Sunday, February 19, 2006

Second Thoughts

Never in a million years did I think when I started this silly online journal last March that it would be what it is today. It's just, well, bigger than I imagined it would be. A search for my maiden name turns me up on the first page of Google. The links and comments here are getting numerous, and I try to keep up with them and reciprocate blog visits but it's tough because the Marital Ass Spread I've been rocking these days does well enough on its own, without the encouragement of spending hours on end in front of the computer. I'd like to thank those of you who visit, and I'm sorry about sucking with the whole reciprocity thing. I try. I really do.

And while I'm thankful that y'all give me props and read my musings and link to me, there's a little voice in the back of my head, chirping, "Maybe this has gotten a little out of hand." I try to tell that voice to shut up, but it doesn't seem to be the negative voice that tells me I suck every once in a while. The mean voice that NEEDS to be told to shut up. It's a kind and caring voice that maybe has a point.

The thing is, this blog of mine has led to some awesome serendipitous encounters. I've been found by incredible people from my past, and I couldn't be happier about that. When I started The Adventures of Zube Girl, I opted not to be all incognito about my identity. In the back of my mind, I wanted to enable people who knew me when I was all screwed up to be able to find me now and know that, while I'm still kind of screwed up, it's not all bad like before.

Back in September, I received an e-mail from Dave. Dave, who had the grand misfortune of being my boyfriend back when I was raped. Dave, who told me he would support me no matter what I decided to do with the resulting pregnancy. Dave, who didn't drop me like a fucking hot potato even though I was pregnant by another guy. Dave, who bought me flowers and stayed with me the night after the abortion while I was cramping and bleeding and crying. Dave, who is seriously? One of the most beautiful people I've ever met.

After finding my blog, he sent me an e-mail saying, among other things, "Looking back now I have to tell you that you were so strong in the face of such a bad circumstance. I wish I could have done more for you." And my gut reaction was OH MY GOD, NO! I wasn't strong. I mean, I didn't kill myself. I guess that showed some strength. But, I chose instead to obsess over the thought of killing myself. How I would do it, and how awesome it would be to fade into a deep forever sleep with an empty pill bottle in my hand and my family and friends standing around me saying, "It's okay. Go to sleep. We know that life is just too hard for you." I actually used to daydream about it while I was supposed to be painting window trim at my summer job.

I wasn't strong. I sucked. At least a little bit back then. And on top of all that, I had the audacity to blow Dave off. See, he cared about me, and I didn't want to deal with that. Getting wasted and feeling sorry for yourself takes up a lot of time and energy, ya know? And the more people who care, well, the more explaining you have to do. So I stopped calling Dave. And we had been dating for a while. Long enough to warrant a break-up explanation. But with the explaining thing? I wasn't having it. I just stopped calling. That was pretty shitty, if you ask me.

When he e-mailed me in September, I asked him if I could write a post on my blog about his wonderfulness and he said yes. After being totally cool and humble about it. That was his way. And I REALLY wanted to thank him. But I couldn't do it. I tried maybe a million and one times to write about it, but I just couldn't find the words. I mean, how do you say THANK YOU for being Not-an-Asshole when I wanted to believe that ALL men were assholes? How do you say THANK YOU for being the kindest 20-year-old guy EVER and holding me when I cried about an abortion we didn't decide I'd have together? Because it wasn't your fault I was pregnant? How do you say THANK YOU for not getting mad that I accepted a ride to the grocery store with another guy I only kind of knew through a friend? How do you say THANK YOU for believing me when other people thought I was making it up to hide an indiscretion? How do you say THANK YOU for writing me ten years after the fact and telling me I was STRONG when really, YOU were strong for me, and I pushed you away because of it?

There are just no words. Except THANK YOU, DAVE. Thank you, especially, for finding me again and giving me the opportunity to tell you how wonderful you were, and how you got me through some of the roughest months of my life, and how I will be forever grateful to you for that.

And then there is Kenyatta. He e-mailed me after being forwarded this post by someone random. Kenyatta and I met back in college when we were both RA's. Kenyatta was there for me when I was depressed even *before* the rape. Ever since I was a kid, I've been a little sad. It's weird. Actually, after the rape, my whole outlook changed. Sort of. My brain went, "Oh shit! Things can be AWFUL! Hmmm...I'm not gonna dwell on the small stuff anymore." Being raped sort of made me a happier person. In the long, long run, anyway. Like now. Ten years later. How fucked up is that?

