all that I am not

I spend a lot of time, too much time, thinking about all the things that I am not.

I am not thin.

I am not pretty.

I do not fit into airline seats.

I am not a mother or a wife.

I am no longer a daughter.

I was a sister to my sister, but I am no longer a sister to her.

I am a sister to five brothers, and to a sister who was killed. Increasingly over the last few years, the time spent with those that are left in my immediate family, my brothers, has become more and more hostile. I am the youngest, I am the only girl now: these are all things that I am. But I am not a confidant, I am not given equal seating at the table. I am asked to clear the dishes while the men talk. I am consistently left out of their conversations. I am not invited on ski trips, “he wants to spend time with his brother.” I have never heard, “he wants to spend time with his sister.”

Some things that I am: full of melancholy. Hollow of heart. Family-less. Dear God how I miss a family. I am alone. I am without parents. I am without my sister. I am not part of a tribe. This morning I woke up to a text from my brother that read: “U need a new boyfriend.” Interactions with family have become increasingly combative, aggressive like I am being baited, here… take a bite of this shit sandwich. Now react.

I am all reactions: indifferent, rage, a limp stab at humor. All of these feeble attempts to connect lead into something else that I am: failure. I am an epic failure. These are the things that I tell myself often.

When I look in the mirror I see ugliness, fat, old, disheveled, sloppy, dirty, whore. No one would ever want to be with me. Even my boyfriend doesn’t really want to be with me, but he stays, because he is afraid. Afraid of what I do not know.

I don’t even want to be with me. Often times I look out at the days, years ahead and think, there is no point to my being a part of any of it. Another thing I am not: something that matters.

I read stories about the pets left outside to freeze to death. I want to drive to that house and punch those people in the face and then kick them repeatedly in the head after they fall to the ground. I am a person filled with rage at the injustices of this world, the way women have been treated since the beginning of time by men, men, men. I try to imagine what it must be like to lie next to your captor every night, knowing that you will never be able to leave, ever… eventually accepting that death is the only escape. My heart breaks for the beaten, starved, neglected, thrown-away, pillaged, and sentenced to servitude. Animals in particular. I am a meat eater who longs to be a vegetarian. What is wrong with me that I cannot make this decision?

What is wrong with me that I cannot do the many things that I want to do. That I know I should do. Here’s a sampling:

  1. Stop being a victim.
  2. Stop eating meat if you love animals so much.
  3. Stop buying useless crap online.
  4. Stop littering the earth with your useless crap and the overdone, overstuffed, over-wrapped packaging that it arrives in.
  5. Stop accumulating debt.
  6. Stop drinking so much. You’re turning into a functioning alcoholic (“functioning” questionable).
  7. Stop watching so much useless TV.
  8. Stop watching violence on TV.
  9. Stop being such an asshole, especially to yourself.
  10. Get out of your fucking head.

Start there, with yourself, that’s a good place to start. Stop being such an asshole to yourself.

Something else that I am not, kind to myself. Not today, anyway. Not today.


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