My fireplace mantle contains a ‘post card’ purchased in London which says: She Decided To Start Living The Life She Imagined. I weep as read it – but not for the reason one would think. How could I ever have imagined the life that I no lead? How could anyone ever imagine the life I now lead? Not in a bad way, not that it is perfect by any means, but it is indescribably huge and as I laugh to any and all – I was born in Saskatchewan. My long time therapist in California once commented that I did not dream dreams and she was right. That insight was, of course, a criticism. I saw her on my last trip to California – an accidental encounter. She is older than I am but not by much. She is crippled with osteoporosis, on massive doses of pain killers, cannot practice any longer nor write poetry, a gift she had. I attempted to engage her in a project – but I was unsuccessful. I wonder who the winner and the loser is? I might try again to engage her but it may be hopeless. I told her that was funnier than before and she gamely said: “ That could not be possible.” and when I told her of my success she said: “I knew you could do it, I knew you would.” But I felt none of this support or encouragement when I was in treatment with her. In the end we switched roles. A friend wisely said that the real reason I went to London was to get away from therapy. She had a point – of course the former therapist tried to dissuade me. She was not successful. It was a relief to hear that she is no longer practicing. .
A man who have dumped at least ten times sent me an email (yet again ) wherein he called me a winner. It is, as you shall see, sweet. I quote most of it beginning to describe why he is writing. .
He: But in an idle moment, fuelled by alcohol and boring football, I looked at your blog .
You are a scream. Giving up men at the age of 75 is an act that only you,that I know, could carry off. With such panache. You make me laugh ( that’s a compliment) because of your ability to create your own world in which all the other people are simply actors in your interior world. so impressive, it rather reminded me of my early infatuation with science fiction , in which alternative universes were proposed and explored without any worries about the real world. Congratulations, Alexis, you win again.
Me: You make me laugh and so I respond, as you probably knew I would. I think you should keep up the alcohol but give up the football and the blog. They are bad for you.
I disagree with him – the people in my world are not actors and, more importantly I do care about them – I guess his impressions stem from the fact that there are so many people in my world and his life does not contain this richness. I did laugh at myself in a longer response to him saying that giving up men has proven quite difficult. “ I am beating them off with sticks.” But his message was a very nice gesture and, goodness knows, I do like winning. Again.
It was quite wonderful getting out the summer clothes. I have not lived in the land of seasons for many a year and the surprise of “new” clothes so much fun as i have forgotten about them. My new weight loss is most gratifying as everything either fits or hangs loosely on my body. Good job Alexis! Good job Sir Richard.
So I am committed to being back at the book and have spent a very quiet day working on it, exploring resources and retracing my steps. I am planning to hunker down and become more reclusive – returning to my London isolation where the bulk of the work was done. I have become a bit distracted here as you may have noticed. It is important to focus one’s life on what brings you self esteem and completing this project will bring me self esteem. So the storyline of the biography is my relationship with a man who I never knew and possibly never met. It is starting in the here and now and going backward. I will share the end (which is the beginning) when it is polished. I am convinced that it will be an Ebook as I am not having/had a good experience with publishers and their ilk. The independence of this blog has not prepared me for the restrictions and confining quality of the publishing world – but more about that later
From my window I see women sitting in the son on their balcony. People marvel at my youthful appearance. Well, I never sat in the sun, i did not smoke, I never had kids, I was comfortable plump not anorexic. I have good genes. That s the secret of my success I suppose. You do not get something for nothing in this world. Sacrifices have to be made. i never particularly cared or thought about how I would look when I hit 75. I did not imagine that. It is my energy and my humour that people find so attractive, Trust me, I did not always have energy and humour. But I have it now and I am going to exploit it. Watch old world! .
I awoke to an email from my alma mater, the University of Alberta. There was news that Lisa Gotell was named the new Landrex Distinguished Professor for her work researching sexual assault. Alberta has one of the highest rates in the country. That is where the sexual assault perpetrated upon me took place. The accompanying article was so incredibly poignant.and definitely right on point. It was troubling, There has been a drop in reporting assaults which Gotell attributes, in part, to the chilling effects of cases like the Ghomeshi acquittal, adding that another key reason is that survivors may not recognize the seriousness of what happened to them, succumbing instead to denial and often, self-blame.”
“Even though it may have met the legal definition of sexual assault, we have the enduring myth of ‘real rape’,” says Gotell. “That is, violent, stranger rape, and it causes many to people to minimize the more pervasive, everyday forms of sexual violence, which are committed by boyfriends, friends, acquaintances, and in the context of intimate partnerships.”
Gotell discussed the overall objective which is to “ foster strategies that address Alberta survivors’ needs for “participation, voice, validation, and vindication and offender accountability.”
In my individual case denial has played a huge role – denial by everyone around me, both then and today. After the true to life incident in the deconsecrated church in Abbotsford I strove to talk about it with my brother and his ‘girlfriend’. They refused to talk about it she haughtily stated that my father treated her with respect. I was so well behaved but I did think”No wonder, it is because you are ugly.” Self blame was fostered by my father who accused me of seducing him. My goodness a six year old seductress.
I have not finished with this topic and later blogs will address an issue seldom addressed. The role of the mother – mothers know what is going on and often actively encourage it. My mother did.
But to not bore you all, I shall move onto another topic tomorrow (or the next day). It shall be mufflers and my plan. I had research done at the marvelous Vancouver Public Library and I have a plan. First mufflers, tomorrow the world.