I've always had friends like Kenyatta who've been there to build me up. And that makes me feel bad in a way. Because what have I done for them? I just don't see myself putting as much into friendships as I get out of them. But still, they're there for me. Why? Because they're amazing and I'm fucking lucky.

Some of you may recall that I dated a guy I call AssFace. He threw a television set at me once and that led me to kicking him out. It was the final straw. And Kenyatta was there. Even though I hadn't talked to him in a while. Just so you know, AssFaces don't really like when their girlfriends have friends. Especially friends of the male persuasion. So I pushed Kenyatta away because I was hell-bent on self destructing or something like it. Thankfully, I realized what a dumb-ass victim I was being and rid myself of AssFace. And I called Kenyatta. And he cruised down from NYC to make sure I was safe. Because he fucking rocks like that.

I don't know how to thank him either. Words would be a good start, I guess. And I'm so full of them sometimes. When it's not so important. Yet when words are crucial, I fail to find the right ones.

All I've got is THANK YOU KENYATTA. You are more awesome than you know.

Now, happy as I am that these people have been reintroduced to my life, I'm a little nervous. There are people I don't really want to find me. Or, okay, maybe just one person. The guy that raped me.

It seems a stretch that he'd find me given that I doubt he even remembers my name, but mere months ago I'd have thought it a stretch for someone I didn't know to forward a blog entry of my dog dressed in a scarf and hat to a good friend from college I hadn't talked to in years. I'm beginning to have second thoughts about being so openly Zube. I don't want to miss out on people like Dave and Kenyatta, but the randomness of life is freaking me out a little.

Let's pretend for a minute that the guy who raped me, in a moment of clarity, remembered my name and Google searched me. Imagine I didn't have a blog. He'd find a few articles where I'm mentioned for some of the work I've done with Planned Parenthood. That I don't mind so much. So what if he can find me being strong? Big whoop, right?

But I have a blog. And if you search my name, it is easily found. And if a link to my blog is forwarded to you, my name is very easily remembered. What if he found my blog? Do I really want him to know that in moments of weakness I Google search his sorry ass to play some sort of power-trippy self-torture game with myself? Do I want him to know that I remember the exact day we last saw each other ten years ago?

Would it make me a wuss to begin anew and anon? I don't know. I don't really want to, but I guess you could say I'm considering it. Would I rather call The Adventures of a Gnome Exterminator or The Adventures of a Stick Figure Arteest my home? Would it be worth it? I do draw a mean stick figure and I kick some righteous gnome ass, but, I'm Zube. And I'm kind of stuck on that. I don't know that I'd want to be anything else. But I also don't know that I'd want to be Zube who was fucked up forever-and-ever-amen because someone who once invaded her body, then invaded her mind. Because she thought she was invincible...

22 Leg Humps:

junebee said...

Dave is a giant among men. I wish him many years of happiness and his compassion is to be more than commended. Hell, he should get a medal. Not because it was THAT tough to stick by YOU, but he did in a situation where most men would have been scared away by the situation regardless of how they feel about the women involved. Dave already has a chest to pin the medal on since he's a real gentleman.

If you go undercover that's ok. I will deny I even know you!

I had a bad experience in college, part of the reason I moved to FL was to escape it. But the Internet adds a whole new dimension to escaping that shit, doesn't it? Ya, those words have a sneaky way of escaping when they're needed most, don't they?

Anyway, if you change blog identities please let me know. I'm not a stalker. Seriously.

Chickie said...

What awesome friends these two guys were to you. And how crazy(in a good way) that they said hey after such a long time.

Please let me know your new superhero identity - I am a stalker :) Damn, I'd miss you if you went into hiding. But I do understand why you're considering it.

Happy Villain said...

You know what? I have the opposite problem. I've been anonymous on my blog for a long time, and like yours, it kind of grew way more popular than I ever imagined. My urge is to "come out." For reasons I'll never really understand, I want credit for my work and I want to stop worrying people are going to "out" me without permission. Is that selfish or stupid? I don't know -- it's just honest. Really, it's probably one of those situations where the grass is always greener.

Whatever you decide, PLEASE take me with! PUUUUH-LEEEEZE!

And aren't the Daves and Kenyettas of the world worth living life for? Good people always make it worthwhile for me. :)

Lisa said...

What a touching and beautiful post for two beautiful friends! I hope Dave now understands how strong he really was for you.

Phil said...

First and foremost, major kudos to Dave & Kenyatta. Standing by friends when they need you most is the true test of how good a person is, and they came through with flying colors.

Second, it is ultimately up to you and only you as to whether or not you put on a mask and blog from the shadows, striking fear into the hearts of evildoers--oh, sorry, got carried away there. Guess I've been watching Batman Begins too much lately. As I was saying, it's entirely up to you. But, me being an opinionated twit at times, I'm going to give you something to think about (just note, though, that it's not intended to persuade you, just something to think about).

As you said, it's pretty unlikely that the certain individual you don't want anything to do with will come accross your blog. But, it is possible. The Internet has, at times, made this world a surprisingly small place. I have "bumped into" more than one person from my past in cyberspace, even though not specifically looking for them. Sometimes this leads to good things (like getting back in touch with Dave & Kenyatta). Sometimes it's not so good. Only you can decide if the good outweighs the bad in your particular circumstance. I realize that the only things I know about you is what you choose to put in your blog. But from what I've seen, you are Zubegirl, and you are proud of it. I'm not sure I can see you as anything but that.

Whatever you choose to do, though, all I ask is that you let me know where the Batcave is. I promise never to let anyone know your secret identity. Plus, if you disappeared completely, I'd definitely lose all chances of ever getting hooked up with Hoot, and it'd be mean to make me give up that fantasy ;)

Echoes in a Nomad's Head

kyknoord said...

Ah yes, but if you did begin anew and anon, how would we ever know. I'm sure your unique turn of phrase and astonishing artwork wouldn't give you away. Would it?

Spookie the Warrior said...

Boy, those two men were really good friends. How cool that you were able to say thank you to them after all this time. A beautiful post - really.

I hope you dont decide to go anon cause that guy, wherever he is, is probably way too scared to ever look for you - I would be if I were him cause he has probably never told anyone - obviously, and to find you could only ruin whatever shitty little insignificant life he has tried to make for himself.

But if you do decide to go anon I would seriously miss you and your funny pictures and conversations with Z-boy.

kenyatta said...

Hey Zube. It's about 2am my time. I just spent the last hour and a half reading your post, walking away for a bit, pouring myself a cup of tea, talking to my partner about it, and typing out at least six different versions of what's going through my head right now.

But all that's crap and here's why:

I can probably sit here and list every damn reason why you always rock and why you never suck and I can tell you how ridiculously incredible you are and how insanely proud I am of the world you've built and the people you have around you -- but none of that should be news to you. You know how I feel and besides, you wouldn't stand for it. You'd just suck it up and sit through the praise and laugh your funny laugh and do the blushing humble thing. So I'm just going to drop all of that and instead just ask that you do one thing for me....

Cherish your circumstance, hon. It's the one most important thing I ever learned from you and probably the only thing you need to be reminded of every now and then. Cherish your circumstance.

Do me this one favor and we'll all be all right.

Vic said...

You need to do what will make you feel the most comfortable. Just remember that you have the power to do that now. He does not and will never have control again. Its a hard realization, but one I'm sure you're very aware of now. Best wishes either way. We are a product of our past. Our experiences are what makes us and they aren't always pretty experiences. You're proof that good can come from bad. Hang in there.

LaLa Lisa said...

I think your words were more than adequate! I know I would definitely be touched to hear someone speak those words about me. It takes a strong person to own up to mistakes or bad choices and try to make amends, so give yourself some kudos for that. There is no "right" way to deal with a sexual assault. Basically, all you can do is try and survive and hope that the day will come where you aren't just existing, but actually living life again. And you're doing that now. So yeah Zube! You rock lady! And your bravery in coming forward is helping more women then you could possibly know. Those of who don't have the courage to discuss this stuff on our own sites can come here for support and to feel less alone. So thank you! Now, while I hope you don't go, ultimately your readers will want wants best for you mentally and emotionally. So you take care of you and don't worry about anything else. *hugs*

Zube Girl said...

Junebee- The internet does make the world a little smaller, doesn't it? And the words are illusive when that's all you've got.

Chickie- I was thinking I'd do something like tell folks to e-mail me if they wanted to find my new home.

Happy Villain- Hee! See, I think I'd feel the same way if I started out anonymous. And yes. Friends like that do make life worth living, don't they.

