The Best I Can Do is to Turn My Back on You

40 lessons you may hear from the sun
You never listened to a single one
Fallen leaves whisper like thieves
Not that you mind
You live on stolen time
    — “Skyway”, Apples in Stereo

Hjalti asks,

How do you manage to reconcile what’s clearly a life lived (to some degree) in hiding with having an active online presence? In your position I suspect I’d hardly even dare poke my virtual head out the proverbial door. Is there an element of defiance in blogging, twittering and being active online, or just trepidation, or neither at all?

It’s a little complicated. Or perhaps it’s dead simple.

At the beginning when my parents were stalking me (which has not, as far as I know, ended, nor will it probably end until they’re both dead), I researched on how to survive stalkers.

The message I got was: “You have to accept that things will never be the same. You will never be completely safe again.”

This is logical, except for the bit where you might as well have shot yourself in the head rather than bother trying to escape from people you can’t even escape from even when you’ve escaped from them.

I told a friend of mine early on, “I can’t write. I can’t blog. What if they see it? I can’t stand them reading it. I don’t want them having any pieces of me whatsoever.”

And he said that yes, they could read it, but even if they did, it’s not the same as them being in my head. “Think of it as if they were watching you on TV,” he said. They couldn’t literally reach through the screen. There were physical logistics involved before they could touch me. They weren’t all powerful (or else I’d already be dead).

An odd thing to say, perhaps, but he was an odd person, and it helped a lot.

There’s a time when you get tired of running and hiding, and if you have to take a stand somewhere, you might as well enjoy it as much as possible before whatever happens happens. I suppose that’s why I got a house, which makes me practically immobile, although I have a miniature go-bag ready at all times (and is why I love my little Timbuk2 so much). Even I can only take so much rootlessness.

Plus, in many ways, my parents were stupid. They thought they had me under my thumb and that I’d never do anything to anger them (unless I did it by accident or out of stupidity, which my father always assured me I was; I believe “retarded” was his usual moniker for me). My father was particularly proud, and he said this repeatedly, that he knew exactly how my mind worked.

Yeah. About that.

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4 thoughts on “The Best I Can Do is to Turn My Back on You

  1. I always assume you kinda know this, but I thought I’d make it explicit.

    Thank you for taking the risk to blog. Thank you for turning up on the Dysfunctional Families Day threads. I know you don’t do it for me, and that if you had to vanish, you wouldn’t decide not to because of me.

    But thanks.

  2. Hello Abi,

    You’re welcome. :) I need to blog about this stuff; otherwise I keep forgetting and stuffing it down, until… well… things go boom again. It’s already helped with the psychological sessions, because now I can review my own notes for the sake of continuity.

    The good thing about teh internets is that even if I do need to disappear again in the real world, my online presence, name, and this blog (and other things) can continue. Lacking the need for a physical presence is a nice thing, although that of course hampers me in other ways.

  3. I’ll say thanks, too, which I should have said before. My survival is of a different sort, but it helps me so much to know that I’m not the only one who has had to fight (and who has to keep fighting) to be the person that she is. Your posts really help.

    Thank you.

  4. Kat,

    You’re welcome. :) Sometimes I wonder if people are okay reading this stuff—it is so dark and painful. I’d blog it anyways these days (I suppose I’ve changed some over the years), but I’m so very glad that you find them helpful!

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