Discipline is distinct from child abuse. And many forms of discipline are too close to looking like torture. But regular ass discipline? Like, when you go to a friend's house, my son, please don't open their fridge and get food out like it's your own home.
It's called Home Training.
Please don't burp like that at the table, no matter what meal it is. When you go to a friend's house, the parents have the last word, not the kids. You will do chores and no I will not give you allowance until you start emptying the dishwasher when the blue and green spiral magnet is on the dishwasher telling you it's clean. When you take the kitchen compost out to the garden, I expect you to rinse the compost jar before returning it to the counter. It's okay that you want to only eat sweets and all of the carbohydrates, I'm going to fill our kitchen with fruits and vegetables, and we're going to eat lots of things that come from plants. Yes, I'll make brownies, and we can eat ice cream, and the bacon will be delicious, but I'm not going to fill our kitchen with cancer food. I am in charge of our home because I own our home and I work to pay to run our home. I am not the only voice in our home, and I will certainly listen to, value, and hold space for your voices, sons that I love and respect deeply forever, but I am the stronger voice in our home. So sometimes, what I say is what's going to be.
It would appear that most white people have never heard of the concept of home training. And I'm not going to even attempt to talk about parenting with a different skin color or cultural identity. I'm not really sure what's going on in some white households. Maybe parents of white boys have never heard of this concept. And those same parents of white girls just run their girls into the ground teaching them to serve men. And even if you think you're not doing this, you should still examine yourself harshly to make sure that you're not.
I'm not the best mom you've ever seen. But I like myself as a mother and I try to keep doing better everyday. Because my kids keep fucking changing! Every damn day, god damnit.
I do not spank, and never have. I do not punish, but have on occasion. I do raise my voice from time to time. And I am comfortable with that. I used to raise my voice more, louder, with less control. But I've gotten better at controlling that. Parenting is hard. Young children and an unhappy marriage push you to places you don't expect. I have been separated and then divorced from my kids' dad since 2011. I like it that way. I'm healthier that way.
I came home from my job frustrated, today. Because I'm doing work that I don't really want to be doing so that I can pay my bills. Regular ass problem. Working in a coffee shop means you learn about coffee shop culture. There's hazing; there's paying your dues. I've already paid my dues, just not at this job, not with these people. I'm done paying my dues. Some coffee shop workers enjoy the hazing more than others. It just makes me hate them more. I'm not super into unity and one love and love everyone. I don't love everyone. Because if I give my love to everyone, I'm just emptying myself out. That's unhealthy. I can see little bits of good in everyone, but there's lots of giant bits of terrible in everyone, too. It's best when they show you their terrible early so you know who to trust, and, more importantly, who not to trust.
I've trusted incorrectly before. I won't do that again.
I've trusted incorrectly in romantic relationships and friendships, and while I think my kids and I are better off for it, I won't make those mistakes again. We're better off for it because my incorrect moves didn't hurt us too badly. We learned more about people. I learned more about people. I also learned that my children trust me. That seems like an obvious thing to think. But that seems like a special thing to learn. When your children trust you, that's a unique type of responsibility.
Third person transition.
Denise didn't trust her parents. Denise's parents hurt her. Denise's dad really hurt her, abused her. Denise's mom didn't know how to protect her. Denise's mom didn't know how to protect Denise's brother either because Denise's mom didn't know how to protect herself. So now, Denise hates her father and hasn't spoken to her father in nearly twenty years because Denise said fuck off to her father nearly twenty years ago. And Denise is trying super hard as fuck to not be angry at her mother, but Denise has not done a very good job teaching her mother about who Denise is, so Denise is having a hard time. Regular ass problems.
Denise has a regular ass life. Denise once dated Eric. Denise hates Eric, mostly because Denise tried to offer real, live, neutral as fuck friendship to Eric a few years after Eric fucking dumped Denise's ass while yelling at Denise on the telephone, and Eric ignored her offer of genuine ass friendship. Why did Denise offer real as fuck friendship to Eric? Denise has no fucking clue. Denise knows how to be a good friend. And Denise finally knows that most motherfuckers don't deserve Denise's friendship. Denise knows she's smart and kind. And Denise also knows that she makes basic ass mistakes all the fucking time. Everyone makes basic ass life mistakes all the fucking time, but most everyone doesn't admit it to themselves. So most everyone have convinced themselves that they're fucking righteous as fuck. So when Denise comes along, humble as fuck, most everyone looks down on Denise. So now, Denise, who knows and values what she has to offer motherfuckers, does not offer her gold ass shit to very many motherfuckers. Beyond that, Denise has finally decided to take her gold ass shit away from motherfuckers, when she used to give her gold ass shit away to motherfuckers. Undeserving motherfuckers.