Lisa- Me, too, Lisa. :-)

Phil- Heh. I would totally e-mail you and let you know where the bat cave is. So, it's not like I'd disappear or anything like that. It's just weighing the greatness of catching up with people from my past against the possiblity of the one person I don't want to find me, finding me. You know?

Kyknoord- I don't think I could hide for too long from y'all, unless of course, I gave up art. And that's not happening!

Justme- It is AWESOME that I was able to find them again. Really, really awesome. :-)

Kenyatta- I remember so many talks over coffee and so many conversations about things and life and meaning and all that stuff with you. I've committed to memory a paragraph of a letter you wrote to me that in my meanderings after college I somehow lost that made me feel SO special. I still recite it once in a while when I'm feeling down. I'm lucky to know you. Really.

And? You have, like, the BEST smile in the world. Love it.

Vic- Thank you. :-) It's like, I KNOW that I am a culmination of my life experiences and most times that makes me feel pretty tough. Every once in a while, though, it makes me feel a little scared, too. I was knocked off of my feet once, and it could conceivably happen again. And I don't want to be so naive about it the second time around.

Lala Lisa- I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really couldn't ask for more to know that people feel safe sharing here. Really, really, really. You rock. Thanks. :-)

Blog ho said...

damn that was lovely.

i'll give it to you...well said. you pronounce zube wrong, sure... but that was fancy writing.

Zube Girl said...

Blog Ho- I swear to GOD if you don't stop visiting me when I'm being all serious and shit, I'm going to hunt you down and kick your ass! For real. Every time you happen around here, I'm waxing sappy! Stop it! Heh. :P

Bonanza Jellybean said...

That was just... **sniff**... beautiful. Really.

And coming from someoone who has stayed fairly anon, I'm not so sure it's a good thing, really. I mean, the reason I did it was a lot like yours- I wanted to keep the psycho nutjobs from the past away. But you know what? They wouldn't have the courage to say a word to me now anyway. Only chickenshits behave like that, and yours. But I still hide anyway.

And now I'm thinking about not hiding- funny how we're thinking the opposite.

DON'T DO IT- being out there is empowering. Stick with it.

Oh, and the family here is SO wanting to come ski now. :)

Gary said...

Zube I consider you among the best of the best, so please don't throw me overboard.

BTW, you've only posted a couple of times on my blog, but I don't feel neglected. I feel honored by just those couple.

mothergoosemouse said...

Zube, that was great. I honestly can't think of anything to add to all the comments you've already received, but I wanted to let you know that I'm here cheering for you too. Don't go dark on us.

Anduin said...

This was a great post and I think your two friends rock. Friends like that are rare and special.

As for the other guy, I feel that your blog is a testimony to your strength proving that some chickenshit coward like him can't bring you down. I think he would be scared shitless to come across your blog here and he would never even dare show his putrid face here for fear of getting his ass kicked because you my dear are strong and courageous and oh so much better than he is. May he rot in hell.

Well...I've said a bunch. You know we love you and would miss you if you go but you've got to do what's best for you.

justdawn said...

I agree with Bonanza...don't go into hiding! That assclown from 10 years ago does not deserve that power over you. Not. One. Bit.

You rock, Zube...keep staying true to yourself and the world will be a better place for it:)

Crazy Like A Fox said...

Even though you don't see it right now, you are strong. Not only did you survive, you have been willing to share it.

We all have times when we are down and depressed. Okay, you thought about suicide, but you didn't do it. Your will to live, to survive was too strong. You moved past the experience and learned what happiness is.

I think that being open about your identity gives you so much more power than you know. It gives you freedom to be yourself. But you have to do what will make you feel comfortable and if going anonymous will do that for you, well, then that's what you should do.

SO said...

Hi Zube,

You should put a warning on blogs that are going to make people cry at their desks! Your blog is amazing, and for people like me (who don't know you and live in a country thousands of miles away) it's so appreciated, and would be missed... but, you've got to do what your heart tells you to do, and always be proud of who you are, whether you are Zube, or an anonymous blogger. To use an American phrase, you certainly do rock! (in the UK, I'd say 'you're really bloody great', or 'you are fab'!)


PaintingChef said...

no words. loving you a little more. didn't think it was possible.

Rori said...

I've been considering the same thing, but it is because I am being stalked and impersonated on the net and they are linking to my blog and so now, I have no anonymity. Not that anyone is looking for me really. But... I have been blogging since 1999 (slowly at first, getting more and more).

I don't know whether to hide or just stay and say FUCK YOU and your dogs too!


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