reclaiming my room

i’ve always hated that word.  usually when its used something that should be sacred or safe or unharmed has already been violated.  they use it to talk about what they do after mountain top removal, they use it to talk about taking back words, they use it to talk about taking back land that should never need to be taken back.  reclaiming has always felt like an insult to the memory of whatever it is youre “reclaiming.”  it always seems to gloss over and sanitize the fact that something terrible, awful, violent happened and someone thought it was okay to do it.  i think we need a new word, something that recognizes the anger and horror of the act and the process.  but until we have it, i’ll settle on reclaiming.

saturday morning i discovered that someone close to me, someone who i’d believed cared about me, stole nearly 600$ out of my room.    it’s been a rough several days since then, coping with the emotional impact: the violation of my space, the violation of my trust, the pain of having every memory of my relationship with this person demeaned and shattered.  then, to exacerbate that process, the low level, constant financial anxiety i am now carrying around with me.

i am only now feeling comfortable again in my room.  the first few days i couldnt come in here without getting nauseous, and it was only because i was all but forced back into the space on monday that i am able to sit in it now.  it was loud downstairs with the brush burner spitting hot air into the house and kaya and i needed somewhere warm and quiet to play.  as we walked up the stairs to my room, she looked back at me with the anxious look of bit lips and said, “but you dont feel safe in here.”  it was true and her pause and concern made it okay to walk in again together, to try at least.  i walked in and was hit by wall of nausea; i remember being even more anxious to bring kaya into that space.  it was the intersection of feeling violated in my room and that re-triggering sexual violences and i wanted to scream and get kaya out of there.  i didnt want her to be exposed to any of the trauma of feeling violated in such core ways; i didnt want to invite her into that space and thus into that experience that is all too common for women in our culture.  but she wasn’t where i was in that moment, and she tugged me forward into the room.

i dont really remember what we did those first few moments.  eventually we burned sage, made little booties for one of my teddy bears that kaya has fallen in love with.  and then at some point we were watching a music video and kaya’s head was resting on my thigh and i could feel my anxiety meet her calm, i could feel her help me ground.  and i felt a little better, i felt myself fall into the reclamation process.

i still haven’t been able to sleep here yet.  the combination of the dark and the vulnerability of sleep have made me too anxious to consider it.  but we’re having a party here at woodfolk on friday and i think i’ll invite folks i am excited about to have a chill party space up in my room, so i can fill it again with good energy.  and then hopefully i’ll be able to convince someone to sleep over with me.  because while many people are offering me spaces to sleep, it is a bit exhausting sleeping somewhere else every night.

and that’s really the amazing part of all this, the response of my new and old communities.  the day i found out i had so many people validating my upset, my pain, my sense of violation.  i had houses and arms open to me.  i had shoulders to cry on and to hold me up.  in the moment that i realized that one person that i’d trusted didn’t care about me, i was reminded of the many many more who do.  and i mean really do.  thanks to everyone who’s been helping me through this process.  mad love.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paxus
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 02:47:27

    i have a very mixed response to this message, it is terrible that you were robbed. And i am strangely envious of your nausea, i want to be emotionally affected this way, despite the inconvenience, it feels more real, more alive.


  2. Sara Tansey
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 14:09:52

    dearheart, it is not an “inconvenience” it is a deep violation. it doesnt feel more real and more alive to me, it feels more disrespected, more counter to life. i would rather you trust that this is my experience and stand with me as an ally so no one else has to feel the same way. i do not want people to go “slumming” in the emotional vulnerability of my life.


  3. paxus
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 04:02:41

    we have different emotional experiences of it. i am apparently more numbed to being run over this way. you have seen it with others who have taken from me who you know.

    i trust that this is your experience, but i dont share it, it does not touch me the same way. i am disheartened you dont feel like i have been your ally because my experience is different than yours. i dont think i am slumming in your reality, i think i am seeing it only from afar


  4. Sara Tansey
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 14:20:51

    i didnt realize that you meant you wanted the emotional response i had in connection to similar experiences of theft that you’ve had. that feels totally different to me. i can understand that desire.

    and my desire for you to stand as an ally, as i have experienced you through this whole mess, was in comparison to wishing a similar mess upon you. it was that i would rather have folks stepping up in these situations and creating a culture that doesnt allow people to do these sorts of things to others, as opposed to having more people go through similar experiences. it was not offered as a critique on how you’ve shown up so far.


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