Privilege, shame, and brutality

This blog exists as a sort of window into my intrapsychic experience. For the most part, I don’t censor myself. I don’t inhibit myself. I write about what’s manifesting in my mind and my body at any given moment. Often, I don’t post for a while at a time. Sometimes, I write a lot all at once, and then, I tend to schedule my posts out ahead in the future.

Most of the recent posts that have been posted were written 2-3 weeks ago.

The world looked different then. It wasn’t all that different, but it certainly looked different. And so as those posts have been surfacing on my blog in the last week or so, they’ve landed weirdly. Or maybe even that’s not quite right….

The bottom line: the thoughts I have been communicating in the last week or so have seemed misplaced, or mistimed. Partly, because they have been; partly, because there’s an asynchronicity between when I write, when I post, and when you read.

In any event.

Here are two things I’ve found helpful in the last few days – a YouTube video by Trevor Noah…

… and an interview of Ta-Nehisi Coates…

… that I have found really helpful to me, in the last week or two. The Trevor Noah piece is just super clear thinking and explanation and analysis. And the Ta-Nehisi Coates interview is, oddly, sort of hopeful. And helpful. And smart.

I won’t stop writing about sex, about my inner landscape, about the ways in which I find myself thrilling and suffering. And it will, at times, seem somehow jarring to read about my intrapsychic experience in troubled global times. Usually, I situate my suffering in context. Sometimes, I fail to do so.

I know this: no matter how much I may suffer in my interpersonal relationships, no matter how much my childhood traumas may reverberate in my contemporary experience: I am safe in my body.

Coates points out that the police are a vanishingly small part of my world – and, to the extent they are in it, I am fortunate enough not to feel threatened by them.

I write about my psychic suffering on this blog. It is real. It is painful. And/but…. a few days ago, in a post I have taken down, I wrote (among other things) that “I can’t breathe.” This was an honest and genuine description of a physical sensation I have experienced in recent days in the form of panic attacks.

Nonetheless. It takes a special kind of insensitivity and cluelessness not to distinguish between the physiological symptoms of anxiety I was describing and the words spoken by George Floyd, and Eric Garner, while they were being murdered. Not to diminish my symptoms which were, which are, as I said, real. But to situate them in a context.

No one is killing me. I’m not dying. I can breathe, even when I feel I can’t.

No one’s knee is on my neck.

And it’s time for me to go out to a demonstration, I think.

I haven’t yet been to my first demonstration since George Floyd’s death – I’ve been to lots in my life, including not a few against police brutality and systemic racism. But in this moment, I’ve allowed my professional and personal obligations to trump my societal and political ones.

My language choice and clueless continued navel-gazing are evidence it’s past time.

I apologize for my insensitivity. (And thank you, you-know-who, for calling my attention to my failures here.)

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