40th Story of Transgression: I am a Fighter

The quiet, passive, Invisible Girl that I used to be was surprisingly in 3 fist fights. I simply don’t put up with bullying. The first fight was 7th grade when I defended myself against a girl bullying me. The second was with the girl who played Sandy in Grease when I played Rizzo. We had a long standing feud as the two best high soprano vocalists in the school. She came up and slapped my face because she’d heard I said unkind things about her (she was arrogant and lost pitch the more arrogant she became). I hit back. We both went home with black eyes. The last was as a young adult. I was out on “the cruise” (what a strange pastime) with friends. My best friend got into an argument with a girl from another group. The girl quickly pulled my friend’s hoodie over her head before punching her and nobody stepped in to stop this unfair fight, so I did. Because I will put my body on the line for the people I love. Even now, if someone physically attacked one of my people I know I would jump in the fray to defend them. I have a thing for fighting for my people and I don’t think any amount of nonviolence training is going to change that.

In relationship, like with my ex husband, I would take a lot of bullshit before exploding. My ex wouldn’t show up as a partner, including not working nor taking care of our home, and I would periodically breakdown with exhaustion and sadness. Then he would get defensive and I would rage – yelling and throwing my wedding ring and/or cups of water at him. I was fighting for myself, but also for my kids, who didn’t have a dad and he had made vows to them, too. My only true regret is staying in that marriage far too long because of my trauma wounding and how my children suffered for it.

I fight when I’m attacked, triggered, or most especially when my people are threatened. I will always fight for what is fair and just, especially when bullying is involved. I fought management for my people at the risk of losing a job that wasn’t just a job to me. I stood up for myself and others against emotional bullies in the Impropriety Society (it wasn’t all beautiful) and found myself standing alone and being told I was the problem for being loud, because being loud and speaking the truth of the emotional impact of people’s behavior is somehow worse than being careless or mean (of course it is, few people are willing to face the harm they cause). And I fought for what I believed was best for myself and my birth son when our adoption triad fractured, losing most of my beloved relationships at the time.

Last year the Alive program taught me how to communicate my needs and hurts without fighting, with other people who are willing to do the same work. But most people aren’t and this is part of why I resist getting involved in community work again. Those trying to make the world better suffer the same violent indoctrination by this culture as our oppressors and cause harm, too. Collectively we don’t know how to handle conflict and harm, except through punishment, so we shut ourselves and each other down instead. We are all suffering for it in every kind of relationship. I am afraid of going back into the world and having to fight unrestrained bullies everywhere I turn, especially now that we have a President normalizing bully behaviors. I can’t and won’t tow the line, which makes most of the world a dangerous place for me.

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