Trinkets and Armor, 5: Shame is Useless for Living (but Excellent for Senryū)

Someone once told me something about sarcasm being cheap, right before asking why I preferred senryū over haiku. I ignored her cheap jab, and answered, “Because sarcasm and satire with human bits in them are the perfect tools in a world where everything is either screaming or mouthless.” I still believe those words and these, too: “Sarcasm helps me overcome the harshness of the reality we live, eases the pain of scars and makes people smile.” ~ Mahmoud Darwish

 

So… smile at this threesome, my Wicked Luvs:

my cancer hurts you?
oh, I know, I feel your pain
splitting my right boob

coping is so hard,
my pain hurts you much deeper
because you aren’t me

no, my darling nut,
I shan’t be prey to more ills—
I’m kicking you out

 

If you are visiting from the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads and wished to read only the poetry, feel free to skip the next bit. For the rest of you, my Wicked Luvs…

…here is Trinkets and Armor 5:

 

If we’ve had more than a handful of conversations, or if you’ve read my blog for a little while, then you’ve probably heard me say things like: “stick it to stigma” and “guilt is a drag” and “politeness that threatens tranquility is a life-suck”, and yes… you’ve also heard me rant (quite vividly) about the uselessness of shame enticed by someone else’s expectations or lack of imagination or superabundance of stupidity.

After I posted “No Caress; or, Boob Talk”, I received a message (or 3) from people who might have some serious reading comprehension issues, or… perhaps, they’ve taken self-absorbed to an egocentric level that not even my well-known narcissistic ways can fully comprehend. I was gentle with one or two of them, but when certain individual suggested that I had to allow him or her access to me so that they could find the best way to process my breast cancer diagnosis, I lost all sense of coolness.

I just exploded. I wouldn’t be surprised if that individual’s tympanic membrane has not recovered. And… I shared my fiery feelings with my Piano Man, with a friend, with several healthcare providers, and with a gentleman who was diagnosed on the same day I was. After he finished wiping the tears of laughter (you see, my Wicked Luvs, it seems that rants made in Spanglish and shouted at a gazillion miles an hour can be seriously humorous) he told me, “I wish I could tell some people to give me space, but I don’t know if I could live with the shame.”

The comment made no sense to me, and I told him so. Then he explained where he is originally from, said that his parents and relatives would probably stop talking to him if he shamed them by being impolite… The more he shared, the more outraged and sadder I felt for him. After he confessed that he had even considered not telling anyone about his illness, I just hugged him. “Dude”, I said, “one must do what one must to get through this mess. If I were you, I would try to figure out which one is more difficult to achieve. Then I’d go for the one that requires the least amount of energy. Once the breast cancer is under control, then it might be time to stick it to a lifetime of society-pimped shame. But… since I’m not you, feel free to ignore me.”

I don’t know what he has decided to do. But I do understand that his position is an incredibly complex and painful one. I feel terrible for this man… and disgusted by the reasons behind his emotional troubles. Family, community, culture and such… should be about love, protection, and comfort for the group and for its individuals. But… we all know how ridiculous this thought reads, if placed next to some of the beliefs and ideals some families and larger groups have embraced.

As you can see by the tone of the last bit, I am still slightly pissed off. When one is host to a disease (or 5) that take almost everything out of one’s mind and body, one should not have to worry about hurting people’s feelings. The damn thing shouldn’t even be an issue. And, you know what? Those who truly care about you don’t make it an issue. They might want to be with you 24/7, but they do what they must to be sane (and caring enough) to help your immune system fight the grim reaper.

If you must spend every second of every day battling depression or Crohn’s or necrosis or a nerve disorder or bipolar disorder or cancer or whatever your health demon happens to be, those who say they care about you should have the decency to do their very best to fight the pain your disease causes them in a way that doesn’t worsen your illness. That, my Wicked Luvs, would be true politeness in my book.

Anyone who can’t feel bad about me being sick without making their suffering another thing I have to deal with, will be gently removed from my sight. Any person (other than a child, since they don’t know any better) who has the nerve to try to make me feel guilty about not helping them cope with my cancer won’t be treated as gently. They might not even get a sick joke as my door hits their cheeks.

 

This week, I invite you to share a wee bit (or a whole lot) on how you deal with people (groups, society…) that make you choose between your health (physical, psychological, spiritual…) and their peace of mind. Write a post, or a poem, or a story, or paint a picture and tell me about its meaning… do what works for you.

 

To participate in Trinkets and Armor, please add the direct link to your entry at the end of your comment. If you don’t have a blog or a public platform, or don’t wish to write a post, just add your contribution as a comment. If you can, take a minute to read other entries. Unrelated links will be deleted without explanation.

