What I see when I look in the mirror is someone to fear. Someone who will cost society money–a liability as opposed to an asset. And I’m scared. Terrified even. I feel like I’ve fooled those I love and who love me. I’ve always wanted to be loved and to be the kind of person worthy of being loved. And now it’s as if they’ve got a present wrapped up in a shiny bow but opened it up just to find something ugly and vile inside. Me.
There are some instances where objectification is entirely appropriate and needed. For a short while–for example–a baby cannot walk, and cannot feed itself. They have no agency, no power to decide on where they go or what they do. As parents or caregivers we take on this agency. We are literally a baby’s arms and legs… we dress them, we feed them, we pick them up and put them down.
As a child my memory was rewritten time and again–first by my mother who tried to erase who I was to serve her own narcissistic needs, and then as an adult by an abusive ex (ditto). At twelve years old, I experienced a car accident which must have had more of an impact than the months I don’t recall and I drank my way through my twenties, actively trying to forget many things, which I’m pretty sure had an even larger impact.
The desire to change beckons. The voice tickles and taunts as it invites me out to play and it says… time to change, time to have fun, why so serious?
Great power comes, with the internet, sometimes completely unexpectedly. You cannot know power before you have it, so you cannot know whether you are ready for it. If you suddenly find yourself in a position of great power, then you can try to wield that power with responsibility and become the hero, or fail (by accident or design) and become the villain. And so, I am afraid. I am afraid that I have invited the mantle of power on my heretofore unproven and potentially irresponsible shoulders.
Twenty years later those two people are now strangers and our story is one of the human condition, of love and tragedy. It was inevitable. And so I simply sigh, close the book and move on.