empty hands.
These people will never apologize, more often than not, they won’t even feel bad for what they’ve done to you. The world is like a minefield, we are blind to navigate, never seeing those people who would blow us apart and shatter us before we can even see them coming. We can do nothing, but gather the pieces and put ourselves back together. It hurts to think that these people can replace you, they can just blow you off and move onto other friends, as if the time you have together was nothing. But the truth is, they did you a favor. They exposed themselves for who they really were, not your real friends.

Another truth: you will find new friends. It may take time, it may take years but it will happen. There will be a time when you won’t even think about them. Hold on to your anger, you have a right to be upset, it will prevent you from going back to a friendship with people who don’t care for you. Don’t worry about forgiveness just yet, when you are so happy with your new friends, that’s when they can have your forgiveness, when you don’t even think about them anymore.

Film Review: Daisies (Sedmikrásky)

1966 film Daises (Polish title: Sedmikrásky) had come to my town for only 4 days so I had to go out and see it! I had been exposed to it like how I’m exposed to most things these days, through tumblr and knew that it was a feminist, avant garde, experimental film with pretty interesting imagery.

I should have stolen this poster
The film opens with old war footage intercut with the grinding of the gears of a machine. The war footage is bombings from above and set up the feeling of reality versus the fantastical setting of the rest of the film. Made in 1966 by Věra Chytilová, one of the members of the  Czechoslovak New Wave and the first female director in her country. Made during the communist rule of   Czechoslovak and made with government money, this film was immediately banned for its supposed anarchist and feminist message. 
The two main characters both named Marie (Maria?) arrive on the screen like puppets and declare “The world is spoiled! We will be just as spoiled!” and announce that they will only engage in naughty acts. Okay I’m totally on board. They date older men for dinner and then ditch them on a train that leaves town, they get wasted every chance they get, they eat apples and pickles in their bedroom, wear coordinating outfits, hang out in bathrooms, put on tons of black eyeliner and disrupt nearly every environment they are in. They are like nymphs, at one innocently frolicking through a green pasture then rolling around the bed in their nighties.
The film uses color development and collages to an abstract point. Some scenes are red, blue, yellow or all three in a 3-d glasses effect, others are entirely in black and white. There are many scenes with flowers cut together with voice overs of words like “Die! Die! Die!” 
If there is a point to be made from this film it is the question that if a world is so screwed up by men, their lust for women, their desire for war, shouldn’t women in turn just destroy everything and behave badly in a world that treats us so badly? I say yes. Well sort of. 
The film is whimsical and cute at times, the girls are harmless never hurting anything more than feelings. But when they are laying down in a bedroom covered in men’s phone numbers, listening to a man beg for one of the girls love with empty promises over the phone (“I can only think of you”…blahblahblah “I think I’m in love with you” blahblahblah) the girls giggle while eating sausages, bananas and pickles with long shears, snipping at the length like a rough circumcision. 
They are messages all around, men are useless, they lie and use for their own amusement but when you play with them they accuse you of being cold and heartless. Or perhaps its an allegory on war, the endless consuming and destruction and toying with people’s lives as if it were all a game, shows how small acts complete a total picture of cruelty. I don’t know! 
If you are going to watch this film, absorb the beautiful surrealist imagery and the nonsensical acts of the two girls and have an open mind. There is no plot, no character arc, the girls reform their ways at the end and swear to be good (only because they are bored) and are crushed by a chandelier. I’m not ruining anything for you because, well, it doesn’t matter anyway you still have no fucking clue whats going on. They lay on the table in the closing scene wrapped up in newspaper like pieces of chopped meat waiting to be devoured by the society that they have given themselves over to.
 Enjoy the adorable sense of nihilism and the rampant misandry and anti-establishment attitude! It’s really a punk movie after all, for all the girls on the pastel punk movement, they will appreciate the message of the girls and rally for the message of living your life as you want, because everything is fucked anyway.
I felt invigorated afterwards. I felt light and carefree. Who cares what other people think of me? Who cares what people want and expect of me? It is my life and I exist on my own. 
Who cares that people shout things at me? And try to touch me against my will and think that I am not capable of doing the things I want to in life? This is my life! I will do what I want! Who cares? The world is spoiled and so am I! 
If you want to see the movie, check your local art house for a screening near you. If you don’t have a screening, watch the whole thing on Vimeo! Yaow! 