 

Striped Stockings Monologue

Do I make you feel
out of sorts? Is my flesh
too much for your eyes
to suffer? Do nipples
and buttocks offend you?

I see.

You want me
all covered up,
restricted. Why? How
does my being
who I am affects
your living?

I offend you,
you mean? Well, too bad—
your stupidity insults me
all the time,

but you won’t see me
putting a bra on it.

.
the wee notes…
– Some time ago, someone (and I’m disgusted to say the someone is an educated woman) said that she wore brassieres and clothes that covered her unshaven legs, “out of respect for others. A woman has the freedom to look and be as nasty as she wants. But it would be wrong to make other people suffer her lack of pride.” I remember staring at her pinched expression, and thinking, I hope your self-hatred isn’t contagious. I also felt a bit sorry for her… and a lot sickened by her beliefs.
–  Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Tuesday Platform.

 


“Beautiful Freak in Striped Hose”, by Shelle Kennedy

Of the Negativity that Oozes Out of the Term “Unfriending”… and Other Bits

When a friend of my said that she wanted to leave Facebook, but felt uneasy about “unfriending” people, I told her that she was nuts. “It’s just a social media platform,” I said. “You can keep up with friends through email, your blog, Instagram, Twitter, smoke signals…”

She continued to point out that some people would take it personal. “They’ll get upset,” she said. “Trust me. I’ve been down this road before.”

I said some nonsense about how I had gone to high school, too… and how we are thinking grown ups now… I’m sure I’ve said other things, which I totally take back now… Since I decided to leave my Facebook profile behind, in favor of my page, I have received the strangest reactions from friends. And I’m not even talking about the people with whom I interacted on a regular basis. The ones sending uncanny messages are individuals who rarely commented on anything I shared. The following wee list, are my responses to some of the inquiries I’ve received on the subject of no longer using my personal Facebook profile:

1. No, I’ve not gone from a profile to a page because someone did something terrible to me.
2. No, I didn’t stop using my profile because I’m mad at you and don’t want to admit it.
3. No, I’m not being stalked (thank goodness), or forced to leave my profile against my will.
4. No, my actions are not my way of thinning my Friend List, so that I can avoid certain people.
5. No, I swear that I’m not dying (at least not any faster than anyone else is… that I know of). Don’t laugh, my Wicked Luvs, more than one person asked if I was leaving Facebook because my illness took a turn for the worse and I’m “trying to let people down easy”.

I’m not quite sure what the last bit even means. If I were dying, I would probably friend more people, and make a lot of noise… You see, if I knew when I was going to die, I would make sure that my funeral was the party of the decade (perhaps the century), and it would be celebrated while I was still alive. As Granny Weatherwax might’ve said, “There is good eating at funerals.”

As you might imagine, I apologized to my friend (and told her that I was writing this post, and that she wasn’t nuts at all). I guess she knows more about these things than I do. I wonder if the word “unfriending” (a rather negative and inaccurate term, if you ask me) has anything to do with the way people react to this kind of thing. What do you think, my Wicked Luvs?

I decided to write this post because, well… writing stuff down, and sharing them with other thinking brains and feeling hearts, helps me make sense of things. And because a link to this entry will be added to the last post I’ll share on the wall of my personal Facebook profile, before I clear my Friends List of every name but 3: my Piano Man (if I remove him people might start asking if I murdered him, divorced him, or something), my Mother in Law (how else will I keep up with the news and with the best sociopolitical memes ever?), and The Boy (his heart would probably break if I stopped my motherly surveillance of prospective girlfriends, on whom I practice my wickedest mock stink eye). I shall do this on April 3rd.

The main reason behind all this has to do with the fact that having a Facebook profile and a page, which share the same name, makes it rather difficult for people to tag the right one. Speaking of tagging, the easiest way to tag a page in a post or comment is to add the @ symbol at the beginning of the page you’re searching for or tagging (i.e. @Magaly Guerrero).

Oops, this post got so long that I nearly forgot the “Other Bits”:

1. Dark Fiction for the Cruellest Month, 2016, starts on April 2nd.
2. 30 Days of Micro-Poetry in April, hosted by Rommy Driks and me, on our Facebook pages: Kestril’s Rhythms and Groove and Magaly Guerrero, respectively, starts tomorrow (April 1st).
3. I will no longer use my Facebook profile, but my Facebook page will include the same information I used to share on the profile. Only the location is changing. Also, here, at my cyber-home, everything will remain the same. I’m active on Instagram. And when the mood strikes me, I even tweet. Yes, the birds, too, find it a tad weird when I start chirping like a lunatic.

Facebook Page of Magaly Guerrero