Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Karla And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year... A love letter to my urban family

I have been sitting at this computer forever trying to figure out what I need to do to sum up what this year was for me. How many things changed, how I changed. Do I start with the events? Do I tick off the highlights? The lowlights? How very "Seasons of Love" right.

Its amazing what one year can bring, how much your heart can both hurt and be filled. I can in all honesty say, my heart was broken quite a few times this year. I was talking to Jed last night and enumerating for him what a craptastic year it was for me. I was a little frustrated at first because he kept trying to make me look at the bright side. There are moments when looking at the rainbow through the rain doesn't make you feel any less drenched.

However, I digress. What I mean to say is Jed did have a point. I am still standing! Hallelujah for that. I mean its a comfort to know that after a year where I watched my group of friends fall apart and put itself together, walked away from a friend I loved, saw a spiritual mentor kicked out of the church for abuses of power, saw another two friends come out of the closet, saw a coworker fired for harassing me, my cousin was murdered and I was sexually assaulted... I can still stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and smile.

My heart has some resilience boy. There is a security in knowing that I will always be able to get back up again.

I've been trying to process, the lessons that I am supposed to learn. And rather then stress myself out about it, I'm gonna give it a big honkin rest. I don't think that all the lessons can possibly come before the New Year. The only thing I need to know right now is that I am blessed.

I was out with my friends at this spoken word poetry event and as cheesy as it sounds I had a moment when I was totally struck by how much I loved them. Now I really am a total cheese head so these moments aren't exactly rare. Even so, I was looking at their faces while they laughed at the end of the night. Stood their watching all of us hug. Encouraging the one of us with a date the next night, lol. Taking in just how much these people have meant to me. Even when it was tough I never ceased to believe that they loved me.

I remember how in the middle of the assault, when my brain was abandoning me for numbness, the words I heard were Jed's. He had instructed me long ago as to how to defend myself, and in the clutch moment of my life, those words came to me like armor and I got away. I called one team member that night, one member of the Elite 8. By the next morning, my entire facilitation family had mobilized to provide whatever support they could, they didn't believe distance to be a block and wanted to be there for me any way they could. Isacc was at a workshop, with so many worries besides me and through my tears was able to be the first to pull out of me what had occurred that night. I can remember the day after the assault the girls forced me into a car to see a therapist and get the help they knew I needed yet I was too embarrassed to seek out. As I tottered out of the car, literally scared of the world around me, they held my hand and I knew I was safe. I remember that very night as I slept, Rey slept next to me, hugging me whenever I awoke crying with memories that made me feel like the world was closing in on me and I would never be right again. I remember sitting with Bola, having her hold me as I fell apart while filing a police report, knowing that life couldn't possibly get this rough or painful again. I remember sitting at restaurants with Sam, drinking a beer and having the feeling of being understood in ways no one really ever got before she came into my life. In one such instance hearing her plea to stop believing the person I was had somehow vanished, listening to her assurance that I wasn't lost, and the accompanying embrace that had so much love in it, I longed to believe her. Having my first real argument with Bola and even in the middle of it finding comfort that we would never yell at each other, never make each other feel less than, knowing that in her I found my life-long sister and no one thing would ever be great enough to take that away. Laughing with Rey on various carpool rides at times when laughter seemed like a foreign concept to me. Yet there he was, constant, supportive and my goofball. Writing an email to shut out the very people who helped me make myself capable of surviving, knowing I was hurting them, yet knowing that this time my pain had to be a private endeavor, I had to know how to go forward on my own.

I pushed all of them away in 100 different ways. Lack of communication, shutting down, depression. I wouldn't tell them how I was feeling and then I sat bewildered at why I felt so alone. Even now, I know that if I apologize for it, I'll get several reiterations of "Well it’s what you had to do at the time for you, you don't need to feel sorry for it."

I want you all to know, I realize not only how painful this year was for me, but how painful it must have been for you to watch me go through it. I want you to know that I love you all. I love you for being the people you are and for keeping my heart alive. I love you for accepting me for who I am and encouraging me to do the same. I love you because not a one of us isn't a strong ass survivor. I am proud of you and your personal struggles. I see the beauty in your choices. I admire your character and am astounded by the immensity of your strength. Let it be known, this year SUCKED, and at the end, we got through it together.

With that said PEACE OUT 2005! See ya, wouldn't want to go through you again, thank you for the lessons you taught, but get the hells up outta here. We got some joy coming to us in a big way and you can't stand in the way of that. Though I know you to be more a metaphorical than physical difference, I think we earned throwing that baby out with that particular bath water.

Happy New Years guys! I said it a billion times, I'll say it again, with all my heart, I love you.

No comments: