It seems incredible now, but I once thought the notion of intentional families was a simple one. Who wouldn’t want a family actively chosen from people whom you love and who love you with their whole heart instead of some of those conflicted fuck-ups we are saddled with by blood and/or marriage?
Britain has never taken responsibility for the bloodshed and exploitation which built the empire. This is evidenced by Theresa May’s hardline on Brexit. We want to take without giving anything in return. We make no apologies for our xenophobic attitudes; our comedy ridicules ‘those bloody foreigners’, our narrow-minded and disrespectful behaviour often shames us in the countries we visit.
‘Love, Retold’ personifies non-violent and exploratory angles on our perceived powerlessness created by an ultimate truth; we cannot control others or their willingness to be in a relationship with us, if we truly seek to love.
Maybe it’s my depression that twists a rainbow world into shades of grey. Or maybe the Order of the Phoenix really is a minefield riddled with C-PTSD.
Juggling time is a huge deal in a open relationship if the type of open relationship you have means investing in every relationship you develop. And it’s not only in your intimate relationships, it’s time spent with their parents, their brothers, sisters and depending on how close they are, cousins, uncles, aunts and the rest. It’s the emotional labour of negotiating holidays, cultural and family traditions and personality dynamics.
Gone are the days when I positively affirmed every day in the shower, and shared uplifting memes. Now I see these past behaviours as tragic extent of mine and others’ unawareness. I thought if I changed my mindset and concentrated on dismissing the negative and amplifying positive activism, that the world I wanted would resettle itself with my aligned actions.
Privileged white woman pain is more gradual and less dramatic than that experienced by intersectional minorities. It is insidious. Kind of like bonsai trees, white women have the innate capacity to grow to a normal size but our roots and branches are cut so that we grow far smaller. Stunted or trained along a trellis in such a way that few see, sometimes not even us.
Like Mithridates, the ancient Greek King who–legend has it–ingested small amounts of poison to create immunity, it is the art of swallowing what we hate little by little, of being formed by it, developing an immunity to it and even learning to appreciate the rush it gives us so we can make it in this sick world. If it is no longer poisonous to us, it is easier to dish it out as we deny that it’s poison. It’s still poison though.
Thus a racist, classist and hierarchical society which favours the few over the masses cannot be truly democratic because power is unequally distributed among and through many channels. And where there is a power differential, this compromises the ability of the marginalized groups to consent.
There’s a relief that comes with such a diagnosis. But also a glimpse of the fatality that living in our society provides. It’s a label which means you can be put in the box, ‘no longer of any use to society’. And the purpose of getting well is to be of use to society because the machine, the machine must be fed.
The powerful emotional link that binds families who grow up together often manifests itself in curious ways when adult adoptees meet their biological families. Yet as common as it is, few want to touch it because–well–incest. But this issue needs more awareness, and not only because according to recent reports it’s on the rise. Also because I believe that it’s a fertile ground for a particular type of abuse.
The very notion that whiteness is a social construct rather than a descriptor of skin tone, is difficult for white folk to understand.