Someone who was close to me behaved like i was a total stranger because i dared to share a meal with people she doesn’t like. To put it in perspective, the person was wildly damaging to that relationship-both by keeping me in it when i needed to step back and by planting ideas that no one ever got over.
But one meal-for purely altruistic reasons-and my loyalty is questioned and i’m treated like a leper?
Instead of suggesting she go fuck herself, solely because i’m Sir Raven’s, i sent a thoughtful email that provided a chance to apologize for hurting me. Did that happen? No. Amazingly, she called me a victim in life and then questioned my loyalty.
You know what would be awesome? If people who could have never, ever survived even the first five years of my life would have the respect to not judge me. In just the first five years i fought for my life, was raped, was beaten by my mother, had the one man i knew as a father get into a terrible accident that left him comatose, had a stepsister who left us like we never existed, had painful eye surgery, had to wear a eye patch that was a major reason that other kids would not play with me, and can remember my mother talking about running away with my brother without me.
You can’t be a victim and survive all i have.
You can’t be a victim and still love the ways i do.
i am the most loyal person i know. i keep loving, giving, sacrificing-even when i am fully aware that someone does not deserve it. Loyalty is about me-not the other person. Loyalty reaches out, sends money, gives time, gives affection, keeps secrets, holds space, and loves without expecting anything in return.
God knows i have very few boundaries in life, but questioning my loyalty is one thing you just do not get to do to me. It’s the most offensive thing you could say to me. I’m Italian. My life has demonstrated loyalty, even when people have given me many reasons to question theirs. Loyalty is a two way street-or it should be.
My life has contained a ton of abuse, just like most people abused as children. What feels familiar to us in life is inevitably at least tinged with abuse. The first time I can recall my mother beating me (just like in the no wire hangers scene in Mommy Dearest, replete with the closet and all the drawers thrown everywhere) i was four. The last time my mother hit me, i was 31. When i think of that, that i’ve only really had six years to figure out anything for myself without her telling me what to do, i think i’ve done a damn fine job.
i have loved, and i continue to love. i’m not sorry i had a meal with people i loved. My hope was that we would have better memories than our last ones of each other, because i didn’t feel good about that and felt the bad karma needed to be taken care of. These people did a whole lot for me, taught me what it was to have a family life, know my secrets, and in many ways parented me for the first time in my life. It took me a long time to understand that i wasn’t there for cleaning or cooking or anything but because i was wanted. That alone was huge, hard to understand.
They asked me to move in with them, and if i had, i would not have been spending two thirds of my income to rent a room in a house that i took care of. i would not have been breaking my back filling huge garbage cans with leaves every week, doing all of the home care, tracking down people to collect rent or pay them, doing the pool care, all of the cleaning of a massive house, spending my own money to travel and take care of the other house they owned. i did all of this, for years, for the person who has the balls to question my loyalty. Since she evidently forgot who i was, i reminded her of all of this. Somehow she feels she gave back just as much. How? She loaned me money when my glasses broke, which was kind. One year they brought me Christmas gifts. She had a leather bear made for me, which was awesome. She introduced me to Sir Raven, for which i continue to be thankful.
Do you know why i didn’t move in with the Bigs?
Even though my life would have been far more comfortable, convenient, easier. It would not have been loyal to the person who questioned my loyalty. It would not have been loyal to the Bigs, because there was no way for me to be sure it was the best thing for them.
There were a few times that i begged the loyalty questioner to move me down south with her because the total isolation in the big house was too much for me. i had to walk a mile each way to get groceries. i was entirely alone, far from any public transportation, far from friends. Had she been thinking of me, this is what would have been logical. She wanted her house, yard, and pool taken care of and that simply mattered more than me or my needs. The loyalty questioner put me through hell when i moved to be with Sir Raven, but she had never bothered to take care of me herself.
Some people tattoo it across their chest.
Some people live it.
i wonder if there is room for the definition of loyalty to fit across her chest, because she evidently thinks of loyalty only in terms of it flowing to her.
This is the singular way that i will demand something in return at this point in my life. i will call someone out when they are not loyal to me. i will hold it against them and not let them just get away with it. i will end a relationship now if a person makes me question their loyalty too many times. Even my own mother had the sense to never question my loyalty. And if she could figure that out then anyone who can’t does not deserve me.