Denise thought that she and Eric might live together, combine lives, combine households. Denise tried her best to introduce her children to this slowly and carefully, because Denise loved Eric and Eric loved Denise. Denise and Eric were not a good match, so Denise and Eric sure as fuck don't love each other anymore. But Denise tried to gently welcome her children into a new life. Denise thought that she and her children would move to Eric's town. Eric's town was a little ways away from Denise's town. Denise's children would have to change schools. Denise is glad Eric dumped her ass while yelling at her on the phone before Denise made her children change schools. Denise's children trusted her to make the right decision for them. Denise thought she was making the right decision. Somehow, Eric knew Denise was making the wrong decision. So Eric made the decision for Denise and her children. Thank's Eric, for showing Denise your truth. But Eric waited way too long to be real with Denise. But Denise got a glimpse of Eric's bullshit truth a little while before Eric dumped her ass while yelling at her on the phone, because Eric dumped her ass while yelling at her on the phone on an earlier occasion, and then Denise and Eric got back together. That was Denise's terrible mistake. Denise had never yo-yo'd before, but Denise did yo-yo again with another man after that, because Denise still didn't respect herself enough. Denise still didn't know what she had to offer.
Denise is angry about that.
A long time ago, Denise had a friend named Brooke. Denise and Brooke were kindred. Denise and Brooke trusted each other. Like they trusted each other a fucking shitload. They told each other lots a shit. Immediately and automatically. But Denise used to love Anne of Green Gables. And then Denise actually looked back at Anne of Green Gables when Denise was thirty-eight, and Denise realized that Anne Shirley was a fucking asshole bitch. Denise realized that she was valorizing and idolizing a fucking asshole bitch. So Denise stopped that shit. Denise let go of childish beliefs that were no longer serving her, hell, that never served her.
Denise and Brooke aren't friends anymore because many many reasons that don't deserve space on Denise's website. Are not worthy of space on Denise's website. But before Denise said, hey Brooke, I don't need your ass, Brooke told Denise on Brooke's front porch, that Denise was much nicer than Brooke. Too nice. Denise was surprised because Denise didn't really see herself that way, but Denise thought about that shit hard and long. And Denise realized that Brooke was right. Denise WAS too nice. And who in the fuck needs too fucking nice. No fucking body. Certainly not Denise fucking Dalphond. So Denise, thinking about that shit hard and long, decided that Brooke's vision of her was enough of an impetus for change.
So now, when Denise reads an internet meme on the instagrams that sez, "are you really depressed, or are you just surrounded by assholes?", Denise realizes that she's still surrounded by assholes. So Denise has spent her fall and winter trying hard as fuck to get rid of the assholes. Because Denise's father tried to tell her long ago that she needed to MAKE friends. He also taught her the words, "with friends like these, who needs enemies." You can't make friends, dumbass, you can only find them. And friends are few and far between. Denise tried to make friends her whole life. And Denise did a terrible job of trying to make friends because people only see what they want to see and it never mattered what Denise showed them, because Denise didn't know how to find friends. Until now.
This is not to say that Denise has never had friends until now. Denise has encountered amazing people in her life. Precious people who make the world better. It's just that Denise met these amazing people in different parts of the country and it's hard for anyone to maintain a friendship when you're far apart. Some of these amazing people, Denise still loves. But they're far away, or their lives don't yet overlap in the right ways.
I hate nearly everyone. I especially hate Prez Tangerine. I especially hate my father. I especially hate racist motherfuckers who also hate women. Art inspires people to keep going when we look around and cry every fucking day. I cry on a regular basis. It's a healthy thing to do. But the oppression and violence against people of color, against women, against poor people, against people who want to travel from one country to another, against people who want to escape war in their own country, is stifling and overwhelming. Writing is my protest. And making art in my home for my children and me is my protest. And even if it's not your protest, you do not get to judge my protest. Because art is protest. And it is a powerful, lasting form of protest.
Music is protest. I do not make music. Yet. Maybe when I'm fifty, I'll get a modular synth. But I listen the shit out of some music. Music inspires. Music keeps us going because music makes us feel things that nothing else can. Music is protest. Art is protest. Writing is protest. We will never stop.
This story took me one beeswax hanukah candle to write, and a little bit more. I am not jewish, but I did buy a box of beeswax hanukah candles in december because they fit my brass spinning angel chime. And I love beeswax. Bees were making the material that we would use for fire before humans and fire were even things.
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.