When You are Bullied as an Adult

Recently I became involved in an incident where I was accused of doing something much worse than what I actually did. I realized that a certain person, who has a vendetta against me already, had set me up to look like I was guilty of doing things I didn’t do. Since I was guilty of making one mistake, it didn’t take much for people to believe I had committed all of those other things too. This person has been after me since I first met them, for reasons only they know, and has been unrelenting since that point. 
When they had their chance to take me down, they did, with speed and devastation, that is honestly, a little impressive. I was impressed at the depths to which this person went to, to try and hurt me. And it really did hurt. It hurt me deeply. I had a meeting with two people of staff, who reprimanded me, condemned me, called me a liar, entitled, an exaggerator, and a bully. This continued for over an hour, mentioning my actual mistake only in passing. I even choked up in the middle of the meeting but they did not stop their attack. It was devastating to me, and took several days to recover from. But after some time I began to think, less about me and my hurt feelings and more about what had been committed. These people had railed against me, unjustifiably, on the word of someone who has been on a campaign to ruin my reputation for a whole year. 
And this wasn’t fair. 
I apologized, took my punishment, quit my job, and promised to never come back to that place. 
But this isn’t fair. 
This person is going to get away with what they’ve put me through for about a year and will continue to do this to people for probably their entire life. Or, maybe not. I have scheduled an appointment with my dean, their boss, and the vice president of the school and also an ombudsman to talk about my options and the next course of action, of which there will be one. 
In situations like this it can be hard to navigate. When we are children we are taught not to bully and now a days there are so many anti-bullying messages going on the internet and television. But it doesn’t stop after you turn 18, there are bullies in the workplace, in college, you could even be dating or even married to a bully. Being pushed around is not okay, being manipulated is not okay, being intimidated is not okay and no one should have that power over you. 
As adults we don’t cry, we stuff things down or try to rationalize about what we are experiencing, or convince ourselves that we have to go through this to not cause waves (like I did), but it’s more than that. This person is taking away your dignity, your sense of self, and your power and no one NO ONE should have that power over you. 
Stand up for yourself. You’ve got to. There’s no way around it. But adults, unlike children, are capable of hurting you in ways that are much more detrimental so you have to be smart. What are your resources? Who has authority over this person? Who could you report to that will not make it back to them? How could you make sure that you won’t be caught up in their vindictive drama? Do you have a record of their treatment? Document incidents that you could use in your favor. 
If you are constantly doing something for this person because you are intimidated by them, stop, you’ve got to stop. Avoid them, tell them you have other things to do, or better yet, tell them you are done being used and break it off. Don’t apologize, don’t make up an excuse, you don’t owe that to them, and stand tall with your chin high and stare right into their eyes. You don’t owe them anything, it’s your decision to change your mind and they should respect that. But they probably won’t, because bullies are people who lack respect.
Be consistent, you can’t be firm with them once and never again. Like a child or a dog, bullies won’t respect you if you don’t stand your ground every time. Don’t let them get away with things no matter how small, call them out on their bullshit and don’t just take their shit. You don’t need to stoop to their level but call them out on it, point out the flaws they wish so eagerly to bring out in you. 
This asshole should not have control over you, your life and your decisions. It’s not your fault, people have their own fucked up reasons to do the things they do especially when they are cruel and senseless. People are cruel to people who have something in them they either want or don’t like in themselves. Perhaps this person doesn’t like your strength and wants you to be beneath them like everyone else or they won’t feel important. You shouldn’t have to devote any more energy to them and they need to be put in their place.
I wish you luck.

When you hate where you live

I’ve been thinking of writing this since I opened this blog. I weighed if it was appropriate or just the rants of a bitter girl. But in light of recent personal experiences, I had to write about it.
I hate where I live.
I hate the people, the way they dress, how the city looks, the public transportation system, the sports teams, the mentality, the attitudes, the resistance to change, the lack of opportunity, the lack of things to do, the lack of diversity, good food but most of all the hideous men.
Over the course of my life I have lived in many different places, including overseas. I’ve seen so many different cultures, people, dress, attitudes, languages, and adapted to them with ease, but I’ve never struggled so much as living here. I have only been here for 3 years and yet I feel like it’s been alot longer. I never felt accepted or welcomed, I was greeted with hostility, skepticism  negativity, and mockery. This was not my town and despite how excited I was to move back, the feeling had quickly fleeted. I realized this town was very closed off to outsiders, especially different outsiders.
But I refuse to change. I refuse to dress differently, act differently or enjoy different things and I refused to bend to the will of many for the comfort of “fitting in”.
Whether  you live in a town too big or too small, too narrow, too rural, too fast, or whatever here are some hints for dealing with living in a town you hate.

  • Escape whenever you can – leave town, get out, drive, take a bus, go somewhere else. It’s easy to feel as though your shitty little town is it, and there is nothing better, but there is. For me, I take the Megabus to New York City and take a breather. Remind yourself there is something out there, there are more people, there are fun things and your town is not the end of the world. 
  • Connect with outside people – find people on the internet that you can connect to. People who live interesting lives or who live in the city you want to live in. You don’t want to be grounded. grounded it keeping you rooted to something you don’t want. You need to be up in the air, you need to free yourself from the binds of your crap town. 
  • Try to find something that you enjoy – this can be hard. I know of many small towns where the only thing to do is hang out at the local Walmart or diner, but find a park or a store. Find a quiet place where you can write or create by yourself, think and have private time. There isn’t much where I live but I enjoy going to the museum. I can be alone and even though most of the art is not authentic, but replicas, I enjoy being around art, I can escape. 
  • Start a blog! – that’s what I did! I wrote a blog to help me deal with the everyday problems of my life. Dealing with depression, loneliness  and creative out bursts that had no where to be placed. If you are finding it hard to deal with your life and where you are, write about it in a blog, or start a Tumblr and put up pictures of all the places you’d like to live. 
  • Move – okay, I know that’s easier said than done but listen. You don’t have to stay there. You don’t. Thousands of years ago your ancestors moved across continents to get where they are, on foot. You can catch a plane to a new place. You can. It’s tough but doable. Research where you want to move to, the job market, places to live, and rent prices. Save your money, this is necessary. The amount you need to save is up is dependent on where you are moving to. Once you get there, settle in, find a job, get to know the neighborhood and join some social groups. You should view this as a way to start living the life you want. 
I don’t believe in settling  I don’t believe in living a less than life and compromising your wants. Life is for living and you should take what you want out of it. Make NO apology about what you want in life, because it’s what your heart demands. If you are being called elsewhere and you are miserable where you live, don’t ignore that. You are being pulled to bigger, better things. The universe is calling you to your destiny. GO! 

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