But I believe in peace, bitch
I kind of threw out a creepy tidbit about my past way back when I talked about being gifted and in the regular school system for four months in Grade 8 in a little redneck town called Merritt, in the interior of British Columbia. For an example of how redneck Merritt is, that’s where a police officer is being charged with torture under the status of war crimes, a first in this country and hopefully not the last, because Canada has some goons in the police forces everywhere (like a lot of places).
So I had moved with my mom, she got a job out there. Merritt only has two high schools, one was huge and very violent, I had to leave after a week because I was getting shoved all the time, mostly because of my gender which is unknown at best. I ended up at the junior high, which was no less violent. I mean sexual assaults and harrassment and vicious fucking shit. I had three friends, of three races, and that was a big no no in Merritt. The school guidance counsellor told my mom I shouldn’t be friends with a girl from India because they had conservative beliefs and she was going to end up married off and out of school anyway. I may have mentioned I wasn’t good in math COMPARED to the other gifted people, but I still pulled in A averages. At the school in Merritt the math teacher decided since I was native my A’s in his tests were a fluke, and gave me a C because he thought it was more indicative of my ability.
I went to a very dark place internally. Not only was I being bullied for being transgender, I was also failing in my academics because none of my teachers believed an aboriginal could actually be smart. I became very withdrawn, and the only interesting thing I learned was how to shoot a gun. We actually had a whole class devoted to using firearms, and like everything else I picked up on it really fast. I could name all the parts, tell you how to use it, and eventually I actually did start going to the shooting range, where it turned out I was an excellent shot if I had a bit more practice.
Nobody liked me, no one understood me, and all my differences marked me out for hatred. So I hated back. I didn’t know how to explain what they were doing to me, because if I cried they jeered at me more. So finally I started thinking about the fact that they were violent towards me and it was slowly murdering me. I was going to kill myself, there was no doubt about it, but I was going to take as many of them with me as I could. They seemed incapable of feeling any kind of empathy, and to me that meant they weren’t human. So killing them wasn’t as bad as it should have been.
Obviously, it never happened, and thank fucking god. My mom realized something was seriously wrong with me, and we moved away before the end of the semester. I spent my last two months of grade eight back in the gifted program in Saskatoon, I think they knew something had seriously happened to me over there but I wasn’t talking. I ended up going to high school with some of my friends from that program, and I dressed in black and hid for half a year, until I came out of the closet and things actually started looking up for me again. But it still scares me, when I think how close I came to creating more evil in the world. That really scares me.
It’s easy to become a perpetrator, unfortunately, which is why I knew after Sept 11 that America was going to lash out in a really evil way. However, I have to say that healing from victimization is remarkably easier compared to healing from victimization and perpetuating the original abuse on someone else. I’ve observed survivors and survivor-perpetrators, and I can tell you that survivors bounce back a lot easier, while a perpetrator either carries immense guilt forever or shuts off all emotions in order to justify the bad things they have done. Because when you destroy someone, you are really destroying yourself. And in order to pretend that outward violence isn’t self destructive, people have to compartmentalize themselves from the things they have hurt and destroyed.
I know some people maybe think considered all the shit I’ve been through I should want revenge, and I won’t deny that the impulses are there. But you can acknowledge your own darkness without inflicting it on others. I know that school shootings are horrible things in the world, I don’t deny that at all. But where was the compassion when those shooters were being emotionally tortured? Why did teachers allow me to be bullied, instead of stopping it? I don’t know. That’s a darkness I don’t really want to understand, although I probably should if I want to stop it.
Really though, I have turned away from any ideas of violence. It’s not right. I do have a dark side, but I have non-destructive outlets for that. And I think it’s important we acknowledge that we do have capacities for violence, because otherwise shit just keeps happening. I can’t hurt people, it’s not in my nature. I can think about it, but thinking and doing are different things. I did want to hurt the people who helped put me in the hospital, but I’ve let it go now. They were uneducated, uninformed, and unable to understand. I know they wanted to, and I know they thought they were doing a good thing, and I know they might even hang on to that for the rest of their lives, but I really have no control over how they deal with it. And I’m glad I don’t, I don’t really want to run around forcing education on people the way normalcy was forced on me. If people want to practice empathy and understanding, thank goodness. But if not, I just hope they stay away from me.
I should also mention, before Merritt, and a year afterwards and ever since, I was/am a pacifist. I was born a pacifist. I marched in anti-nuke rallies, anti-war rallies, I cried when other people got hurt. I almost became like too many other people are, and I’m glad I didn’t. Even when some girls jumped me when I was a teenager, I never hit back. I knew they would hit harder if I did. I’m sure people thought I was a wuss, but I couldn’t hurt them, at all. I wanted to be better than them, even though one punched me in the eye so many times I have a cataract now.
Violence is fucked up yo! Sex is far better, and consensual s/m is even better! Okay, that last part is really just me.